This winters self promotion push will be the most intense, far reaching and time consuming effort I have ever made in my illustration career, and I am very eager to get started. This blog is to serve as a journal of this self promotional process as well as a marketing vehicle of sorts, showcasing sketches and recent works while serving as both a gallery and newsletter. In this first entry I will lace the text with small images of the more recent additions to my stock art collection at www.theispot.com .
After toying with the idea of doing a commercial art blog for several years, I’ve finally taken the leap. My intent with is site is to produce weekly or bi-monthly updates featuring news from the studio as well as resources useful to other illustrators that I uncover on the web.
And so, I am making a long awaited and much needed leap in my creative career, focusing strictly on illustration as that is what I love the most and what I am best at. While design work is a close cousin to illustration, the two have differences which make different demands on one’s time, skill set, creative growth, and lifestyle and stress levels. I have been doing plenty of design over the last three or four years, especially book design, and enjoying much of it, however my design mission was to get book cover art assignments, but instead ended up doing desktop publishing and working with other people’s photographs or art instead of my own. I was soon busy with technical details, troubleshooting, editing, shipping addresses of finished print matter, software incompatibility, font hunting, getting quotes from printers, and administration issues that had no creativity involved whatsoever. As design assignments began to eclipse my illustration jobs in frequency, scope and attention, and countless non-billable, non-artistic hours, I knew that I had to make a break and get back to my illustration portfolio, promotions, and primary creative passion. In short, I was so busy with design that I had no time to promote my illustration career, and worse, I was getting jobs from people who had no idea I could draw or did anything other than layout and web design. I realized I had taken a wrong turn on the creative path, and ended up in the wrong neighborhood.
Now, don’t get me wrong, graphic design involves a massive degree of creativity, and am not implying that illustration is a superior creative outlet… however, for me, design was fifty percent administration, due mostly to dealing with countless emails, revisions, printer issues. Illustration, on the other hand, seems to be about 90% creativity and only 10% email and file handling. The designers, who once hired me as an illustrator, tackle all those outsourcing details which eat up so many hours.
Another point is that I have four children, and during many hours of the day they are in the studio with me and doing their own art, which is among my favorite time spent with them. Besides the questions, banter, and excited ideas they announce as they work, I see them at my drawing tables and easel, where once I happily labored, and realize full weeks have gone by since I drew anything. Alas, doing design and sending jobs to press or loading a site to the web can be stressful and demand all my attention, so that nothing goes wrong, and having children around is not always ideal with such technical matters at hand. With art, however, the companionship of four small artists in a large studio only adds to the creativity. I can listen to my oldest daughter read to me or describe my process to another child as they watch me draw or paint. While conversations are possible while producing imagery, so is loud music, talking on a headset phone, and so as an illustrator, I need not to lock myself away in silence and seclusion in order to deal with all manner of glitch and technical issue.
A renewed focus on illustration, then, as the recent weeks have shown, has lead to a much less stressed out father, and a massive output in art. I have completed my updated illustration site and loaded it over the last 24 hours. There are a few issues here and there that will need my attention, but I am ready to begin promoting my illustration