• Pro

    Hello everyone!

    My name is Vanessa (or Ness!) and I'm an illustrator from Ottawa, Canada.
    I first studied visual arts for a couple of years, then switched to traditional animation. From there, I worked in the mobile games industry for 3 years and I just recently quit that to become a freelance illustrator! I'm managing to stay afloat so far, but I'm not getting the kind of work that I really want to get yet: children's books, puzzles, sticker books, etc. One of my ultimate long-term goals is to illustrate a story in Storytime magazine! I'm working hard and hustling to get closer to those goals, but sometimes it's hard to know if I'm in the right direction or not! I'm currently making a lot of new portfolio pieces to re-submit to agents and art directors in a month or so...

    I'll attach a picture below, would love to know what you think

    Nice to meet you!


  • Welcome Ness! Glad you're here. The piece you've shared is really beautiful! I wish you well as you advance your career. I hope you keep us updated.

  • Pro

    @tessaw Thank you Tessa 🙂 I'm really glad to have found a forum with like-minded people and I think I'll really like it here!

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @nessillustration welcome to the forums! Thats a great piece, i love the colors in it!

  • Pro

    @chip-valecek Thank your Chip, nice to meet you!

  • Hi Ness 🙂 This piece you posted is lovely! I'm in love with your color palette and I wish you all the best. Im still new to the forum too, it's great to meet all the artists.

  • amazing work! what are you doing to get noticed by the industries you want to work with?

  • Pro

    @kerilynnwilson Hi Kerilynn, welcome too! 😃 Thanks so much ❤

    @HeidiGFX Hello Heidi!
    To answer your question, I first started trying last Spring, when I was still employed in mobile games full time. I built my first children illustration portfolio and emailed it to a bunch of agents and art directors (and about 50 postcards as well). Nothing came out of that though. Then there's a little gap of a few months because I moved from Montreal to Ottawa and started working as a freelancer full-time, so that took a while to organize! For the last month or so I've started making more portfolio pieces and I think I'll be ready for a second round of submissions in another month or so. Apart from that, I've been posting 3 times a week on Instagram and started a Behance account recently, and I'm working on building a custom website (for now I only have an adobe portfolio and daportfolio, which isn't all that professional...)

  • @nessillustration

    • I would say focus most of your marketing time on Behance, Facebook, and LinkedIn that's where I got my leads and customers. Instagram is still important for illustrators but your followers might mostly be young artists and beginners not publishers or people looking to hire.

    • Share your art on your FB page then in a bunch of related FB groups.

    • Make good use of Instagram and FB stories, they let people notice you and know more about you, they're like a high way banner or something.

    • Do your best to learn about SEO and keywords to make it easy for people to find you. and

    • Whenever possible, go to events where you can meet people in person.

    People are more likely to hire you if they know you and trust you. Do what you can to build this trust.

    there are apps that can help you run all that stuff smoothly but I'm not using any. I do it manually. I also post on Pinterest and on Google+. Try to find the best time for you to post.

  • Pro

    @heidigfx Thanks so much for taking the time to write this detailed advice! That's very nice!

  • @heidigfx oh this is excellent advise. Thank you so much for sharing. do you have any FB related groups that you recommend? I was in a couple but they either seemed too big to be any help or they were super inactive and eventually died.

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