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Old 05-09-2003, 09:12 AM
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An Illustrator creates art that will be used for a specific purpose other than to hang it on a wall.
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Old 05-09-2003, 01:05 PM
Pep Pep is offline
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In my opinion, a lot of practice!!!! I also want to become an illustrator and a lot of times I have asked myself about this, but I think that with effort and practice everything can be made! (of course this is the most optimistic way of thinking, besides that there are other things such as, sources, good materials, a college degree and all that)
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Old 05-14-2003, 02:04 PM
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OMG this is an awesome thread. Why is it not stickied????

It has so much information, and is very helpful. It will take me a while to get through it all.

Is there a thread that tells youhow to create a protfolio???

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Old 05-14-2003, 06:10 PM
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Is there a thread that tells youhow to create a protfolio???

Not that I know of- yet! Why don't you start one?
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Old 05-18-2003, 05:18 PM
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Great thread, seriously wow. Its great to read this stuff from Pros.

I'm not sure what exactally I want to be to be honest. Im thinking Graphic Designer, animator, or illustrator. All the fields interest a lot. So what I decided to do is first go to school for Graphic Design, try to get my feet on the ground with that, and then take more indepth courses for illustration and Animation. Does that sound like a good idea ? Im not sure how Im going to afford it all:O but I'd really like to do art for a career. (Im the highschool student thats wanting to learn what to do:P)

Also, How did you guys when you were younger and less experienced keep motivated and confident when there is so many people that are so much more professional than you?

Im in that stage right now, it seems like I'll never get to the level of some of those pros, but it kills me because I would do anything to get there. I practice all the time, though it just seems futile. Maybe Im just impatient..
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Old 05-19-2003, 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by Solace

Also, How did you guys when you were younger and less experienced keep motivated and confident when there is so many people that are so much more professional than you?

There is the question of the day! I was always told from the very beginning that you have to mingle with other artists. Go to shows, and show your work, be competitive and apply for art related jobs, no matter how far fetched it may seem. In that way you can see where you are as an artist. Sure there are artists out there that have a firm grasp on their work, and they may be better than you. But, you are and will be better than someone else, no matter how good you can draw. That's what motivated me. The fact that it didn't matter where I was in my work, I would always get better if I continued to work at it, and there will always be someone better than me, and someone not as good as myself. That's not the problem. The problem that we have as artists is will it effect our work if we allow the Pros hinder our advancement. I am not suggesting that the Pros do this intentionally, it is us who think they cannot aspire to the professional level. Once we get over that hurdle, then we are on our way!

I hope that helps.

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Old 05-20-2003, 04:25 PM
MarciaGayle MarciaGayle is offline
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Market, Yes!

Originally posted by Sanne
i think i am a illustrator (almost) or yet i would like to become one .. but i just havent targetted anyone yet, i find all of the illustrator directory type sites require that you pay to be listed .....

does anyone have any tips for getting that first job ?

There is a book put out yearly with tons of contact information from Companies looking for Artist's/Artworks of types.
*It's called "The Artist's Market"
and available at any major book outlet re: Barnes and Noble, Hastings, etc. Well worth the investiment of $20 something.

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Old 05-21-2003, 09:50 PM
prairie painter prairie painter is offline
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R:E artist vs. illustrator
I'm more interested in using my art as illustrations because, I guess, I like the idea of a card making someone happy or, better yet, a book in the hands of a child! Totally more where my heart is than having a painting of mine hanging on a wall somewhere ( I do have things hanging on peoples walls, I find myself staring at them hanging there looking at everywhere I made a mistake!)
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Old 05-23-2003, 06:44 PM
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dbclemons dbclemons is offline
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Just getting in on this a bit late. I've been working as graphic artist and illustrator for about 20 years now, so I know nothing, but pretend like I do

Originally posted by amo
(Rubylith & Amberlith)

I've never even heard of them- what are (were) they?

Short answer is "you don't want to know." Longer answer is they're an old form of a hands-on paste-up that artists used to mask art for color printing. The "ruby" and "amber" refers to the color of the plastic film used.

Now it's almost all digital. Which leads me into my reason for posting. Learn the required computer programs. The main 3 are PhotoShop, Illustrator, and Quark. If you get working experience with those programs (and others,) you're in. Don't pass up a low or no paying job where you get your foot in the door and learn the ropes. A big heads up here is to be prepared to do alot of self-promotion. You'll be starting a job as a salesman really, and your product is your ability. A good portfolio will help you show that. Get whatever experience you can to put some tear-sheets in there.

The "golden age" of great illustrators hasn't completely disappeared, but it's certainly not a plentiful as it once was. Much of the work graphic designers do now is creating type fonts or working with photography. You may never be asked to draw a line. I'm not dissing that stuff (it pays well,) but it's kinda boring. I can draw and paint fairly well, and that's helped me get jobs that other people wouldn't get. Of course, I wasn't paid extra for that.

Good news is there are still a few mags that use illustrated art to accompany their writers and ads. Children's books illustration is also a great market. The Artists Market book lists many of these places.

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Old 06-20-2003, 09:54 PM
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I've been a freelance illustrator for over 20 years and now I teach illustration at an accredited four-year degree art school as well. Most of what has been posted here is excellent advice, particularly about first becoming an artist (there is no difference, except intended usage), and knowing your market.

I would simply add a couple of things to what has been said.

First, draw. Learn to see well and draw well, especially the figure (if you can draw the figure well, you can draw anything well). Draw from life, not from photos, and don't just invent or "make stuff up". You need to build a library of reference in your head that is the product of seeing accurately and drawing accurately what you are seeing. If you don't truly, deeply know what something looks like, you can never draw it well, and your work will suffer. Even if you move toward a less realistic, more stylized portfolio, you need to be a great draftsman first...just look at Picasso's student work.

Second, don't try to freelance right off the bat. Even if you've graduated from a terrific art school and proudly display a piece of parchment on your studio wall, you will likely struggle for months or years until you can build a client base. I recommend getting a salaried position at almost any studio or company that uses graphic artists on staff. You will learn more in the first six months on the job than you did in four years of college art school. Develop your own style and build a portfolio while you are earning a paycheck and learning the business. Then after a year or two, break out on your own, get a page or two in a major sourcebook, hire a rep (or not) and work your butt off. Knock on doors yourself, meet the people who do the art buying, and be willing to work 80 or 100 hours a week to keep good clients happy. And don't do work for hire! You have rights as a creator, so don't let greedy clients have their way with you...learn to say no.
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Old 06-20-2003, 11:19 PM
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If you are at the student level, I would highly recommend getting an internship somewhere. Even if it does not offer any pay, the experience is priceless. Plus, you get to see firsthand what a "day in the life" is like. When I was an Art Director for a TV station we always had interns. We'd show them the ropes, let them play with the cool toys, and I knew I would get a solid lead on a possible future employee.

Talk to companies in your area (guidance counselors if in school) and see what's out there. Try printers, ad agencies, TV stations, newspapers, whatever it takes.
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Old 06-27-2003, 07:07 PM
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portfolio - contents?

What kind of illustrations - i.e. illustrations of what - should be in our portfolio?
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Old 06-27-2003, 09:52 PM
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zynnya asked:

What kind of illustrations - i.e. illustrations of what - should be in our portfolio?

If you are showing your book to large ad agencies or publishers that can use a wide variety of styles and subjects, the answer is remarkably simple. You get work that's based on the work in your portfolio, so you show the kind of work you want more of. Let's say you really like to draw and paint flowers and images based on nature; don't show a bunch of cars or products. Of course, we are assuming that you are REALLY good at flowers and nature stuff...don't show anything that's not first rate work, no matter how much you love doing it.

Art buyers generally have tunnel vision, however. They see a certain piece in your book and assume that that is what you do, and that's ALL you can do. For instance, you might assume that because you have several lovely paintings of dogs in your book, that potential buyers would say "this person really does nice animals". No. They'll say, "this person really does nice dogs". It will likely not occur to them that you can also paint cats and pigs and horses, because you didn't have any of those specific subjects in your book.

So, for large buyers, the answer is simple; if you like doing a specific subject and do it better than everyone else, show that. If you like doing a little of everything and aren't sure what to show, just show your very best work.

However, if you are going to interview at a specific company with tightly defined needs in their artwork, say, an automobile equipment manufacturer, you don't bring in all your flower and dog pieces. You bring in pieces that are more closely related to that specific industry, like say any cars or technical pieces you've done. Tailor your book to the buyer when that buyer has specific needs.
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Old 06-28-2003, 12:43 AM
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dbclemons dbclemons is offline
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Like lstr8r said, tailoring your samples to the client is a good approach. Your samples are something you want to personalize to the specific client. If they publish a particular style or genre, then include work of that sort. Look at whatever it is they produce to see what sort of things they'll look for, and pay attention to the name of the art director if you can find that anywhere in the publication.

Emphasize your strengths. You may not always get a response either, so be persistent. Getting some previously published tear sheets to toss in there is also good. It shows that you've met deadlines.

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Old 07-05-2003, 07:36 AM
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What's a tear sheet?

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