Switching Industries...

  • Hey everyone, I have been quiet for quite some time. I've been currently dealing with some personal issues in my mind and contemplating whether I really do want to work as a children's book illustrator. If I am being completely transparent, I never saw myself growing up to become a children's book illustrator necessarily, I always loved animation and have lots of favorite shows and books from my childhood, but I realize I'm just too heavy-handed and that I don't really have the forte to tell stories in subtle ways.

    It's kind of been something I've been trying to repress since I've worked pretty much almost half a year or more trying to build a website dedicated to children's book illustration so that I can impress an agency and get some work done. But maybe the reason I've been slowing down recently is that I'm not really a fan of what I'm doing. I'm treating illustration more like a job rather than drawing what I'm specifically passionate about, which is telling stories that are emotionally heart-wrenching, because that's the sort of stuff I like to consume. Tearjerkers.

    There are other projects that I have pushed aside so that I could work on this children's book illustration career and focus on making money and getting back on my feet, ever since the pandemic has made it completely difficult for me to get a job in architecture or draftsmanship. Those projects that I am passionate about, I would say is probably more targeted towards a young adult audience, not even middle school appropriate maybe. I would really like to get started on that project, since I feel more emotionally invested in those types of stories.

    Sorry for the long venting. I think maybe I need to rebrand my website. I've been going through a personal journey and I think part of that means I need to be more authentic about the work that I want to create. I don't want to create kiddie stuff, only for the money. I want to create deeply emotional gutbusters. Drama and action.

  • All the best to you on your journey!

  • These are always heavy handed subjects but I'll chip in anyway since I'm kind of on the same boat. Difference is I'm coming from a professional software development background looking forward to progressively switch over to more creative outlets, or as I like to put it bluntly, being more paid to draw and less so to code (and to honor my actual graphic design degree)

    Even when we feel we've got the perfect alignment of passion, interesting work and good pay it isn't guaranteed that all work that comes our way will be that exciting. Sometimes you just gotta pay the bills. At the end, this is just a job like any other with its ups and downs. Unlike many other jobs though, I don't know anyone who gets into illustration because he or she didn't have another, better career choice. Unbridled passion for the art often trumps most other considerations — and that's good, since you'll need plenty of it to stay afloat in tough times.

    Trying over many things and see what sticks with you is a very natural thing. If you feel you're now more into YA than kiddie stuff then start gearing your portfolio to show more in that vein — it won't go unnoticed. Personally I'm trying out many things over too but, for instance, I don't feel I fit the children's illustrator prototype completely; I'm more of a comics/animation guy. But you likely have a better perception of the kind of artist you want to be at this point. Only way to know for sure is to give it a try.

  • @Alzamon Yeah I've always been into comics and animation. I thought because of that, drawing children's book would be a piece of cake, but the truth is it's not. I'm not 100% enjoying what I draw. Maybe 75% at most, but deep down I want to illustrate stories with heavy themes, but that's just not appropriate for children's books it seems. I try my best to be subtle, or try to tell it in a way that I personally believe is appropriate for children, but I guess I really do not know how to that.

    What I'm trying to contemplate now is what to do with the portfolio work I have already produced in the coming months that I've dedicated to children's books. Do I just ditch them? Place someplace else. I'm thinking that my website needs a total overhaul and makeover in order to fit a more authentic interest of myself. 😰

    Right now I am writing a story for a teen action drama about teenage superheroes and mental health. I cannot wait to share my YA stories here in the coming months.

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