Great entries so far, I'm looking forward to seeing more!
Great entries so far, I'm looking forward to seeing more!
(Sorry I've been a bit quiet on here recently) Thought I'd share the good news with you guys! I signed with Advocate art this month and my portfolio went live on their site this week. https://www.advocate-art.com/anna-bishop I still can't believe it!
I know from personal experience how easy it is to get disheartened with illustration. Hope this might provide a bit of motivation to anyone on here feeling that way. I graduated 3 years ago and beginning of this year I was feeling pretty demotivated with everything and felt like I hadn't got anywhere. But SVS and the forum have helped so much giving me a push to work on my portfolio and the confidence to put myself out there.
@NessIllustration I couldn't agree more Ness! I phrased it like that in response to Braden's comment. I suppose what I really mean is - 'historically I haven't marketed myself effectively' I don't really believe that means I'm always doomed to 'suck' at it. Even compared to this time last year I know 100x more about marketing thanks to doing some more research and taking online classes. Your youtube channel is also a great resource
@Annabishop You can absolutely say "the budget isn't quite right for me" or "I wouldn't be able to make that deadline work".
Be open and communicative with your agent! As much as they want that sweet sweet moolah at the end of the day they're supposed to be on your team!
It's just this last time for me I didn't feel the need to
I hear ya, thank you I'm definitely overthinking this haha.
I just got a job offer I'm planning to decline (low pay) so I may use a variation on this template - thanks! I'm feeling a little bit conflicted on the 'no explanation, no justification' thing though. Personally, I agree with you that we shouldn't have to justify our reasons if we don't want to. However when I spoke to my agent about declining jobs she said this: 'taking on projects is totally up to you, as long as you explain to the agent the reason why you can't take it on we're understanding'. I'm wondering if it's helpful for them to know the reason especially when it concerns low pay or tight deadlines. Perhaps they might feed this back to their clients if enough illustrators mention it. It could create some positive change? That might be me being overly naive and optimistic though.
@cianamacaroni I'm really glad you found this discussion useful! @NessIllustration and @Braden-Hallett are full of pearls of wisdom! I felt a little bit embarrassed posting about this to be honest but then I realised it's good to have these conversations out in the open where it can (hopefully) benefit others. It seems like there is a huge amount of resources focused on how to get an agent but not so much about the next stage.
"We have to get climbing sooner rather than later! And that means saying no to more gigs and that can be scary, but the beauty part is that if the gig is paid 2x better, then you only need half as many gigs like that to pay your bills"
When you say it like this is makes so much sense. I'm feeling a lot clearer about what I need to do moving forward. Thank you so much Ness!
@Braden-Hallett Thank you for your response Braden!
The fear of coming across like a prima-donna is so real lol. I can see now I'm much more in danger of swinging the other way and being a total doormat.
I can see it really makes sense from the agency's perspective to start out new artists on the smaller jobs. This is why I've felt the need to take some of these badly paid jobs because I'm thinking of it as an opportunity to prove myself as reliable and easy to work with. I think I'm hitting my 'crappy job' limit though.
You're so right, I need to practice saying "no thanks" and not feeling guilty about it...The 'Flapping butt-hole' Ska band conjures such a brilliant mental image hahah
@NessIllustration Thank you for such a thoughtful response Ness! I feel like I just got a firm pep talk haha.
I've had a pretty good email exchange with my agent about this over the past couple days and she has indeed reassured me I don't need to take every job that comes my way. I suppose part of the problem is having this scarcity mindset that every job that comes along could be the last (silly I know).
"Put your foot down politely but firmly with clients" - I really struggle with this, fear of being impolite can be crippling sometimes! (Maybe it's a British thing? ) You're absolutely right though. I have let the agent dealing with this particular project know that I can't work with this client again if they don't respect my schedule. I gotta admit that was a tough one write but I feel 100x better for sticking up for myself.
"You do NOT need to let clients walk all over you in order to succeed in this industry." Thank you for saying this! I feel like there's some conflicting advice for creatives floating around out there. I've been told 'just take every job when you're starting out even if it's low paid/crappy, it will lead to more'. I think there's also this common (and awful) belief that art isn't real work so we should be grateful for what we get. I've mentioned my frustrations with clients to people who don't work in a creative field and without fail I always get 'At least you're getting paid to draw, that's amazing!'...that's really so toxic when you stop to think about it huh? I'll stop there before this turns into a therapy session haha! Thanks again for your response
So the past 6 months or so I’ve had a fairly steady stream of small educational projects from my agent since I signed with them late last year. I am incredibly grateful to be getting work, and I definitely wasn’t expecting to be landing anything particularly exciting or well paid in my first 6 months with an agency since I’m such a newbie to the industry.
With all that said I am finding myself feeling a little frustrated. For some of the projects the pay looks okay on paper but once I work out what I’m actually earning per hour minus the agency fee it’s less than minimum wage. On top of that I’ve had a couple of publishers really take the piss with deadlines. For a textbook project they gave me feedback on my roughs almost a month late and when I asked for an extension on the deadline for final art they could only give me an extra week. Needless to say that was a very stressful week! Trying to learn from my mistakes, on my current project I asked them to confirm they could deliver their feedback by specific date (which would allow me enough time for final art) before I even agreed to take on the project. They agreed to this and took on the project… This date comes and goes and then I get an email this morning: feedback will be 3 weeks late - UGH!
I’d really like to hear from other illustrators who are at a similar stage or later in their career, is this normal? Will putting my foot down a bit more gain me some respect or will it hurt my career more than staying silent and accepting this is just the way it is? I would really like to hear about other people’s experiences too.
There's no shame in not completing the full 30 if you genuinely feel like you've already achieved what you wanted from the challenge and you could be using the remaining time to work on something more productive. However, as you've pointed out there could be some benefits to continuing.
Maybe you could expand on the theme a bit and draw some different sea dwelling creatures or environments - what does a mermaids house look like? What do they use for transport? Do lobster mermaids exist? Feel free to ignore these ideas, I'm just spitballing!