Friday, 28 December 2012

Talk of Pictures

The illustration lecture, ‘Talk of pictures’, which I attended last year was one of the most inspiring and helpful sessions I have attended during my time at university so far. The four illustrators Matt Sewell, Rebekah Whitney, Holly Wales and Jay Cover all had completely different illustration styles and different methods to gain motivation to produce work. 

During the session they covered so many different and helpful topics that I thought I would make an extra long post to include everything I took away from the session.

Don’t stop

Be enthusiastic and friendly

Be honest with yourself, and maintain a high expectation on what you can achieve. 

It is important to meet up with other people, as it can be lonely being a freelance artist. It may be a good idea to collaborate, you have nothing to loose by getting in touch with people and suggesting doing projects together. If you prefer working alone then try to maintain getting feedback from friends you have that are artists, especially when you leave University. Make a good first impression to create a long lasting relationship, as those people may give you more ideas and opportunities in the future. Work breeds more work.

Use the Internet as a tool to build relationships, with other people, who’s work you like and that inspires you, and go out of your way to tell them.

Make physical work not just digital, people will keep it.

Make sure you have an online presence, but remember that getting blogged about is not work. Stop looking at Tumblr and look at your sketchbook.Abuse the Internet; everyone is nosey.

Apply to competitions, find free live work, and always look out for opportunities.

Do work that has a personal value to you, don’t just choose work that has a higher monetary value that you are uninterested in; know what work you are interested in and want to do. Don’t say no, have a yes year.You need to experience the real world to realise how much you want it, and to give you an end goal to work towards. But in the meantime you have to be realistic and honest with yourself; You will need a part time job when you leave university, prepare yourself for council tax, but still allow yourself time to make work. When you get to the moment where you feel that you can live off just your artwork alone, make the plunge, and adapt your lifestyle to fit. Have a goal and set yourself milestones that you want to achieve within a time frame to keep yourself producing work.

Keep a record of what went well and what didn’t, and don’t try and do everything. Learn what you enjoy and what you don’t, try it out and see and go at your own pace to find your feet and your ‘niche’. Be comfortable with your work and don’t be downhearted if other people get to where you want to be quicker than you do, you will do it your own way. You will never be happy with your success, you will always want to push yourself more to be bigger and better; don’t forget that this is a good thing. Be determined and learn to pick yourself back up when something goes wrong, and never take criticism personally.

Give your work a personal focus point in a subject that interests you, and keep your other interests going, as people can tell when you love the work that you are making. If you have more knowledge on other subject matters, you should draw inspiration from it, not just other artist’s work, this will give your work a genuine authenticity. By having a constant theme, it allows people to contact you specifically to do work you will have knowledge and interest in. We live in a trend loved world, try and make work that is timeless.

Aim your personal work at an audience; always have a client in mind. Sometimes it is helpful to step back from your work to give yourself a broader audience. Be inclusive not exclusive. Surround yourself with good stuff, positive people and never stop persevering.

Personally I found all of their work to my artistic taste, especially that of the company Lord Whitney, and after visiting their website I have found that they have two opportunities that I will definitely apply for. Their work is very sculptural and handmade, which I feel is the direction that I can see my own personal work going in at the moment. It was really interesting to hear Rebekah’s story of how she is making a living out of producing her artwork, and I have been greatly inspired and influenced by her.

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