This is the end of week one in the 12 week challenge thats going on through zero2illo.com, and I've done a whole lot of internet searching. I usually spend hours looking and oogling over other artists' work online, but this time I had someone telling me to really think about it and apply it to my career.
Here's what I came up with for the first week, where we were told to ask ourselves, "If I could illustrate anything and get paid for it, what would it be?"
I pondered all week on this. I know one thing, stories inspire me to make art. I chose the Editorial market for my focus because the assignments can accompany an article or story, and it is fast paced work, which I love. I most recently finished some children's book work, and I imagine my style will still lend itself to that genre, but during the next 11 weeks I'd like to practice my conceptual skills and develop my editorial pieces.
Is my idea commercially viable? Part of my reason for choosing Editorial Illustration is because there are many opportunities for jobs through various publications. I found most Illustrators with Editorial work were published through magazines. Some I saw listed were:
Rolling Stone Magazine
Technology Review Magazine
Mens Health Magazine
Plan Sponsor Magazine
Runner's World Magazine
Big players? I searched for artists through Communication Arts Annuals, and Illustration Mundo, as well as the long list of artist faves I have bookmarked. Some of them I found working in this market:
Why are they successful? Each of these artists' have a clear focus and style that is obvious when you look through their galleries online. Most of them do more than one type of Illustration and have 2-3 different sections for them - Editorial and Book for example, but their style is consistent across. Their portfolios contains lots of images to show their technical and conceptual abilities, basically that they can do the job, and when a client hires them they can be sure to get a certain style and level of quality.
On Self Promotion... Most of the artists I looked through do not list flickr, twitter, and blogs on their websites. They just lits their phone and email and sometimes their address as contact info. Many of them do blogs which are updated regularly with news or work, lots of blogs with process images. Some have buttons for flickr, twitter, facebook, blogger, etc.
Prior to the 12WC I listed to a few different podcasts - BIPT, and EFII were a couple - and there were a lot of conversations about self promotion. besides the internet, It seems like most artists still mail out postcards quarterly, and some will do a neat packages of cards, or calendars, and other quirky ideas to stand out from the bunch when doing mailers. One artist I found had a neat example of her mailer on her website under her "self promotion" link. Her name is Meg Hunt, and she also shares a lot of info about her process through an FAQ page, as well as videos of her work progress through her flickr site.
AH, words! I'm ready for my next project!