The illustrative struggle journal #1 (+a little contest)
You can look on the internet and read articles about starting as an illustrator or watch Youtube video's about people who were in this situation and how they got out. But they are all succes stories. At this point I don't know if I am going to be one of those succes stories at all. So I think it would be interesting for you guys to take you with me in this process since this is one of the darker, less joyful parts of being an illustrator.
I was sending my portfolio to every single possible client I could think since the first of December 2016. Since then I got three replies which said NO in not a really nice way. And four replies saying they will contact me when they could use me as an artist. You can't take that for a yes since you are not getting payed by them at this moment.
What I did do with those addresses who did reply in a positive way, was saving their reply. In about three to 6 months they will get an update of my portfolio as a reminder I send them a mail earlier.
All the other people I send an email didn't respond at all.(*there is a little rant at the bottom about this) For those who wondered, I send about 100 potential clients my portfolio. Yes, the rumors are true. You will not be welcomed by anyone at all.
So now we know no one is waiting for us. We have to convince them that we are needed. Not an easy task since we are all 'just lazy artists who just scribble books for children' (Yes, I heard that once before and it actually sounds pretty funny, hehe). Now we need to prove them wrong. This is the hard part. How do I convince somebody that I can do stuff without any assignments? How much longer can I do art for the sake of art and do projects that are not real? My answer to this is: I don't know.
When you look at articles, interviews and youtube video's you can hear there is no magical phone number that makes thins good and easy for the rest of your carrier. Actually, my advice is not to watch these youtube video's at all when you are in a down mood. This might sound arrogant but there are some people out there who can't do shit and make good money as an illustrator. And no, this is not jealousy or hacking on people's style. Some things are just bad and I am not going to protect others because I know there are enough other artists who think my drawings are crappy too. But this is another subject. The frustrating thing is why are they so successful and when you are researching how they do it you discover they are just extremely lucky people in some way.
So there you probably have your magick phone number: Luck. You need to hit that certain person who is like 'yeah, he's cool and I think I can do something with his skills.' But I am afraid I am not at that point yet.
But there is a positive message in this world of critical views! In theory, when you fight long enough you will make it. Maybe this is the exciting part of being an artist too. It makes you respect every job you get and go for it for 2000%. Showing the world that you do matter! There is no other option then just continue with organizing your mind and start sending your portfolio and making phone calls to new potential clients and hopefully they could use you.
What more can you do?
Talk to friends, even when they don't know poop about art or illustration. They can tell you what they see and what they don't like or think is messy. Those people are the ones who are your audience. When you work with images all day long you can get anything out of something if you want to. So try to stay close to your audience.
So that is why I am asking you to get involved in my journey. In the link below there is a little contest where you can put in the comments what you would like me to draw. Just like the page and give my your worst nightmares or whatever you want! The chosen comment is getting the print and the original drawing I will be selling to the highest bidder. Art for the true pilgrims!
Thank you for your time and hope you have a great day,
|Play music for the dead|
* This is something I hate because we live in an age, located behind the computer or we are stuck with a mobile phone with internet connection. So I don't see any reason not to respond at all. Also, the excuse not to reply because it takes a lot of time and they have more to do is one I can not accept. You can write a standard email in word and copy it in the reply. At least then we know that we can fuck off.