So at this point I have made it quite clear that I want to make it into the illustration/concept art industry. I am told by people that I have what it takes, I find it hard to believe, but I am always amped when I see great art work. It gives me chills, makes me want to go home and paint, inspires me to get creative myself. I just don't feel the same way about graphic design.
Okay, so I do work in a creative environment, I get to work from home, I am doing what I went to school for. So why am I not happy? I don't feel fulfilled. Creating style guides, web design layouts, banner ads or logo designs for healthcare companies and corporations just isn't that great. I enjoy it, but I am not passionate about it. Sometimes I find it tedious and boring. On the other hand I have been drawing pictures ever since I drew my first spaceship when I was 3. I've never been fantastic at it. In fact I'm far from good at it when I compare my work to professionals (Great way to start out introducing myself as a would be illustrator huh?), but I know this is what I want to do and love doing it. I even try to find excuses to draw my graphics for work. What it boils down to is that I want to have a hand in creating that same feeling of wonder and inspiration I get when I watch a movie like Lord of the Rings or the new Star Trek films, or see the cover art of a fantasy or scifi book at Barnes & Noble.
Which brings me to my predicament. I need work to turn this dream into a viable source of income to support my family. I realize simply creating illustrations and posting them on my Facebook, Instagram etc. doesn't equal jobs. First I create the image (the longest part), then I save the image in a web friendly format, then I decide what outlets I want to share it on, Facebook, Instagram etc. Then I pick out some hashtags, get likes, reply to comments, follow these people, etc blah blah blah. Well this process is very time consuming especially when you work full time 9-5 as a Healthcare graphic designer you end up on your computer/phone 15-16 hours a day.
So while trying to learn how to transition into a more rewarding career, I read some articles about self promotion and listened to some great podcasts by Chris Oatley. (I HIGHLY recommend checking out his blog/school, very encouraging, inspirational and informative for the aspiring artist) I decided to grab this necessary evil by the horns and start on it myself.
First order of business is to create a mailer. I am in the process of planning out a mailer to send out to various art directors and hopefully gain some clientele. I have not yet decided whether or not to go with just a post card or create a small packet of materials. I'm probably end up going with the latter approach and create a packet, but I'll start with a postcard because it will be included in the packet. I hope to have this done and ready two weeks from now, fingers crossed.
Once my mailer is complete, I need to get my hands on a list of art directors to send my samples out to. I found a couple of places that say to grab a copy of Artist & Designers Market, try company websites and places like Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and the Graphic Artists Guild. So I have my work cut out for me.
That is my immediate plan, and I hope this will help get the ball rolling towards a brighter future for myself and for anybody else who finds my writing beneficial. Cheers!
Pics for clicks!
Recent work all done in Photoshop: