One Step Forward = Two Steps Back



  • You know, I have been working at being the best illustrator I can be, and to be honest I know there is plenty of improvement left for me. This has never been the issue for me, in-fact I find joy in knowing there is always more I could be doing to improve.

    However, I have been noticing a pattern in finding opportunities and actually having success vs finding opportunities and having them be someone who thinks they have an original idea and want you to do all the work for free.

    I have been finding a lot of the latter recently. But right when I get an amazing offer where it would finally support my wife and kids, they end up wanting things in the work that I am morally against. Things I would not want my kids reading if they were reading a kids book. As a result I denied the offer.

    I guess I am feeling discouraged as of late because I feel like I have been given a canteen of water in a barren wasteland, and the content is poison...
    Has anyone had any similar situations?
    Or am I the only one?


  • Pro

    @Kori-Jensen It might be time for you to try finding work with professional publishers instead of self-published authors. The pay is better for one, and then the likelihood of finding a morally dubious manuscript is much lower since they screen them and edit them very thoroughly. I've illustrated things like a little panda learning not to get angry and sulky when he loses at games, inspirational food puns ("Donut give up!" or "You are one in a melon!"), a unicorn playing hula hoop with her friends, and the sweet nighttime routine of babies and toddlers. Nothing that could be considered even remotely unethical. You're getting understandably discouraged because you've been fishing in a poisoned pond. If you keep trying you miiight still find a small and still alive fish in there once in a while. But maybe it's time to try to go fishing at the beautiful lake?



  • I agree with @NessIllustration but staying true to yourself is also important I’ve never had a paying illustration gig but I wouldn’t do anything that I didn’t want especially if it made me uncomfortable even if it was good pay.



  • @NessIllustration Thank you for the advice~! I think I should look into that. It sounds like so much fun, you are so lucky. I want to make vibrant and light hearted illustrations with some positive lessons. In truth I want to make a difference in my drawings you know! But you could be right, maybe I am fishing in the wrong lake. Do you have any suggestions for a new lake?



  • @Asyas_illos I am glad you say that because a small part of me feels like I am a wee bit crazy for rejecting that big deal but at the same time it felt like a no brainer


  • Pro

    @Kori-Jensen Email any publisher, big and small, that you can find and that you approve of their content 🙂 Sent them a short email with your portfolio. Email illustration agencies as well. Thankfully for you it has very little to do with luck - it's about having a solid portfolio full of relevant work, and emailing a thousand people until someone offers you a contract 😉



  • @NessIllustration You are seriously a great help thank you for lifting my spirits today 😃


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