Five Things Art di­rec­tors hate THE MOST

Do­ing th­ese will quickly send busy art di­rec­tors into a rage...

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Sketchbook -

No re­search

Don’t send your port­fo­lio to a com­pany un­less you know what it does and that your work is rel­e­vant to it. For in­stance, Paizo’s style is high fan­tasy. “Get­ting anime, ed­i­to­rial or chil­dren’s book il­lus­tra­tions im­me­di­ately tells me that this was a mass email­ing,” says Paizo’s man­ag­ing art direc­tor Sarah Robin­son.

Poorly de­signed web­sites

What’s the point of hav­ing a slick-look­ing web­site if your con­tact de­tails are hard to find or, worse still, miss­ing al­to­gether? Make sure your site is easy to nav­i­gate and up to date. “It’s so frus­trat­ing to see some­one’s great port­fo­lio at a con­ven­tion, or their lat­est pieces fly by on Face­book, only to look them up af­ter­wards and see work that’s six to 12 months’ old. You want your web­site to seal the deal,” says Irene Gallo, art direc­tor at Tor Books.

Fa lse rep­re­sen­ta­tion

Art di­rec­tors tend to hate it when the work you hand in isn’t the type of work they’ve seen in your port­fo­lio. They’ve most likely hired you be­cause they’ve seen that you do par­tic­u­lar things well – and that style or quirk of yours is what they’re af­ter. If you want to try some­thing wild, new and dif­fer­ent for an as­sign­ment, dis­cuss it with the art direc­tor first. Sur­prise art di­rec­tors by be­ing great, not by be­ing sur­pris­ing.

re­sis­tance to change

There are lots of peo­ple in­volved in the pub­li­ca­tion of a book and their opin­ions are all valid – from sales to mar­ket­ing, from the au­thor to the pub­lisher. Amends will hap­pen on your cov­ers. “I never want to work with an artist who I think will be­come overly de­fen­sive about their first sketches and ideas. We should be work­ing to­gether to cre­ate a good piece of ad­ver­tis­ing. We all love it when that’s el­e­vated to the level of art, but we al­ways need to be in ser­vice of the book first of all,” says Irene Gallo.

No com­mu­ni­ca­tion

You shouldn’t need to talk to your art direc­tor ev­ery sin­gle day, but if you have a prob­lem with any­thing to do with the project, let them know and dis­cuss it. There might be a sim­ple so­lu­tion. Equally, if your art direc­tor has a ques­tion, re­spond to it promptly – if you’re off the grid when they need you, you’ll drop off their list of pre­ferred artists pretty quickly.

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