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

  • Just finished listening to the first podcast! Like everyone else, I think it's a great new addition. The main reason: Everyone else mostly seems to just interview famous artists (mostly in vis dev or animation) and say, "You're so cool! Did you draw when you were young? How did you start working for Disney/Pixar/insert famous company here? And what is your next big project?" A few podcasts might do something similar for children's books, and sure, that's interesting, but the emphasis is more on stardom, not the thick of the struggle in which you wonder if you'll ever be able to support yourself. I really like that you guys are more specific and have practical information that applies to everyone.

    Re this first episode, I particularly liked two things: One was Jake's story about how he upped his character creativity level from generic to more interesting by intensive study.

    The other was the mention of the need for tough critique. I went through a fine arts program many years ago, and my professors were flippant, merciless and sarcastic. They also pointed out that I hadn't lived yet, so how could my work be interesting? Now, maybe a critique doesn't have to be as mean spirited as some of the ones I received (not to mention that some of them would now be outed for harassment), but we beginners NEED tough critiques so we won't waste our time. Sure, we've all had those critiques where someone pointed out what we already sensed, and of course style and opinion vary, but we want to get better, and that's why we're here! This is one reason I'm trying to take more live courses now. Critique helps, and sometimes I think it could be tougher.

    Really looking forward to episode 2, which I hope to listen to sometime today. Keep up the good work!

  • So glad you guys are liking the podcast. We just recorded the 9th one today. : )

  • Can't wait, you guys rock! Really great discussions and I'm very happy you decided to do this!

  • @lady-chamomile
    I like getting critiques while in-progress, but what is important is figuring out what works for you. Different things are going to work for different people.

    It sounds like you know what works best for you, so either don't show it to anyone until you are ready for comments, use the method @Sarah-LuAnn shared, or ask people to write it down instead of verbalizing their critiques, so you can take a look when you are ready.

    Especially with your husband--simply explain how you feel about it, and express your appreciation for his interest, as well as your gratitude for the help his criticism gives you, and he will probably be happy to accommodate you.

  • @rachy
    Balance is hard! Jake Parker has some great tips in his YouTube videos. I remember one where he talks specifically about Work/Life balance. He describes how he plans out his day to make sure he is the most effective with his time and schedules everything that needs to be done, including time to fill his creative bank account.

    I did a quick search, & these look like they're the ones I'm thinking of:
    Time Management For Creatives: https://youtu.be/9cv6tGGLFUo
    5 Things I Learned e043: https://youtu.be/QEbH1kODlU0

  • @rcartwright
    I don't know how to determine who's at the "top of the industry" either, but I'm thinking you can do a google search for something like "best sellers children's books 2018".

    I'm usually a fan of clicking on "Images" on google, but in this case, I think you get better results from clicking on the links of the search results. Amazon, NY Times, Penguin Random House, etc. all have lists of top sellers, so I would think these would be a good indication of artists to learn from.

    I'd also search for award winning books, such as Caldecott & Newbery Medal winners.

  • @missmushy
    I agree--an example would be very helpful!

  • @dottyp
    I have found that the secret with comparison (in all aspects of life) is to learn to view it--not as who is better/worse, but "What can I emulate?" You can learn from anyone or any situation with the right attitude. Try to have an outlook of unity rather than enmity. There doesn't have to be a conflict between your art and theirs. If you stop looking at it as, "They're so much better than me." and start looking at it as, "What are they doing that I can learn from and incorporate into my work?" it should help keep a positive spin on the excercise.

    When you find yourself going in a negative direction in your thoughts, remember that you have the power to choose which thoughts you entertain and choose to believe. Tell yourself that the first step in becoming better is to identify the things you can improve. It can be tough to change the pattern of your thoughts, but with practice, it is possible.

    Something to keep in mind is--just trying to suppress a thought can sometimes end up magnifying it. It's good to acknowledge and challenge the thought instead. A friend who struggled with self-doubt shared a method she was taught that helped her. When she had a negative thought, she replies in her mind, "Thank you for sharing. I choose to think otherwise." It might seem a little silly, but it's an effective way to address and dismiss it. For some people, it helps to write down the negative thoughts/feelings, then destroy the paper (crumple, tear/shred, burn), or cross it out and write something uplifting.

    If it's too overwhelming, remember not to overload yourself. You might want to examine it just long enough to pick one thing to work on. Then write a note on your calendar to come back and look for one more thing.

    Making a plan of action also helps me see things in a good perspective. Write down one thing you want to focus on first, and what specific steps you will take to work on it, plus when you plan to work on it. Having a plan is empowering.

  • @miriam Thanks Miriam for taking the time to write you gave some really helpful advice and I think your friends phrase was interesting and funny.I did not realise how down I sounded and I have to work on being more upbeat and confident.I definitely think a lot can be learned from studying other artists work and learning what it is I like about it. Thanks

  • I love the podcasts. This one, particularly, has made me more self-aware of what should be, and what should NOT be, in a portfolio. Thank you.

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