HOW I ASKED BUSY ILLUSTRATORS FOR ADVICE
I was once full of energy but without a clear direction, so I reached out to 4 illustrators to ask for advice. They were doing what I wanted to be doing. I asked some version of this:
“Hi (illustrator name), Can I ask for some advice. I’m really trying to get work as an illustrator and I have 2-4 hours a day to spend on my growth. How do you recommend I spend it, how did you get started?
HERE IS THEIR REPLY;
(Replies are edited for space and clarity, but I try to capture the essence)
Are you in contact with a lot of people who hire illustrators? If not I’d start there.
It will snowball and accelerate. But with steady effort and a lot of marketing yourself in various ways, provided you have a saleable product and good communication skills, you start to build up some momentum.
Do collaborations with friends in the industry
If you’re a designer, try to get illustration into your projects as much as possible
Enter calls for submissions. (E.g TDAT)
Start a themed account and post daily on Instagram
Post daily on your own IG feed. For all the hard parts and anxiety about likes its still one of the most powerful ways of sharing and building an audience
Re-illustrate magazine articles or Kid books you love
We can do one thing, but we cannot do everything - decide on markets that make you heard sing spend 18 months building a portfolio for that market.
Try to pick the pieces you want to create for your portfolio up to 2 weeks in advance and try to meet that goal every week. Always make new pieces and be efficient with time and growth will come
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT;
Is I applied every single piece of advice and a lot is happening, - I got my first picturebook deal, and a contract to supply illustrations to a very cool tech company.
Getting advice from these top pros really helped me focus my energy and direct my efforts. I’m sharing the advice here in hopes that it will be helpful to you and your pursuits.
I know that a lot of the advice is useful in the long run!
Do any of these resonate with you? Do you have any additional advice? Hit reply or leave a comment.