Episode 01 - My Art is Great, Why Won't Anyone Hire Me?

  • SVS OG

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    Artwork by Tanner Garlick

    Hi everyone!

    We just dropped the first episode of our new podcast 3 Point Perspective.


    Many artists work hard and try to get there their work out there, hoping to break into the illustration world and then...nothing happens. No clients offering work. No e-mails. No phone calls. And they wonder why no one wants to hire them.

    We offer our perspective on why you might not be getting hired (yet), and then go into great detail on strategies and give practical advice on overcoming that hurdle and really standing out.

    We discuss:

    • what might be missing in your work, and how to not miss the mark

    • how to give yourself a self-audit and honestly judge your work, using Will’s 9-Square approach

    • discovering specific principles to improve from looking at your heroes work

    • why you should be copying and absorbing masters’ work

    • getting feedback from a professional and creating a feedback loop

    • the need for interest and storytelling in your work

    • how to handle critique and the proper attitude to have

    • how to be a more interesting person

    All that and much more!

    You can listen to the episode and read the show notes here.

    This thread is to discuss this topic. Tell us:

    • about your own experiences getting work.
    • ideas you have for people struggling to find work.
    • where you disagree with something we've said.
    • what your main take away from this episode is.

    All right, love to hear your thoughts everyone!

  • Just listened to this Podcast (while drawing...which is GREAT inspiration) - I have to say, the self evaluation advice and Lee's "4 Steps" he mentions have been Spot ON and JUST what I needed. Thanks for the encouragement, guys. Can't wait to hear the next one!

  • Great first episode! I really like how you guys dove right into the topic and really got down to how important it is for artists to really seek honest and candid feedback from others and from themselves, and to think beyond just technical ability.

    I think the format seems to be working really well. Looking forward to more!

  • Loved this! I'm sharing it on my social network. Especially the part about coping master works. For the longest time I thought that referencing the works of others and coping for practice was bad, now I try to convince others that this is a fundamental way to improve one's art.

    Thank you so much, it was very encouraging and I need to try out your suggestions to improve.


    EDIT: Here's a question for discussion if anyone is interested. My husband is my biggest supporter and a pretty good art critic (He gives honest and pointed feedback) But I feel that I struggle with that feedback when it's given as I'm working on a piece; probably because I don't want to change my current process and I take it personally ("you don't understand my vision blah blah blah"). I deal with suggestions better after the piece is done, when I'm looking for ways to improve my process.

    Does anyone else struggle with this? Is it better to ask someone to hold off on criticism until you're done or should I have more of an open mind?

  • Thanks for the podcast guys! I found it really interesting, my main take away is that I need to revive learning journaling and apply it to what I want to learn about illustration. I haven't really done it since I left uni (fine art) the idea for doing self-audit and is really interesting and I think that's where I'll start. (Yay reasons to buy a new sketchbook)

    My 2nd thing is the be interesting part. I really need to sort out my work/life balance. In the past month between commissions and art fairs I've only had about 4 days off which has left my creative well pretty empty. Any tips for work life balance would be great!

    Can't wait to hear more from 3 point perspective!

  • SVS OG

    It's not updated on my Google play app. Is this a personal problem or is there a time delay since you drop it on iTunes first?

    Edit: It is on now.

  • After listening to this I think it would be great to have a critique class based on the idea of directing your career in a certain direction as apposed to just having the quality of work evaluated.

  • SVS OG

    @lady-chamomile I am exactly like you and can only hear critiques either after something is finished or if I am really stuck -- I know it's not working but I can't figure out why. I only draw/paint as a hobby but I also write as part of my job and it's that way for my writing too. Whether I'm writing or painting, if someone offers a critique in that "half-baked" stage, it's like it physically hurts my head. It's as if I'm trying to concentrate on where my vision is taking me and then someone starts throwing things at me from the sidelines and it's too much for my brain to handle. I've been writing professionally for 35 years and it has worked well for me to avoid evaluation until after a piece is finished (and then I'm usually my harshest critic) so I would say you should feel comfortable asking people to hold off on offering opinions until you are ready.

  • Pro SVS OG

    I love the format - perfect for listening to while drawing and definitely fills a gap in the "podcast ecosystem". I loved the analogy with music - it's one I often use myself!

    It's not too bad with finding work right now...but could always be better.
    My main take-away is to keep pushing, keep studying other artists and keep evolving the creative vision more than anything else. I do tend to go back to technique as a sort of safe room, but I can also feel how it holds me back from reaching the next step or making a piece the best it can possibly be. So, this was a good reminder of focussing on idea and design first and let the technique just take care of itself.

  • SVS OG

    @lady-chamomile I think the hard thing for me about critiques on a partially done piece is usually the comments are things that just make me think, “well yeah, I just haven’t finished that part yet! Of course I’m not leaving it the way it is!”

    Sometimes (not always) if I feel I need some direction on a partially done piece, I ask specific feedback on what I need help with. “I just need to know what you think of the placement of x.” “Can you tell what this is?” Etc. If they choose to comment on anything else I’m free to take it or leave it. 😊 But yeah, it’s hard.

    I’m about halfway through the podcast and loving it so far 👍 I’m in the middle of choosing my top illustrators after listening to the style class so it feels especially relevant.

  • I'm interested in opinions on what artists doing children's books should make the list of "top of the industry" I find it a hard industry judge because styles vary so much in comparison to other areas of the art world like card art where there is more constancy in styles

  • SVS OG

    Just finished listening to the podcast! Lots of great info and insights.
    being someone who has never been to art school or had the benefit of being taught how to analyse art, I would be interested to see what a thorough analysis of an art piece looks like. I think @Lee-White mentioned, he wrote 5 pages on one piece - I can’t even begin to imagine what would be included in that and the level of detail that one should go into. If anyone is willing to share their text, I think it would be helpful.
    I do try to copy others’ pieces for practice but am less clear on how to go about intentionally applying it to my own stuff.
    Looking forward to the next podcast! (By the way, love the despondent bunny artwork!)

  • SVS OG

    YAY! Love this format!!! Lots of helpful tips and perfect for listening while making art. Can't wait for the next one.

  • @lady-chamomile @demotlj @Sarah-LuAnn I always thought that was just ME! For some reason, it is like nails on a chalkboard, getting the critique on on a partial piece. I have never been clear on why that bothers me so much! But @demotlj , your description was spot on. And yes, it bothers me just as much with writing.

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  • Thanks a lot for this episode! Just in time for me. Really. I don't know who is the author of that mentioned letter, but it sounded like it could be me. I'm struggling with this problem of high-rendering a lot. Sometimes it's like an obsession - I want to draw something more figurative, but ending up with something realistic-looking. Because a figurative art looks like I can't draw. It's just not enough for me!) And I fixing and redrawing it until it looks real. Urrrr... So I will definitely try your advices! And looking forward your next episodes!)))

  • Loved the podcast it was very inspiring with some awesome tips.I will have to do the nine picture comparison thing but I suspect it is going to be depressing.

  • SVS OG

    Well done first episode. I actually got a good story idea while listening to the podcast!

  • I think if this illustration thing doesn't pan out for Jake Parker, he'd make a fabulous life coach. But seriously, I love what he says about living your life to refill the well and not becoming a production machine. I'd been taking classes and gearing up for a conference these past few months, which were great but left me wiped out and wrung out creatively. I got some great feedback from a professional in the biz at the conference, so now I'm digesting it and taking some down time before starting up again. Don't forget to refuel, people. Thanks Jake/Will/Lee! Or Willeejake?

  • SVS OG

    I agree @Laurel-Aylesworth having a life is a really important part of developing as an artist. I feel like I'm in an interesting place right now, because I'm at least REALLY CLOSE to hitting all four of Lee's "is my work really good enough?" points, but I am also the primary caregiver of two kids under two years old. I just don't have the time and attention to focus on my art right now, or on promoting it for that matter. But my kids are definitely filling that creative bank account--ESPECIALLY since I want to do children books! In a year or two when things settle down I will be able to do what Jake mentioned at the end--all the networking and getting my work out there etc. I'm trying to think of this phase as a break, where I get to do work that I like, develop my craft, and find inspiration every day. I'm making my list of 8 greats, I'm planning to do the exercise as outlined. I'm excited to see what to work on next. And a bit nervous, but you know...

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