Any illustrators out there? How did you get into the biz?

  • mondo_trasho

    Posts: 89

    Mar 02, 2012 5:27 PM GMT
    I do fine art (painting) and I'm thinking about boning up on Adobe Creative Suite to get into an illustration career.

    I'm thinking more along the lines of print work and possibly animation, not interested in graphic design, branding, or programming.

    Any tips on getting stated?

    What type of schooling did you have?

    Do you freelance, or work for a company?

    What type of illustration do you do?

    Thanks!
  • fitartistsf

    Posts: 638

    Mar 02, 2012 10:55 PM GMT
    Be sure that you have a degree (minimum: BFA), from an accredited art school or institute. Even natural talent can't always work when getting a job. Learn both traditional AND computer graphics/art. If you freelance, sign up with multiple temp/contract agencies that handle graphic artists, then let them know you are looking for full-time, permanent work...
  • HPgeek934

    Posts: 970

    Mar 02, 2012 11:03 PM GMT
    I went to Monmouth University for Graphic Design. Graduated in 2007 after applying for a BFA program (BA was standard) I designed for 18 months and then left and now work in government. The salary for designers is terrible and I enjoy illustrating so much more now that I don't have to answer to anyone. I do mostly freelance now on my own time.

    Illustrator for Adobe is amazing. I just got into typographic illustration. Made these using photos of people, and then got their favorite songs and quotes to put into the work.

    Message me if you wanna shoot the shit, I'll give ya some advice


    399322_729760447339_28800118_35883907_19

    32105_584893027809_28800118_34052502_515
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    Mar 02, 2012 11:22 PM GMT
    i have been doing it for 2 years, i think mostly if you just work on your profolio and apply to different places someone will call you, icon_smile.gif make a deviant art thats how i got a lot of my customers before i made my own web site
    the_game_by_elitexeffects-d4rd9vr.jpg
  • mondo_trasho

    Posts: 89

    Mar 02, 2012 11:55 PM GMT
    Thanks the advice ya'll!

    Yeah, I was thinking about going back to community college to study animation/illustration, and hoping that a good portfolio does the trick.
  • mondo_trasho

    Posts: 89

    Mar 02, 2012 11:58 PM GMT
    Nice work to I should add!
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    Mar 02, 2012 11:59 PM GMT
    HPgeek934 saidI went to Monmouth University for Graphic Design. Graduated in 2007 after applying for a BFA program (BA was standard) I designed for 18 months and then left and now work in government. The salary for designers is terrible and I enjoy illustrating so much more now that I don't have to answer to anyone. I do mostly freelance now on my own time.

    Illustrator for Adobe is amazing. I just got into typographic illustration. Made these using photos of people, and then got their favorite songs and quotes to put into the work.

    Message me if you wanna shoot the shit, I'll give ya some advice


    399322_729760447339_28800118_35883907_19

    32105_584893027809_28800118_34052502_515


    these are cool
  • metta

    Posts: 39075

    Mar 03, 2012 12:17 AM GMT
    ^
    Wow...you can tell that a LOT of work went into those...nice job!
  • HPgeek934

    Posts: 970

    Mar 03, 2012 12:34 AM GMT
    metta8 said^
    Wow...you can tell that a LOT of work went into those...nice job!


    About 30 hours for the girl with the fan, and a little over 50 for the bride and groom lol
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    Mar 03, 2012 1:14 AM GMT
    HPgeek934 said
    About 30 hours for the girl with the fan, and a little over 50 for the bride and groom lol

    Nice work, both typographically and illustratively.

    As for mondo_trasho, your best bet is to try to decide what you want to do before you generalize too much. To make the formal education portion of your learning useful, having a focus will help you choose what to study more effectively. Do some research on what it take to do animation, (there are a lot of different skills and skill set involved with animation, not to mention the different types of media involved with it.) Print work can be very difficult now because there's less of it, and there's more people out there with a lot of experience in it than there are jobs, so the pay tends to be low. If you've you've got a trust coming to you, then go for it.

    Whatever you do make sure, as fitartistsf said, that you study both traditional as well as digital production.

    So many of the tools out there are amazing, but none will be that good without a good solid formal foundation to build from.

    "You've got know the rules, understand the rules and follow the rules first. Then you will be qualified to break them because you will know then what you are doing."
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    Mar 03, 2012 1:17 AM GMT
    HPgeek934 saidI went to Monmouth University for Graphic Design. Graduated in 2007 after applying for a BFA program (BA was standard) I designed for 18 months and then left and now work in government. The salary for designers is terrible and I enjoy illustrating so much more now that I don't have to answer to anyone. I do mostly freelance now on my own time.

    Illustrator for Adobe is amazing. I just got into typographic illustration. Made these using photos of people, and then got their favorite songs and quotes to put into the work.

    Message me if you wanna shoot the shit, I'll give ya some advice


    399322_729760447339_28800118_35883907_19

    32105_584893027809_28800118_34052502_515


    How much would you charge for a picture done like this?
  • HPgeek934

    Posts: 970

    Mar 03, 2012 1:22 AM GMT
    depends on the complexity of the original image. The girl with the fan I did first, now that I got the hang of it Id bet I could do that one in 20 hours instead of 30. Id say $200 and up, again, depending on image
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    Mar 03, 2012 1:23 AM GMT
    ^^^^Cool! As soon as I find a picture and a song that fits; I'll let you know ; )
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    Mar 03, 2012 3:18 AM GMT
    There's sort of a lot of different sides to this question and several ways you can go about making a living with art/design. Sorry if this ends up being a bit long.

    If you already have a fine art background then you're a step above a lot of people trying to break in. It seems that most High School aged kids know the Adobe suite before they graduate and a lot of people have a technical skill set, but lack in all the other areas. Work on composition, color theory and the fundamentals of art - these are the hard parts - the programs are pretty easy once you spend time on them.

    Depending on what you want to focus on and what you ultimately want to do, school may or may not be necessary. Ultimately your portfolio will be first and foremost - there will be some places that want you to have a BA or equivalent work experience but not all.

    I went to a private art college where I studied 3D animation and basically took on a lot of debt and am not doing anything close to 3D work. I don't recommend this route. Mostly because private art colleges do not have accreditation that will transfer over to a state university, so if you find yourself wanting to switch careers at some point and want to go back to a state school, you're going to have to start over credit wise. Although if you know exactly what you want to do and the school has a good reputation then it may be the route you want to consider. Just know you're going to have a lot of debt. But I would still stress a 4 year university or finding a community college that has a recognized program, such as Seattle Central.

    When I decided 3d was not for me I gravitated towards graphic design which was a natural progression from my previous art background (but i had to teach myself a lot that I didnt learn in school). I've worked in a video game studio as an in-house designer. I've freelanced through a talent company and been placed with various companies of varying quality. Currently I do design for a small company and my day to day ranges from prepress, to front end web development, to designing 10' back drops, banner stands etc, for trade shows (this is the bulk of my job). It's a fun vibe.

    One thing to note is that working in (corporate) design/print work can often be fucking boring and isolating. One company I worked for had a fairly small team and we sat there for 10 hours with our headphones on and if a question was asked it was through IM. It seriously killed me. So if you're a social person know that depending on the place it can be a big bummer. This is why i've floated in and out of design through the years and filled the gaps as a barista. I can pull a great espresso shot!

    The other route you can go is to just make something happen through hard work and living it. My friend in Seattle was living in a van with his dog and painting everyday. He would paint murals around town for trade. He painted a mural on a bar and got something like a 500 dollars in credit at the bar to use. His work caught on and now it's all over the city and he sells in galleries. Basically, there's a lot you can do with art. conventional and unconventional.

    If you have specific questions feel free to drop me an email. I'll do my best to answer them.