Relocating to another country (art jobs, visas, etc.)


  • SVS OG

    @animatosoor i’ve found a few jobs there but like I said, you have to be picky with which client to work with. Some are just looking for the cheapest artist they could find so you have to be careful with those.



  • @NessIllustration It means a lot to hear this from someone with work as professional as yours, and who's been published! It's very helpful to hear your viewpoint on what my art looks like (to you). Thank you for the compliments! This year I am going to be trying for lots of jobs, and if I don't get them, then, hey, at least I would have tried, and maybe I would even get constructive feedback.You're right about the amount of jobs out there, and how we need to get out of our own way sometimes.

    I will start sooner rather than later, that's for sure. My mistake in the past years was to keep my art to myself, telling myself "I will share it with the public when it's good enough." And that never worked. Adam Duff's two videos on this matter (along with Will's, Jake's and Lee's advice) were huge kicks in the butt. I'll put the Adam Duff videos here in case anybody else who's reading this is in a similar position with their art-related anxieties, and need to hear this:

    Is Your Art Good Enough For The Public?
    Why You're Afraid to Share Your Art Publicly

    As for starting now, I was previously delaying the actual building of my website, thinking "Oh, I'll create it when I have my 12 pieces!" But I'm coming away from this discussion thinking it's best to start building it right away. I'm going to be working on that alongside creating new pieces for my portfolio.

    I currently already have a Behance portfolio, but my page is fairly new and I'm only now learning how to properly use it. I will look into building that up once again. Thank you for the reminder to not put all of this off till the moving has started. And overall, thank you for being such a wonderful fellow artist!



  • Thank you, @nyrrylcadiz. I will keep this in mind when looking through those FB groups. 🌻


  • Pro

    @animatosoor Holy hell, did you just say Adam Duff? Oh my, I didn't know he had a Youtube channel! Adam taught me for a semester in college, he taught a 2D animation class!



  • @NessIllustration He taught you a semester in college?! Oh my God, that's awesome!

    His YouTube channel is full of inspiring golden nuggets. Full of them, hahah, like the two I shared in my post above! There was one I listened to just the other night while painting, and it made me tear up a little bit.



  • Me and my girlfriend are also moving to Canada early 2020 ! We have working holiday Visas, so we are allowed to work - but beyond that i'm also wondering how to go about it.

    Where will you be moving to? I'm hoping there are some decent studios or at least art/design-related companies I can get involved in to avoid getting stuck in a 'day job' again - but freelancing would be my dream!

    The advice in this thread already seems good, and I think being proactive and hunting for work in lots of different places is the best bet, and having enough savings to give yourself some breathing room too.

    will keep an eye on this thread, nice to see we're in the same boat though!!



  • @AndyIllo Wow, that's awesome, and really exciting news!

    We're looking at Toronto. We were there a couple months ago, and loved it there, but because I didn't have any part of my freelance art career figured out then, and I was on a tourist visa, I didn't have any way to work. That was stressful, and I want to learn from my mistakes for the next time I'm there.

    What about you - where in Canada are you looking at? 🙂

    Congrats on the working holiday visas! Were they difficult to obtain, by the way? My goal in the coming months would definitely be to proactively look for remote jobs/freelance work, as well as be more present online with my artwork. Both of which I'd most certainly slept on over the years.

    If I come across studios or freelance work - if you are interested in that - that I think you might be interested in, I would send them your way!

    As a side note: I joined this forum because I wanted to gain direction in my art, grow as an artist and meet fellow artists; and I knew there would be warm folks here, but never expected this level of warmth! Hearing all your experiences makes all my future plans feel slightly less daunting, if that makes sense; there's this "communal" feeling. 😌



  • @animatosoor Toronto looks ace! Nice to go and see the country first, but also good that you can learn from that 🙂

    We are currently looking at going to Vancouver but also a bit concerned about the cost of living there. Maybe some Canadians in here can advise where has a good creative scene?

    The Visa was a bit of a hassle, it's a lottery basically, so you enter your name and then you MIGHT get chosen to apply. Different countries have different quotas but thankfully the UK had quite a few places. The application itself was easy enough but lots of hoops to jump through with things like police background checks, references from employers etc.

    Yeah that would be awesome!! I can do the same for you if you'd like, I don't have any experience with children's books, but i'm interested in getting into publishing doing things like book covers, so If I see anything I will let you know!

    I have also slept on self-promo, so getting my name out there is my main goal too- I'm finding Instagram a surprisingly good way to network with art directors, but who knows if it will develop into work...

    and yeah this forum is an amazing community!! Still more of a lurker at the moment but I read it every day 🙂


  • SVS OG

    @animatosoor @AndyIllo Both Toronto and Vancouver have thriving arts scenes like most big cities I suppose. Each has a different feel - Toronto I guess is more urban, multicultural vibe while Vancouver is more outdoorsy, enjoying nature - type vibe? In my head I imagine it is like the difference in vibe between NY and LA.

    I came to Canada in 1988 and now some 30 years later can honestly say it was the best decision of my life. Although I still get homesick pangs especially in the dead of winter, (I am originally from the Caribbean so my first winter here was a bit of a shock, to say the least😳 ) I wouldn't change a thing. I can't really help with info on the various visas etc. cos a lot has changed since my move and I know nothing about the professional arts scene but I wish you both the best of luck with your move!

    P.S. Happy We the North Day!!!!!:smiling_face_with_open_mouth:



  • @AndyIllo Thanks for sharing your experience with the working holiday visas. I'm happy to know that you managed to get it!

    Also, thank you for keeping an eye out for children's book opportunities - I would definitely appreciate that. 🙂

    Your editorial work is beautiful, by the way. Very inspiring stuff. Definitely write to magazines you're interested in working for if you'd like more editorial work!

    Self-promotion can be tough work. It doesn't come easy to me, and I'm still learning the ropes.



  • @MissMushy Thank you for weighing in - it's really helpful to hear from Canadians on this matter, as @AndyIllo said.

    And I appreciate hearing from you even without all the visa information - it's beyond helpful to hear from locals on what to expect.

    I see that you have mentioned not having a lot of information on the arts scene there, but out of curiosity, have you been able to freelance in art during these years, or work in any studios near you?

    Thank you for the wishes, and Happy We the North Day! Hahah


  • SVS OG

    @animatosoor unfortunately, I only came to pursue art recently, after professional careers in accounting and social work (yes I know - I'm weird 😐 ) so haven't attempted freelancing or otherwise myself - still consider myself a beginner artist. I am sure others on here will be able to weigh in on that aspect.



  • @MissMushy You're not at all weird for only having gotten into art recently - it's fairly common these days, it seems, and there's nothing wrong with it. 🙂 Again, it means more than I can say just to hear from you on this, so thank you!


  • Pro

    @animatosoor I may have to go through his videos! He was a great teacher after all haha. His French was a bit broken but he was trying real hard, and he always had great wisdom to impart 🙂


  • Pro

    @animatosoor Just a heads up though: Toronto is one of THE most expensive cities in all of Canada. Second only to Vancouver which is THE most expensive @AndyIllo ... You will have to earn more income to earn a living there, which may put unnecessary pressure on you at the beginning of your freelance career...

    @AndyIllo Some cheaper but still large cities that have a big creative scene are Ottawa (the capital) and Montreal.



  • Thank you @MissMushy for sharing ! Your description of Vancouver sounds perfect to me- I love to camp and go out for nature walks so reassuring to hear 🙂
    Can't imagine the shock of a Canadian winter after moving from the Caribbean, but amazing to hear you've stuck it out for another 30 years on top of that, must be worth it! ☺

    @animatosoor I know a lot of people apply for working Visas while already in Canada as a tourist so if you do end up doing it and need any help just give me a shout ! Thank you very much for your kind words about my work too!!

    As far as mental preparation goes, I tried this once before travelling around SE Asia and Australia for 9 months. I tried to draw as I went, but it's surprisingly draining just travelling around so didn't do as much drawing as I'd hoped. I know for a fact you're in a much more focused mindset than I was, so as long as you keep at it i'm sure you'll be fine 🙂



  • @NessIllustration Absolutely! He's at https://www.youtube.com/user/AdamationStation/.

    Adam Duff also has a mentorship programme, hehe, which I might try someday!



  • @NessIllustration Thank you for the heads-up on the costs of living in Toronto (and Vancouver). I was only in Toronto for a few months and did not have a point of reference as to what the costs of living would be like in the rest of Canada. I'll be keeping this in mind.



  • @AndyIllo Ah, I didn't know many people apply while already there on tourist visas. I'll have to read up on it some more.

    I can imagine that creating art while traveling like that could potentially be draining. I was able to paint digitally while in Toronto recently, but I had no idea what to paint and floundered a great deal as a result.

    It's great that I come across as having a focus! Hahah it's newly-found, for sure. I want to give this all I've got this year.



  • @NessIllustration Thank you for the heads up! I've heard a lot about how expensive Vancouver is, which you're right would definitely put some strain on. Will have a read into my options 🙂 Nice to hear there are plenty of places with creative scenes though!


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