Episode 11: Networking

  • Thank for the episode guys, I had a backlog of sbs podcasts to listen to and each one always has something invaluable to offer. I have always found networking to be a difficult thing to get right, as I never wanted to be seen as wasting the time of those that I look up to, but I think what you mentioned about how you approach that and what you can offer them (in the case of Jake's student/friend) was a great example of getting to know those you admire. On the flip side I have managed to build up a small following myself and occasionally get asked for advice and although it can be frustrating when you type out a long message to someone asking for a portfolio critique and you simply get a reply saying just "thanks", there can be occasions where you build up a good connection with that artist and they can teach me something I wouldn't have known otherwise.

    I recently contacted an illustrator who isn't on social media but I managed to spend the time to find out their contact info (not in a creepy way) and they gave me some great advice on moving forward with my own work and they seemed recently appreciative about the books I had bought that they had published. I now figure the worst that can happen when trying to contact others either for advice, to comment, or to assist, is that they just don't reply or acknowledge your effort, but that doesn't mean it was time wasted as you have to be consistent, which was a great point touched upon in the podcast.

    For my challenge I recently made an art group for local artists to meet up every Saturday morning and we go together to paint outdoors rain or shine and I will be continuing to do that. It's been slow to get started as the weather was insanely hot recently, but some people are really making the effort to come and I have enjoyed both teaching and learning through that.

    I'm curious, but do you guys know how many podcasts your will produce? Will it be ongoing or will there be a finite amount of episodes? In either case thanks for the great advice and information

  • Love listening to your podcast guys! Does organising a trip down to London to see the Frida Kahlo exhibition with a friend from uni who moved away count for the challenge? (I'd been meaning to organise this for ages but gave her a call after listening)

  • FORM !!
    this is beautiful !
    am going to try this at the nxt convention that i attend

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    so glad you guys are accepting the networking challenge! It makes the world a better place! : )

  • SVS OG

    @eric-castleman Thanks for pointing that out. Our editor caught that tech prob a little late, but he fixed it and re uploaded the episode. So if you go download it again it should be fine.

  • SVS OG

    @gary-wilkinson Thanks for sharing your experiences with networking. Great idea to meet Sat mornings.

    To answer your question we are planning on doing the podcast for a year, so until next April. Then reevaluating if we have the time/resources to keep doing it like we've been doing them, or up them to once a week, or to retire it all together.

  • SVS OG

    @burvantill I'm with you! I'd go with you if you asked me but making the first move... pretty scary to me.
    Funny how I can perform on stage doing plays etc. but making new friends (in person) is so tough lol all those insecurities about being me rise up again.
    Personal superpower hmm -went a whole year once only making right turns in my car to get from point A to B - does this count?

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    BTW, I'm having my first meetup with local Nashville kidlit folks on Monday. SO excited!

  • SVS OG

    @jake-parker I vote to keep them going forever. I listen to a lot of podcasts and yours is by far my favorite. Besides the good content, the chemistry between the three of you is very entertaining, even when Lee is phoning his part in. In fact, it's more entertaining when he's not in the studio with you because I'm always wondering what he will break while he's fidgeting. You really shouldn't leave that man alone 🙂

  • Quick note- I think the illustration is wrong for this post?

    That being said- love this episode! In my college program they pretty much said "networking is important!" without offering anything in the way practical advice or strategies. So thank you! Networking in real life has always been a struggle for me, so I really appreciate your very specific pointers.

    Thanks so much for having a well rounded podcast. You are hitting upon so many important topics.

  • Networking is pretty tricky and most of my network is actually online, which has bugged me for a while.

    The thing you touched on here that I think is really important is to just let people know that you have these skills. Because opportunities can come from really unexpected places. The first time I got the chance to illustrate a book was when I worked in an office. I had the habit of doodling on a big whiteboard as I discussed job stuff with my colleague. And this turned into one big drawing over the entire whiteboard, people saw it and suddenly someone I hadn't met in the organisation came up and asked if I wanted to illustrate his book.

    And this year I invented my own drawing challenge, #catsofjune, where I just drew tons of cats for a month. It was mostly to break through my artist's block, but to my surprise it actually gave me job opportunities when people saw these cats.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @demotlj im always playing with something around my desk or drawing while we are filming!

  • SVS OG

    Great chat guys! Totally texted some old art school buddies that are still in the area. One to let them know I’m still so happy they are creating awesome work. I always assume they are busy with other imporatant things. But sometimes we all just need a good piece of pie, or doughnut, or cake. Whatever.

    And “relationships of trust” @Jake-Parker ! I’ll give you $5 to work in “the commitment pattern” on a podcast!

  • Great podcast. Thank you for discussing this. I think many people who find it hard to network are actually paralyzed by their their lack of objective as to what they are trying to achieve. On the other end of the spectrum you have people who want to achieve too much from a first interaction that might only last a couple of minutes (ie. "you just met me for the first time, please review my whole portfolio and also show me how to be as successful as you"). The goal should be something in the middle: very specific, focused goals that can be realistically achieved in a couple of minutes.

    "Hey just wanted your quick thought on whether I should try taking commissions at my skill level?"

    "What courses would you recommend in my city?"

    "Can you name the most obvious area where my art needs improvement?"


  • I listened to all the podcasts and for me this is the best art related podcast I ever listened. Thank you for creating and sharing this awesome talks @Jake-Parker @Lee-White @Will-Terry .

    This episode is so special for me. I am super introvert and socially awkward person, so networking (especially in real life) is really hard for me. My problems with anxiety also make it worse. Sometimes even to post an illustration in social media take me a bit long to decide because of my anxiety. Since long time I want to share my step by step or process video but I didn't make it. I managed to open a booth in convention some years ago but I didn't really make any networking. But I know I should work hard to connect with people, not only for business reason but also freelancing is a lonely job somehow.

    This is a super nice episode to listen to.

  • @tessaw Clearly the illustration is Will Terry giving one of his kids a parenting speech 🙂

  • @rcartwright
    Lol, I thought it was supposed to be Will and Jake
    But on this post they have the image for the critique episode:


    Instead of the one that is up on the podcast page:


    Not that it's a big deal. Just pointing it out.

  • SVS OG

    @jake-parker I really liked the idea of having ice breaker questions prepared, and the idea that networking is in many ways a form of mutual self-giving.

    Networking a real challenge here. I'd love to share a studio! Recent experiences such as the Bologna Book Fair and Ars in Fabula in Macerata were a real shot in the arm, but they both required a long drive and accommodations away from home. But this reminds me to get back in touch with the girls I went to Macerata with, because they were really pleasant and at least we could meet for a coffee and share news! Thanks for the reminder!

  • Just wanted to say thanks for this episode, I'm trying to make more of an effort to come out of my shell so the tips are super helpful. I'm pretty introverted and get social anxiety in unfamiliar situations so it's difficult and I don't know any other artists in real life (not counting my twin sister). I even get anxiety about social media which drains me after a while. I really want to go to an art / illustration convention this year to see what it's like and meet actual real people with similar interests to me. My hometown is depressing, but I researched potential conventions to go to recently.

  • Good episode and good advice. My networking skills are dreadful. I struggle to share my thoughts on social media let alone in real life. Most of the time I feel like I'm out of my depth and have nothing to offer. Definitely an area of my life that needs improvement. It's funny though, I met some local illustrators recently who are all about 20 years younger than me, but were trying to organise a drink and draw kind of thing. I said I was keen, but so far nothing's happened. This episode made me think I should do something about that.

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