Props designed for the Waystone Inn from Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle | Personal Work
Thumbnails of Kvothe from Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle | Personal Work
Thumbnails of Treasure Island | Personal Work
Thumbnails of Lehua | Lehua, Ka’ao a ka Wahine [Lehua, The story of a Woman]: A Hawaiian Noblewoman Comes of Age at a “Changing of the Gods.” and Awesome Stories
Happy New Year!
Today I conducted my first annual review on 2013 and made plans for 2014, as suggested by blogger Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Noncomformity in his essay How to Conduct Your Own Annual Review. A personal Annual Review an alternative to New Year’s resolutions, and for good reason, only 8% of people keep their resolutions.
The truth is that New Year’s resolutions like “Lose weight.”, “Save more money.”, and “Get better at drawing people.” don’t work because they are vague and not measurable. There’s no benchmark to measure “enough” by, nor is there a deadline or reward. Resolutions have no objective goals and deadlines, systems to make the changes happen, or consequences that lead to results. They are merely the resolve to change. Even setting more specific objectives like “Lose 20 lbs.” or “Revise my portfolio” aren’t enough because ultimately we can’t completely control the outcomes of our long-term efforts; we can only control only our actions that lead to those outcomes.
The process of a review takes time, and for good reason. A full review guides you to go deeper and deeper, defining the theme for the year; your priorities by category; goals for those priorities; and finally to the next actions to take, due dates for those steps, and metrics to gauge success. And it’s flexible enough to adjust for how you work best and adapt when your goals change throughout the year.
It took me about two weeks to do mine while juggling other projects, and I plan to start it in mid-December next time, but I think it will save me much more time in the long run because it forced me to focus my efforts and get real. It helped me see where I wouldn’t have enough time to fill lower priorities, and where I was neglecting other higher priorities. For a freelance artist who need to manage their own time between deadlines and find that elusive work-life-balance, I’m finding it an extremely useful tool.
My Annual Review also inspired me to pay it forward with the lessons that I’ve learned through earning my B.A. in Psychology, working in the fields of Psychology and Psychiatry, earning my M.F.A. in Illustration, and finally working in the illustration and concept art industry. One of my “reach goals” for this year is to help others by writing a series of essays on time management for creatives, including not only prioritization systems like this one, but also how to ignore distraction, change habits, and work more efficiently. After-all, we learn best by teaching.
The Annual Review by Chris Guillebeau is a first step in that process. So check it out and plan to spend some time on it. I’ll share my review of 2013 and some of the goals I have for 2014 as an example:
What went well this year?
While I don’t have specific benchmarks to compare to, I know my artistic skills developed considerably in many areas thanks to both my formal schooling and Noah Bradley’s Art Camp, in environmental and prop design, learning ZBrush, and the workflow for developing production art for games. I produced good artwork this year! I also took control of my relationship to food and exercise and live a much more healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Yes, I lost weight, but more importantly, I am stronger, have more endurance, sleep better, and feel good. Best of all, my focus has shifted dramatically from fixating on weight to other benchmarks and I’m finding that taking the time to care of my body sustains my artwork rather than takes away from it. Lastly, I set money aside to go to out-of-state art conferences this year.
What did not go well this year?
I’ve been spending almost all of my time working on my art and learning; so much so that I haven’t kept this blog or my Facebook account very well updated. I have a very long backlog of work to share. And the backlog has prevented me from reaching out as I would have liked because it was fixed in time and I am not. This is one thing I’ve identified that needs to change this year. I also haven’t taken a true vacation with my husband in years, or gone to many cultural events, and that is something else I want to change.
In 2014 I Will Focus On Building My Career
The main theme of 2014 for me will be emerging into the industry as a full-time illustrator and concept artist, though I will also be balancing other priorities such as sustaining a healthy lifestyle, friends and family, etc.
My main goals will be revising my body of work with a total of 22 finished pieces to revise my portfolio with and share the development process for my concept art. 15 of these are for my graduate thesis, 7 are for the months following leading up to December 2014. At the same time, I’ll be cultivating my professional reputation by posting here and to my social networks regularly and attending industry conferences. These, and my other objective-goals, have specific benchmarks such as revising my previous thesis work by particular dates, and a week-by-week workflow for completing new paintings.
To balance this, I’ve set my absolute minimums for fitness time (20 min/day, 6 days/wk) to stick to even under tight deadlines, and made it easier to eat healthfully this upcoming year by overhauling my kitchen and learning one new healthful recipe a month. I’ve also set dates for attending a few plays, going on day trips, and a week-long vacation this summer. The steps that feel like “work” have set rewards for completing them. And I’d like to give back to the artistic community in the process.
Finally, I’ve arranged to continue my growth after graduation. I’m completing Noah Bradley’s Art Camp and eLearning with ZBrush now and will continue on with Chris Oatley’s Magic Box. Later on, I’ll take classes at CGMA, Gnomon, and SmArtSchool. And I’d like to give back to the artistic community in the process. The best way to learn is by teaching.
2013 was a good year for me, but I plan to make 2014 even better, and one way I can do that is by helping you. That’s an important goal to me, and this article is a step towards that goal (not just a resolution).
Did you achieve everything you set out to in 2013? What went well? What didn’t? What are your goals for 2014 and what are the first actions you can take this week towards meeting them?
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The overall shape, the silhouette, is the primary and most powerful way to identify an object, type of person, or creature. The ability to quickly pick out meaning from silhouettes, such as whether the thing we saw would help, nourish, or hurt us. Shapes are a kind of language that we learned first to identify, and eventually to communicate with. As artists, we need to learn this language and, how to manipulate it, to design effectively. Likewise, one helpful tip for testing if your design is clear is to look only at its silhouette and see if you (or better yet, if someone nearby) can tell what it is.
Silhouettes are created not only by strong, clear, shapes, but also contrast between those shapes and their background. That’s where negative space comes in – the shape that is not the subject itself, but what surrounds and contrasts with it.
Above are examples of strong silhouettes created by masters from the Golden Age of Illustration. From left to right are examples from JC Leyendecker, NC Wyeth, and Mead Schaeffer. At that time, artists were creating art for periodicals which needed to be quick reads (as opposed to paintings that would hang on a wall and be admired for a length of time). That meant that the artist would need to create silhouette shapes that viewers/readers could recognize very rapidly. They are great to study from.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about creating strong silhouettes (and therefore strong paintings) is to put dark things against light things and light things against dark things. That’s why Leyendecker tended to use white backgrounds, many artists like NC Wyeth choose to shape clouds around key subjects, or shine light behind them as Mead Schaeffer did here. And where shapes overlap, such as in Leyendecker’s painting, there is clear contrast – the lady’s pale skin against the gentleman’s coat. Leyendecker also made sure there were holes in the silhouette shapes, such as the crook of the gentleman’s arm and gaps between him and the lady and the lady and the flowers. NC Wyeth and Mead Shaeffer in these examples also placed different colors against each other to create clear silhouette shapes. Shapes, and character gestures, can be pushed and pulled to character traits as well – the lady in Leyendecker’s painting on the left has a larger head than is realistic, but it emphasizes her sweet child or doll-like traits.
The Golden Age of Illustration was the period between 1850-1925 in which illustrated magazines and books climbed to the height of popularity, containing a wealth of art that embellished both fiction and non-fiction subjects in mass-circulation books, magazines, and posters. Illustration had never before, and has never since, been such a popular or vital form of art in the US. Why did it end, you ask? In the beginning, photographic technology furnished artists with not only reference images, but also empowered them with techniques such as line-engraving and half-tone; though by the turn of the century photos began to take the place of illustrative art. Now they are the mainstream form of print art.
Key characteristics of this era were the strong values (contrast between light and dark) and clear silhouette shapes, and N.C. Wyeth’s works are among the best examples of those features. His subjects are also really interesting – he embraced both American themes, rich with cowboys and indians, but also themes like knights and pirates, in popular children’s books such as Robin Hood, Treasure Island, and Ton Sawyer – and established these characters visually in the minds of young readers for generations to come. You might even recognize some of them below!
My first assignment this year in Noah Bradley’s Art Camp is a series of master studies, both compositional (gray-scale) and color studies. For all these reasons, I began with studying the work of N.C. Wyeth and set out to learn about his arrangement of shapes, establishment of values, choice of color and subjects. It sounds kind of strange to those who haven’t tried their hand at copying a master, but I feel like when I’m doing it right, I ‘channel’ the artist and get into his head and understand his decision-making process. I take these lessons and then use them in my own work, like adding tools to my tool-belt. After-all, to understand something you have to ‘stand under’ it for a while, set your style aside, and make the subject of study more important than you. Part of the reason N.C. Wyeth was so successful was that he studied under the master Howard Pyle and took his edicts completely to heart. The practice of studying under masters has faded almost entirely from art school, but fortunately, we live in an era when the masters are at our fingertips and we can study under them in the comfort of our home studios.
When mimicking N.C. Wyeth, I noticed not only the strong dark shapes against light backgrounds that I’d read about from this age in art’s history, but also how masterfully he arranged the shapes to carry the eye through the composition. Composition is a balancing act – one element on the left balances one on the right, what’s below balances what’s above. I also noticed that Wyeth liked to pick only a few hues and then made the best use of them through their less saturated tones. To my eye, the ones with fewer hues seemed the most striking – hm, something to keep in mind…
- The Golden Age of Illustration: Popular Art in American Magazines, 1850-1925.
- N.C. Wyeth: American Imagist.
Somewhere along the way you came to believe that you can’t draw or design. Someone, maybe another kid, a parent, a teacher said something critical and you believed that your drawing was no good. Or maybe you sailed through those years confident in your abilities but ran into a wall when your work was reviewed by a professional, and then your were crestfallen. Whatever the source, you came to believe that you can’t draw or design.
Drawing is something technical, it’s a skill that can be developed over time; design is something more fundamental but also more abstract, it’s about communicating an idea and problem-solving visually. Unfortunately, the fear of failure with drawing or with design is like shooting yourself in the foot because it inhibits progress with both.
A lot of artists don’t like to talk about their fear of failure, and yet professionals have managed to learn from their failures and grow into success. I was one of those kids who drew in my comfort zone and was praised for it by everyone who saw my drawings. That’s kind of like professional success wherein you’re paid to do what people know you can do consistently and because they recognize your speciality. But I also didn’t challenge myself with different subjects or styles until entering art school. It’s hard no longer being a big fish in a small pond but I’m growing faster than I every have before since then.
These growing pains led me recently to examine my own fear of failure and I found advice of design mentors on my journey. I’m happy to share them with you here:
- The insightful and eloquent Milton Glaser on the fear of failure. from Berghs’ Exhibition ’11 on Vimeo. He makes an excellent point about professional success being antithetical to personal progress. (Reload if you just see a blank space here).
- I also recommend printing and posting this on your wall: 106 Excuses that Prevent You from Ever Becoming Great, I’ll bet you’ve been making at least one of these excuses!
- Lastly, an interviewer records his experience with Ian McCaig, designer for Star Wars and John Carter of Mars (among other projects) in Shadowline: The Art of Iain McCaig:
“Put it on!” McCaig said. “We’re all ten-year-olds when we’re drawing. It’s the rule.”
“Why?” I asked.
“‘Cause before you were ten, you probably never thought about whether you could draw or not. You simply did it. Drawing was as natural a way to express yourself as speaking. Then you hit ten and got stupid about it. Drawing was important, and if you couldn’t do it like Leonardo, you didn’t do it at all. So, I’m taking you back to ten, so I can un-stupify you.”
“Suppose I don’t want to learn to draw?”
“You don’t have to. You already know. You draw perfect people and creatures an worlds every night in your sleep. I’m merely going to show you how to do that while you’re awake.”
I must have looked skeptical, because he went on. “Dude, it’s your first language. You started scribbling pictures before you knew any words at all. Don’t you see? It’s not a magic trick, and it’s not a special ability. It’s a language, and you already know how to speak it.”
“Then why can’t I draw?”
“Because you think you can’t. It usually takes about six months, one hour a day, to change your mind.” He whooped again. “Go on. Put on the T-shirt.” …[snip]…
And yeah, I was shocked, because now I could draw. Maybe not like Leonardo, because even if you speak a language, that doesn’t make you Shakespeare. But it does mean you can communicate, which I think is his point. it’s not what the drawing looks like, but what it’s saying. If you focus on that, it’s amazing how the drawings seem to look better, too.
Ian McCaig’s point about drawing like a 10-year old moved me profoundly. It reminded me of how proud I was after successfully skiing down a difficult slope without falling once as a little girl. Yet my dad in a moment of wisdom told me “If you’re not falling, you’re not trying hard enough.” When I get frustrated with my art, I think back to hitting the hard cold snow, picking myself up, dusting myself off, and trying again. I learned how to shift my weight, avoid and compensate for ice and bumps, and even jump. Every time I fell I learned something. It’s the same with drawing an with design.
No one can make your progress but you, but these words of encouragement have helped me along the way and I hope they help you too.
The single most important skill a professional artist must learn to manage is also the most difficult master: time management. Closely linked to that is mastering self-motivation. I’m not talking about the motivation to achieve long-term goals like securing work or even changing the art industry. We all want that. I’m talking about the commitment and fortitude required to to your mind, eyes, and drawing hand every single day.
I’ve met many skilled artists and a few that blow me away with their work. But I’ve also heard as many complaints about how they either haven’t grown as much as they wanted to, or need to be around other artists who are working in order to get their artwork done, or burn out during finals, or are distracted by other activities (like playing games or browsing the internet). If this sounds familiar, then take it as a sign that you aren’t managing your time well. And if you aren’t, then it will kill your career if you don’t learn how to.
Why is that? Well, a few reasons. First, while you are doing other things, your future contender is training right now for that job you will be applying for. While you are inching along they are growing by leaps and bounds. Only the best get hired, only the best get commissions, and only the very best change the industry. The time to train for those juicy assignments is now.
Second, if you are a student and can’t deliver on your assignments for classes, then how will you deliver on assignments for your clients or art director? If you’re already working and unable or unwilling to deliver on time, then your reputation is already suffering. The field is very insular. That means everyone is connected and you will (or are already) developing a reputation for missing deadlines. Someone less skilled, but dependable, will be hired over you. If you are a student, you are building your reputation right now with your instructors. When you apply for work and ask them to recommend you, they will remember if you turned in late or incomplete work and won’t want to put their reputations on the line for you. The same is true with employers.
Third, if you can’t motivate yourself to work on projects you don’t initially enjoy, you are going to be very unhappy working in the industry and your work will suffer as a result. We and our clients get out of our artwork what we put into it. Most of the time, you won’t get to work on something you feel innately passionate about because it will be someone else’s idea. You won’t always have other artists to depend on to set your work schedule and atmosphere. Instead, you need to develop strategies to motivate yourself and get the job done on schedule and without burning out. Find a way to be passionate about creating art for its own sake. That’s why you’re doing this, aren’t you? Because you love to draw, paint, and design, right? If you don’t enjoy spending hours every day creating, you need to find a different line of work. If you do have that motivation, that passion, that hunger to create and improve, then an art director shouldn’t be able to tell which pieces in your portfolio you enjoyed creating more – and if asked you should be able to honestly answer that choosing one piece would be like asking a mother to pick her favorite child.
Are you ready to get to work, but just don’t know how to organize your time? Remember, this is a lifestyle change, and they say it takes 28 days to establish new habits. If you’re ready, use these tips for 28 days and I guarantee you will be more productive and grow faster.
Five Tips for Better Time Management
- Write down your goals and break them down into realistic, bite-sized, lists.
- Start with your ultimate goal and aim high! Be ambitious and aim for something like, “I want to change the art industry forever.” or “I want to be spoken of in the same breath as [insert favorite artist here].” or “I want to found my own company.” This is the point where you put a ceiling on your success. So shoot for the moon; that way, if you miss you’ll hit the stars.
- Work backwards and break that goal down into self-development goals for each month, then week, then day. These are achievements you will make outside of your assignments. It is the first step to organize your time and it will put you in a goal-oriented mind-frame. If you like, you can set aside rewards for each goal you meet. As a bonus, it will feel great when you get to cross those goals off your list!
- One of my mentors, Michael Buffington, once set a goal of drawing 1,000 simplified but realistic heads. Even as a professional, his craft improved immensely. Not many artists have that kind of commitment, but his book of 1,000 heads is set to be published in order to inspire other artists.
- Assign daily routines.
- This critical for those who procrastinate or burn out when deadlines approach. It’s important to both pace yourself and balance other demands on your time. If you have a blog or online portfolio, set aside time to update that. First, set your priorities – list them and put them in order in terms of both importance and immediacy – be ruthless about this but don’t forget your non-work needs. Then set time aside in order of your priorities. If you have a significant other, set aside time with them. Set aside time to network, research, get inspiration, exercise, eat, and sleep. If you don’t, your body and/or support network will quit on you, it’s just a matter of time.
- On a similar note, get dressed in the morning. Yes, it’s fun to work in your Pj’s all day at home and nobody will know if you do. But getting dressed for work is a routine, even a ritual, for establishing your working mood. You’ve already established this mindset for work and school, just apply it at home to counter that all-too easy temptation to goof off or spend too much time consuming information (See No. 5). It’s surprising how preparing yourself like this to work will set the tone for your entire day.
- Break down your projects.
- Feeling overwhelmed by a looming project? Try breaking it down into smaller bite-sized pieces. Focus on the project one stage at a time and then look at it in terms of 20-minute-intervals. You can work for 20 minutes, right? Well, when you’re done, take a 5 minute break. Don’t forget to set your timer!
- Pay attention to how long it is taking you to complete your tasks, and revisit your lists. You’ll want to update them and re-evaluate your short-term goals and bring them into line with how long it takes you to complete your tasks. Eventually, it’ll take less time to accomplish them, but for now this is a reality-check and a good way to adjust your pace. It’s also important to keep track so that you can give clients and/or your boss an accurate estimate of the time it’ll take you to complete a project.
- Set up an efficient workspace.
- Decide on the area you want to do your work in. This will depend your personal preferences and on what you are distracted by. Some artists can’t work if they’re by a computer connected to the internet (that includes smartphones) which are constantly pinging for your attention with email and Facebook alerts and texts. However, some artists need online reference photos or other resources and will instead need to turn off those alerts and summon the self-control not to give into temptation. Whatever space works for you, carve it out and make it your own.
- If you live with someone else, set up a sign that lets them know if you are available to chat or not. Have a kind conversation with them about what it means. This will both ensure that you can maintain your focus and that you won’t have to defend your boundaries against your well-intentioned roommate or loved-one. It’s pro-active and prevents arguments. If you’ve set aside time to be with them (see No. 2), they should be able to respect your work space and time.
- Keep your workspace organized and clean. Some people, like me, can’t think very clearly among a lot of clutter. But even if you like to work with everything related (and not) spread out over your workspace, you probably still won’t like your artwork marred by a glob of yesterday’s lunch.
- Draw Right Now!
- The availability of information (both related to artwork and not) is a wonderful thing. It inspires and motivates us to create something new and learn new skills. But too much consumption and not enough production will cripple your career. So take action!
- Maybe you’re staring at that blank page, ready to draw but afraid of creating something lame. The key here is to practice on cheap paper. Take out cheap copy paper, newsprint, or even the blank backs of junk mail you have laying around. Start with warm-up exercises and move on to quick 3 minute sketches. If it’s a bad drawing, you only have to live with it for 3 minutes before moving on. The important thing is to get those bad drawings out of your system and start carving away at those 10,000 hours to master your craft.
- So unplug yourself from social networks, email, the work of other artists, your phone, and this blog. Stop consuming and start producing! Stop thinking and start drawing now!
- A-level work can be published in industry; so if you are consistently getting A’s then should be out working instead of taking out loans for school. Most students get C’s at AAU, with a few stars getting the infrequent A-. So feel good about getting high C’s and low B’s, especially before midterm. Grades are no more or less than feedback on your work. No one will care what your GPA was in school, they will care about your portfolio. However, aim for A-level work so that you will have a professional portfolio.
- Related to No. 1: If you are offered a job while in school, take it! The goal is to get work, not necessarily to get your degree. The timing might not be right when you graduate; in fact, it probably won’t because you’ll be competing with other graduates at the same time. You can always return to school and finish your degree if you so wish, or even receive educational reimbursements from your employer if you want to continue studying while working.
- Almost everyone in school is great at something and weak in other things. I’ve realize that compared to other beginning students I have more experience rendering texture and painting digitally; I also have an intuitive knack for picking colors. But while I can copy a figure given enough time, I have trouble imagining the human body in other positions or from different points of view, or capturing gestures quickly, or simplifying and stylizing it for animation, or foreshortening it. Once I have that down, I won’t need to learn much about how to “wrap it” in shade or color. If you’ve been admitted into an MFA program, you have something to offer and something to gain from school.
- Attitude is critical. Remember the tortoise and the hare parable, “slow and steady wins the race”. There are a number of experienced students, but some of them are complacent and others are resistant to trying out new things. However, with an excellent attitude towards learning, you can rise head and shoulders above other students with time, dedication, and practice. That’s the same attitude needed to get work in industry and to be the very best at the tasks you’re assigned. The artists with that attitude are the ones who are promoted, not the ones who are envious of senior artists on the team.
- A lot of students resist learning certain techniques, styles, or subjects because they think they won’t use them later on. In my character design class we’re learning to become “style chameleons” during the first half of the semester and “building our design vocabulary”. Many students want to stay in their comfort zones and draw in their own style, but that will kill the career of a new artist in industry. Learning to draw in different styles is a survival skill. If hired by a company (say, Disney or Lucas Arts) you would have to draw in the style of the particular project you’re assigned. Everything you learn adds to you “Batman’s belt” – your set of tools available for every occasion. Never stop learning. Keep your tools sharp. For more on this, read Dresden Codak’s article on Draftsmanship: Increasing Your Visual Vocabulary.
- Is it better to generalize and be able to do many different things, or to specialize and rock at one thing? In other words: “is it better to become a swiss army knife or a scalpel?” The answer: ideally you should become a swiss army knife with a scalpel attached. Be a rock star at one task and then be able to do many different tasks for a project as well. That is the best way to get yourself established in the industry and to keep yourself employed.
Aside from free resources like Escape from Illustration Island, and catch-as-can advice from communities like conceptart.org, it can be difficult to gain the insight a professional artist needs when beginning her career. Schools don’t usually teach the business side of freelancing or working for a company, managing one’s time, or how to protect one’s work, let alone how to develop one’s own style and keep it fresh. But the focus that the Academy of Art University has on becoming not only a skilled artist, but a professional industry-ready artist, is a major reason why I joined its program.
Bill Maughan, the head of the Graduate Illustration School at AAU, was generous with his time and attention – staying twice as long as he was scheduled to answer our questions – at Graduate Orientation. Bill (I feel a little irreverent using his first name, but that’s the convention at school), Bill has been illustrating long before I was born; to say that he knows what he’s talking about is a grand understatement. He is a modern master of Illustration and Fine Art:
A professional illustrator and fine artist, Mr. Maughan received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration from the Art Center College of Design. He has provided numerous illustrations for such companies as DreamWorks, Woman’s Day, TV Guide, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, CBS, Universal Studios, Wells Fargo Bank, Chevrolet, GMC, Franklin Library, New American Library, Avon Books, Pinnacle Books, Signet Books, Tor Books, Doubleday, Harcourt Brace, Knopf, Oxford University Press, Danbury Mint, Fenwick and others. Since the early ’80s Mr. Maughan’s work, both originals and prints, has been represented by major galleries and publishers, domestically and internationally. His works of art are included in private, commercial and museum collections. Mr. Maughan’s book, The Artist’s Complete Guide to Drawing the Head, was published in 2004 by Watson/Guptill.
When he’s not teaching Academy students the fundamentals — realism-based drawing, design concepts, value, form, color and composition — he paints in his studio in the mountains of Utah.
Many aspiring professionals want to ask what those who have established themselves wish they’d known before they started. The following are key points from his lecture and Q and A with us:
- Get an agent. Having someone else to wrangle commissions, contracts, and handle all things legal for you will free you up to do your art.
- Keep your style flexible. It can quickly become dated if you stagnate.
- But don’t copy someone else who is alive! Not only can you get in trouble, but others will think your work belongs to the older (more established) artist.
- If you can’t develop your own style, copy someone who is dead. It’s also perfectly fair to copy a master’s color pallet and create new content with it. This is a great way to learn color theory.
- The best way to develop your style and keep it fresh is to keep learning. Learn to use new mediums, about new trends, explore different subjects, etc.
- Illustrating commercially is like giving birth. It’s painful, but afterwards you forget the pain and love every one of your projects like your own children. Bill prefers to switch between illustration projects and his fine art painting, the subjects of which are his own choice.
- Retain copyrights to your work.
- This way, if you sell a copy of your art to, say, Wells Fargo (like he did) for one type of use, you can be paid again when they want to use it in a different way.
- It’s hard to prevent theft in this age of the Internet, and people must pay to use your work, but having an agent to handle when your art is stolen will preserve your time.
I hope Bill’s advice, distilled into these key points, will be as useful to you as it is to me.
If you are an established artist, what kind are you and what do you wish you’d known when you started out? If you are just starting out, what do you want to know in order to prepare yourself for industry or freelance work? If you aren’t an artist, what are you curious about when it comes to the business of being an artist?