Help an artist out

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation -

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.

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