Hopes, Fears & Opportunities. Part II – the edit.

Hopes, Fears & Opportunities. Part II – the edit.

Having already tackled a follow up to Part I, I’ve decided to rework what I had written prior, as I am now in a much different (and better) place than I was when I wrote part II (part I of, confused?) last year.

My biggest fear, I would have to say, is not becoming an illustrator. Having spent so much of my life knowing that I needed to work in the creative industry, not making it a reality would be one of the biggest disappointments of my life. I know the industry can be cut-throat and it takes a lot of work, effort and yes, probably some luck, to make a living within it. I have to fight my (all too frequent) pangs of self-doubt and remember that I have had a lot very positive professional support. It’s something I should be proud of and not let the doubt about sincerity creep in. Really, why would anyone waste their time telling me I’m “good” if they didn’t mean it – it would be waste of their time and mine – I always have to keep this in mind.

I still have issues with my work, but I have come a long way and finally can say I “like” my own work, for the most part. In the past, I have been told by people (other students) that I will not make it, that I was not good enough to compete in the illustrative market, but I now realise these were jealousies/self-projectings of other people (who, by the way, were not “in” on the industry). I don’t see why I shouldn’t be confident about my work, as difficult as it can be to get past my own insecurities. I work hard and have a talent, there is no reason why I can’t prevail – as long I no longer listen or take in the negativity people have thrown at me. I have had too much good feedback to listen to the naysayers any longer.

I know I can make it, if I continue to work hard and grow as an artist.

Despite my fear, I hope that my hard work pays off and that I am able to make a living doing what I love (even if some days, I hate it haha). I hope to get an agent, whether or not this is feasible so quickly out of university as many don’t take on recent graduates. Even if without an agent initially, I hope to build up my list of clients and plan on doing so by continuing to build my portfolio and encourage growth, both in skill and subject, in my work.

A hope that has not changed, is the hope I will be able to move abroad and support myself through Illustration whilst doing so. As much trouble the internet can harbour for creatives these days through theft, etc, it also allows us to work from anywhere. Of course, agents in the various international markets would help make this dream a reality.

Whilst I have ideas of what kind of work I’d like to do, I also hope that working in “the real world” allows me to discover new areas in which I can fit and do well in. I do find it difficult to think of specific areas in which I’d like to work – though I am improving at this – and hope that experience opens new doors for me and allows me to explore unknown (to me) illustrative territories for better or worse.

I have a number of opportunities these past few months – all of which have proved positive for me, which I am all the more grateful for, looking back on my emotional state for the year prior.

In March, I visited London and had several meetings, which have allowed me to meet new professionals, network, receive feedback on my work and of course, receive advice. Each meeting was better than the last and have reconfirmed my belief I am capable of being an illustrator. These meetings will also lead to commissions, which of course, is the best one can hope for. Through one of these meetings, I was also sent an email list of several Art Directors that the AD I had met with felt I would be able to work with. It was a great feeling to have that vote of confidence put on me by a professional and for them to share their contact list with me. I am planning on sending emails to these contacts in a weeks time, when I haven’t got a major deadline looming over me and can focus on any feedback/advice I receive from them, and of course, can focus on any possible commissions if any should come my way.

Asides from the advice side of things, it was of course great just to meet people who work in the same area as I do, see their offices, get a feeling of the atmosphere and of course, be able to confidently hand out my business card.

Back in February, I also had the opportunity to meet with Lorraine Owen of the agency The Organisation. The outcome of our time together was very positive and I’ve been told since, she said I “am one to watch” and that should I keep in touch with her. It is a great boost to my confidence, hearing such great feedback. I will definitely be back in touch with her soon and would be grateful for an opportunity she may have for me.

Overall, in comparison to last years similar entry, I can see I have come a long way emotionally and illustratively. It feels good, I have to say.

I still have a few more up and coming opportunities over the next couple of months and will undoubtedly blog about them when I have the chance.