106: Personal Assignments
A path and embellishment
My path to becoming a picture book illustrator is marked with personal assignments. Sometimes this is an assignment from a class, but even these assignments were personalised.
When working for clients there’s a bit of a mindset change sometimes. You’re doing it for a client, so you’re trying to read their mind and do something for them. So one client might have one requirement. Another client might have a different requirement.
If you’re not careful these requirements stick with you beyond the projects. Sometimes this is a good thing. But too much of that and you might start to feel a disconnection with the work.
Personal Assignments for Personal work
Create assignments for yourself and make time to do them. Go detailed into the creation of these assignments, imagine it’s for an actual client, make the work. These pieces serve as a path to keep coming back on, a way to direct your progress.
More than once, characters from personal assignments have found their way into the books I’m doing.
Personal Assignments in client work
For example if the project is to draw a list of objects, these objects could then feature in a book. Or a personal assignment could become the secondary storyline added to a book.
I made a list of assignments to give myself, and I’ve started turning that list into full briefs, I may only actually a small selection of them, but writing them is a useful exercise, it’s telling me the extra things I can add to the client work.