Tuesday, 5 May 2009


When I was in the process of sending out a questionnaire to relevant practitioners within the field of Illustration, Gillian Blease was my top hit, due to her approach in Illustration, she works similar to me, with her bold use of shape. Presently it is something i'm trying to perfect yet she encouraged my use of textures and to maybe be a little more experimental with colour. 

Within questioning Blease's work in relation to my specific practice, I chose to ask a question, which again, i sent out to most of the practitioners I contacted to get their view on..

"what makes the difference between success and failure when trying to establish yourself in the design industry?".

Making your work visible – whether by marketing or by having work in very visible arenas. It’s really necessary to keep reminding people that you’re still out there working by doing mailshots and keeping in touch with those you’ve done regular work for.  Try to get yourself in artbooks and exhibitions. Also, professionalism. No one will want to work with you if you consistently deliver work late,  can’t take criticism or be prepared to change your work (within reason). 

Obviously Blease believes, that it is about self promotion as to getting your work seen, going round with your portfolio, mailshots, anything that reminds people of who you are and that your still out there, prepared and looking for a job. But also being prepared to take criticism, yet the more you get out there, the more likely you are to get a job. If you cant interpret criticism, your hopes will be diminished within the first portfolio meet, but if you interpret sometimes what they have to say to your advantage, maybe next time, you just might hit the right note. To some extent your work has to stand out in its own way, be original, be different yet if you look over and research into a company or agency, the guardian for example, you have to be prepared to take on a job that needs illustrations completing hours.. will you be able to adapt to this? if you begin to deliver work late, then no one will want to know, they wont want you working for them.

After reading Blease's response, it brought to mind, if whether or not because of your practice that some ex graduates may not have been able to deliver illustrations in time. When your at college, you have all the time in the world. When you have to adapt to the roles as an established illustrator, you have to deliver! in time, and quickly. If you work in a mixed media way or maybe creating pieces at large scale, you may not have the job done in time, is this is why so many students cant adapt to the establishment? This only came to mind, as it was a process within my practice that I use to work in, I created wooden canvases, the outcome was sometimes beautiful, yet if I hadn't got the correct measurements for it to fit the format of the illustration, I didn't have time to adapt it, the same way you can on a computer. If I was to have been commissioned at this stage, I wouldn't have been able to go back and alter it, due to the working method. I now develop my work from a mixed media process which is then progressed digitally, this has enabled me more time to complete design work and to be going back on it for alterations which you would most likely be getting if and when you get a commission. 

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