Help an artist out
I’m 33 years old and am finding possible paths into a design career to be very difficult. At university I worked at an awardwinning branding agency – work I got because of my illustration skills. However, family circumstances required me to work from home and it began to affect my relationship with the team. So I left the agency to go self-employed.
I now need to get back into it, either as a self-employed illustrator or working back in commercial work. I’ve applied for so many roles, but to no avail. I feel my portfolio, or the way I apply, may be hindering me. What do I need to show in a portfolio? What kind of work do I need to create? As I was already working when in college, I never had a chance to build a good portfolio. Can you offer any advice? Stephen Timms, via email
Beren replies Hey Stephen. Sounds like you’re in the middle of some tempestuous seas. Yet it’s good to hear that within the wave of self-doubt, you still have confidence in your illustration skills. Your conviction in what you’re doing is essential to weather this particular storm.
Be careful of making excuses about finding time to update your portfolio, though. There’s always a few minutes a day you could spend working on your art, selecting appropriate pieces for the company you want to work for, and getting both your physical and online portfolios (see page 91 for a good online portfolio option).
For some great online art courses, check out next issue where we’ll look at the best ones around. For more of the business side of being an artist, see page 20 to see what events like One Fantastic Workshop are all about. Good luck Stephen.