Here's my entry for this months prompt Big. It's great seeing everyone's submissions
Hi, I'm an Irish Illustrator, recently moved from Ireland to Japan and switched careers from Youth & Community work and Graphic design to pursue my passion for Illustration.
Best posts made by Phil Cullen
RE: Featured Student For April
Here are 2 of my pieces, one is my take on Little red riding hood and the other is titled Toxic Wasteland and depicts a kid in the future in a desolate landscape looking back at species who are extinct due to deforestation.
I've recently started taking SVS classes and it feels really good relearning things I would have studied a long time ago. I started with the light and shadow class and thought do i need to do this I know all this and boy was I wrong, it was so good refreshing old skills and picked up loads of new things along the way.
First children's book
Exciting news, I was fortunate enough to be approached during the summer to illustrate a children's book for an Irish Publisher Gill Books, and written by the Lucy Kennedy. The book is aimed at 5 - 7 yr olds and more a chapter book than a fully illustrated picture book, and it was published today!!!
It's so exciting however I'm living in Japan and can't attend the launch, but a friend just sent me photos of the book on the shelves is Easons and it's such an amazing feeling!
I was thinking some people on here might be interested in how it came about. I had been sending out samples of my work to publishers and getting a lot of we like your stuff but... or not even getting responses. So one evening in June I got an email asking would I be interested in working on a sample illustration, they explained how much they were offering for the project and that they were asking multiple illustrators to do samples.
They were very upfront about everything. Then I wondered when it was that I emailed this publisher, it turns out it was 14 months previous!
So I thought this might be a good project to do a sample for the experience, but I thought the chances of me getting it were slim. They loved the sample and wanted me to do the project. Time frame was so tight but I managed to get it extended, roughly 60 2 colour illustrations a mix of spots single page and double page spreads.
Just wanted to share some good news because I know people on here will be sending out postcards and emails to publishers!
Draw Stronger - dealing with aches and pains
Hi all, so recently I picked up a book called Draw Stronger by Kriota Willberg.
I remember a while back a topic discussing shoulder, neck and wrist issues. Personally I've found this book very helpful. It has numerous stretches and exercises routines. It also has easy to follow explanations about what pain your experiencing and why. It also has cute little doodles.
Latest posts made by Phil Cullen
RE: What kicks in the IG algorithm?
@chrisaakins I'm not sure if this is accurate at all but what I've heard about Instagram is:
the quicker you get interactions the more people its shown to, if you get a comment and respond straight away your post is more likely to be visible to more people, and it can snowball from there
If you use the same hashtags all the time you will not be shown to as much people as you are considered spam
If after posting you go back and edit your text this restricts the amount of people its shown to
Time of the day you post
Apparently posting stories regularly too helps boost your exposure when you do a grid post
I've also heard using 3rd party posting apps to automatically post are not good
All of the above might be rubbish
And it definitley comes down to what it actually is your are posting and a bit of luck too.
Try not equate the amount of likes to success, the amount of likes you get can be quite random and it can be detrimental to an artist to link the 2.
My advice when you get loads of likes enjoy it, it means your audience enjoys your work. If you post something the following day and it gets very little this could be completely random and have nothing to do with your work.
RE: Questions regarding illustration contract
@NessIllustration That's so funny you mentioned 1K for a 32 page book within a month. I keep getting these offers and I'm starting to think i'm just getting trolled, who can afford to take these terrible offers and on top of that sign over all rights to artwork?
@xin-li I have a one page agreement that I also get clients to sign as well as their contract. It has specifics about the work, when its due and when they sign off sketches they're signed off, terms on the back include if they deviate from the brief or want changes after a specific stage then it's back to discussing extra fee. Also has things like kill fee and when payment is due.
That competing work one is shady, i've not come across that.
RE: Fairly pricing commissions and choosing the best ad?
I agree with @NessIllustration it's not very clear, at first I thought the additional 60 was for the jpeg data file.
Personally I think for the quality and style you are undervaluing yourself. You may be able to keep it within 4 hours but then I would recommend increasing your hourly rate.
Also I know you said you own a high quality printer but doesn't mean that the client should reap that benefit. That is an additional asset you can earn from.
Also cost for packaging and post costs international vs local.
Your work is great, know your worth!
RE: Sending illustrator submissions to publishers via email - PDF or JPEGs?
Maybe it depends where you are sending, for publishers in UK and Ireland I send out jpegs maybe 8 to 10 and a link to portfolio site, the jpegs are always low res low file size and quick to load.
Some publishers will specifically say on their site what they prefer, but you don't need to always totally stick to that. I sent sample jpegs to someone in random house and it specifically stated, in the directory where I got her contact, that they only accepted work through agents. But she actually got back to me with some lovely comments and expressed an interest in working with me.
Best of luck with the submissions
RE: how to reject properly when people asks if you do royalty only projects?
I didn't know they were a thing, I would never take a royalty only project. That would be my response to them, even if they are a friend. You could elaborate and explain that you would basically be working for months on the artwork for the book but the book may not be released a long time after that, so you essentially will only see returns, if any, on your work probably a year later. Who would agree to that? The least that could be offered is an advance.
I on the other hand have only been offered work for hire contracts lately
Wacom intuos issues
Hi I'm wondering if anyone on here has run into this problem with a wacom intuos M 2017 edition.
When I press the pen to the tablet, for instance to make a stroke, sometimes it thinks the pen has been lifted and mid stroke it stops creating a mark. If I keep the pen pressed to the tablet it still moves the cursor around just no marks.
This is very frustrating for instance if I grab the top of a document, in photoshop, to move it on my screen, it will stop moving the document as if ive brought my pen up from the tablet. I end up accidentally moving layers around. It's so frustrating to draw with, its like drawing with an actual pencil that breaks every few seconds.
I re-installed the drivers, still have the same problem. If anyone has had this issue and knows a fix that would be amazing.
I've had the tablet for 3 years now, first problem i've had with it.
RE: I might be at a crossroads (looking for feedback, advice and peer support)
I love your work and my advice would be to yes send out your work to editors/agents, if you get any feedback at all that is so valuable. Keep a list of who you send stuff to and then in 6 months you could go through the list again with a fresh set of images or a postcard if not email. Sometimes it just takes one image to grab someones attention, who thinks you could fit their project.
Keep up the great work
RE: Working with self publishing authors
In my little experience, self publishing authors think they need full copyright of the illustrations, so essentially a work for hire job. If that is the case the fee should cover all of your time and then some.
I'm not sure royalties would be an option with self publishers.
One option is to offer a license for your illustrations like 3 - 5 years. So if they want to continue to sell the book after that period you would could renegotiate.
Ask about where they want to sell the book. A small publisher might offer a small amount of money and say it is just a small print run and only being sold in a certain area. So that should be stiplulated in the contract because if they change their mind afterwards, then the premise of paying very little should be revisited.
hope some of that helps.
RE: 'Choosing beggars' and the best way to say 'no'
That sucks and unfortunately is very common. I've had that a good few times ranging from, I just need a simple sketch or it doesn't have to be great! I had someone ask me to 'rough out' their graphic novel as a non-paid trial to see if they wanted to hire me to do the graphic novel, I ran so fast!
My polite response would be I do this for a living and don't have capacity to take on free work at the moment as my paid contracts are my priority.
My non polite answer is a lot shorter and aggressive lol but I very rarely go there tho, I try to stay as polite as possible.
My main advice is don't get sucked in to a big email exhange, it can suck up so much valuable time. So when you get a sniff of it being dodgy just bail. Some big warning signs I've found are when they avoid discussing money at the start and just jump into project specifics and it's very close to their heart. I always throw out the question 'and have you a budget and timeframe in mind?' in the very first email. Saves a lot of time.
Hope that helps.