069: Real life Education
How to take an opportunity.
Owen Davey organises a group of illustration industry mentors every month who give away 30 minute block of time to chat through a portfolio, or some other creative challenge.
I booked one of those slots.
I try to connect with people in the industry (on top of the people I’m working with) 3-5 times a month. I feel this helps me stay fresh and plugged in, it’s also a nice change from the hours hunched over at my desk.
To make the most of the 30 minutes, you guessed it, I wrote a plan.
This is the plan:
I chose 2 questions that are most relevant to the person I’m going to be talking too and I have a number of follow ups questions that I will only ask if I need further probing to unlock the information I’m looking for.
A concise intro, will help me set the context for the question, and I’m even going to email this over ahead of time, to save a few precious minutes. I’m not going to share a memoir only what is important for our discussion.
Here’s what I’ve written down:
In 2020, I decided I would commit a decade to try to make it as an illustrator. I did some classes online and put together a portfolio across twitter, instagram and my website. I worked at it every day for 18 months. Since then I’ve been booked a year in advance with picture-book work and have gotten an agent focusing on publishing work.
There are two things that I would like to get your advice on today:
What specific things should I need to show in my portfolio to get editorial work?
How would you advice an independent illustrator to go about getting editorial work?
Adam, I love how you share with us these very practical and real examples. And this line is stuck in my mind now: "In 2020, I decided I would commit a decade to try to make it as an illustrator." I like how 1) is was a clear decision 2) it is a real commitment that we can see in this newsletter (it js inspiring :) 3) You specify a DECADE. I think many times we want change but when it doesn't come quickly or clearly we drift away. A decade acknowledges how long this could take, and also that it is worth the investment of your time. It gives you a place in year 4 to say, well, I'm just in year 4, let's keep going. I feel like this is a mind-shifting newsletter. Thank you!
As a dog trainer who uses training plans in my work, I super appreciate this approach! This process of becoming is a marathon, not a sprint. Thanks for sharing your decade-long approach!