Sunday, 7 June 2015

Freelance Illustration - Advice on Getting Started! | Video

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  1. Aww Holly, your videos make me so happy! love the impromptu pug interlude! Made the secret sneaky peaky viewing of your video at "the day job" even more tricky as I had to suppress a giggle!
    (I can feel this comment turning into an essay response already, so hold on tight! (Sorry!))
    So, I am in the super early stages of becoming a freelance illustrator. I graduated almost a year ago now and (looking back) for the majority of that year I've been floundering, like a fish out of water. So much indecision! But recently, somehow, miraculously! a few bits of illustration work have come in and I'm back on track (ish). I finished one of the commissions last night butdon't feel particularly good about it. It was such a lovely brief but the end result just didn't live up to my expectations. Today was deadline day so (as usual) I didn't have enough time to redo it...but even if I had, I would have spent quadruple the amount of time on it than I should have because of the end fee. Is this something you found in the early days? Did I do the right thing by just sending it off as is, despite not being fully happy with it? AH! woes of an illustrator I guess..
    Anyway, loved that video! Looking forward to the next! Glad to hear that more work has started coming your way again! Must be quite unsettling to see the bank balance slowly reducing not knowing when it'll be topped up again! Ciao bella x

    1. Hi Lauren! That's good news that things are on the up for you - I found it was a bit of a snowball effect getting started, as it sounds like it is for you - one commission becomes two and three and four etc. But starting out is really tough, and I definitely wondered when things were going to pick up. But you have your snowball now so it's all good!
      In answer to your question - there is NEVER enough time! I always feel rushed, the client is rarely organised and its the illustrators job to squeeze a week's work into two days. I wouldn't worry - I am rarely 100% happy with what I've produced - but it's no use wishing for more time, you've just got to do your best with what you've got. Also - the few times I have had the luxury of time, I found I wasn't any happier with the work produced than I was when I was rushing!

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    3. That's such a relief to hear! As it turns out, I got the sweetest message from the client this morning saying how much she liked it - which was such a lovely thing to wake up to and "confidence" fuel for the next commission! (how quickly that fuel gets used up though, ey! I find I'm a constant sufferer of Illustrator's doubt!)
      Just a little heads up/I don't know if this is a thing that you control or whether it's something that I've done wrong, but I don't get notified that you've replied to a comment. It was only by chance that I saw this... just in case you were feeling ignored by people or wondering why no one was replying to your reply! (It could just be me thought!) Hope it's sunny where you are - it looks glorious outside (she says, sulking from her office day job desk!) xx

    4. Ooops, as I clicked publish I noticed the 'notify me' check box, so it was poor admin on my end after all! (Hope I didn't come across as a Nancy-know-it-all before!) Ignore me! :) xx

  2. That's great advice for new illustrators Holly - and for anyone who loves sketching and art in general. It is very easy to get discouraged when you see other people's work and sometimes you just have to remember you do it because you love it.

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  4. I really love that you put this video out into the world. I am exactly at the stage you mentioned in the video-- brand new to the industry, working a day job (as a waitress, funnily enough) and trying to work out the way forward. For me, what makes me anxious is the thought that I feel like I don't have the same insight as other people. I did my degree in English (wishing I had chosen illustration the ENTIRE time) and so I feel like I missed out on practical information like how to use use certain tools, things like how to price your products or open a shop, or even just how to crack open the industry door at all. I'm sort of going off of all the tidbits I learned at A Level and learned for myself, and honestly it's very daunting. I've spotted in the sidebar that you've done a few other posts relating to the practical side of the industry (I can see a post regarding agents) and so I'm going to follow down the rabbit hole and try and push forward. But anyway, thank you for making me feel like I'm not on my own :)