Does everyone find WordPress temperamental or is it just me?? It must just be me or other people would complain! I’ve tried it on lots of different computers and still come up against the same problems!
To my horror I realized my creative futures notes were still not on my blog. I’d forgotten to put them up! This was because at the time of creative futures I simply could not post anything to WordPress.
Whenever I tried the whole format changed, wouldn’t let me post images, wouldn’t let me post anything at all and or slowed down then froze… This has been a nightmare and meant my blog has been decidedly
lacking this year! This is why when I do get a good day on WordPress I tend to cram in as many blog posts as I can on the same day!Any way luckily I remembered about my creative futures notes and luckily
I’d typed them up in a word document at the time of creative futures just in case, so all I had to do was copy and paste. So without further ado here they are my creative futures notes:
Creative futures notes:
I’ve decided to type up the top 4 lectures I attended which 1. I found the most helpful and informative 2. made me reflect on the actions I need to take to further my illustration career and 3. clearly
highlighted the options and help available to me along the way.
Jonathan Edwards :Diversity
‘Jonathan’s work first appeared in 1993 in Deadline and Tank Girl Magazine with strips such as Dandy Dilemma, Simon Creem, The Squabbling Dandies (with Richard Holland) and one pagers about, amongst
others, Scott Walker, Sly Stone, Nancy Sinatra, Kraftwerk and The Beach Boys. Since then he’s worked for the Guardian, Mojo, Q, Mad, The Black Eyed Peas, A Skillz & Krafty Kuts, The Jungle Brothers,
The Glastonbury Festival, etc. Comics include Aunt Connie & The Plague of Beards, A Bag Of Anteaters (with Ian Carney) and Two Coats McWhinnie (also with Carney). He’s also been a regular contributor
to the Guardian since 1999 and illustrated the Hard Sell weekly column in the Guide since 2002.’
Words of wisdom:
*Get a good break and you’ll do fine. Preserver for it!
*Twitter- Have a go! Keep plugging. Your work will come to someone’s attention eventually.
*Don’t expect people to come to you though, you go to them!
*Expect the unexpected
*Don’t rely just on small local designers. Will get you jumping through hoops for next to nothing. Go for big companies. I f they pick you, they’ve done it because they like your stuff and so won’t try
to change you. I found Selfridges and the Guardian to be great!
*He did the 100 days project. 1 drawing a day for a 100 days. He posted them on his blog and made them into a book. (I think this is a brilliant idea!)
Daisy Dawes: Children’s book illustration
Daisy Dawes studied animation and stop motion at Plymouth university. Her creative career began working on the film set of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone’ and she went on to work on children’s
TV programs such as ‘Rex the Runt’ and ‘Pingu’. With the rise of digital animation becoming more and more popular Daisy moved away from stop motion animation and began her career as a children’s book illustrator with the publication of her first book, Get Ahead Fred. She used her skills as a stop motion animator to make and re-appropriate her 3D models. She then photographed them and built a unique and funny story around the images resulting in a picture book. She quickly got published by Maverick and she is now a successful illustrator and author.
Words of wisdom:
*Got to be brave and balance the love for what you do with paying the rent. Aka get another job.
*Maveric published her book
*Do your research but…
*Stick with your style! You will meet people who will try to change and dilute your work to make it more marketable
to the masses. BE STRONG! Go with your instincts!
*From a writing perspective, never talk down to children.
*Put your spirit and passion into your work. Be confident!
*Don’t be disheartend by rejection.
*Think how your work could adapt to digital media and be verdatile. (computer, TV etc. reaching audiences in different ways.)
*However publishers would rather have good raw material than an over thought design/product.
*Find the right publisher for you. Also remember it’s about ‘the right time.’ Go back to publishers and ask again.
They may have a need for what you do the second or third time you approach them but not necessarily the first.
*Do your research. Don’t just go for the first acceptance.
In the mean time:
*Anything you can do to give yourself a head start, do it! Brochures or tourism etc. (gives you experience and
pays the bills.) Use whatever other time you have for your free lance work.
*Stick to it and be inspired!! Read books, watch films. Take a break and surround yourself with people and things
that inspire you. You never know where it will progress. (e.g. you may meet someone at a gig etc. get out and meet
people. NETWORK!) Tim Burton wears stripy socks when having a creative block.
*If you want to write or illustrate for children-meet some children! Hold an art class, get involved in activities.
(artist in residence)You will get lots of ideas and it could lead to some amazing places.
*Stick with your convictions and you can’t go wrong!
*If your faith can keep you going the rest will come. You’ll learn to be business savvy, you’ll learn what you need but
you must have faith in yourself and your work.
*Key to writing is reading. Read other childrens books. Immerse yourself in other peoples books. Look at what is good/bad/appealing.
What is a Pack?
*A pack is a CV, portfolio, profile about yourself (no more than A4), a good photo, a list of projects you’ve worked on and
a list of websites featuring you. (for a writer also inc. a manuscript.)
*April, London book fair. Good idea to register!
*Belonia this month. Illustration fair. Amazing apparently.
How do you protect yourself legally?
*You have a relationship of trust with your publisher. It is very difficult to safe guard your work.
*Find a publisher that’s right for you and you feel you can trust. Down to your intuition at the end of the day.
*You need to sell yourself and your work as a package not just a one off image.
*Look up your rights. Put your name down for foreign rights. Look up subsidery rights (publishers rights) look up legal
stuff, what should be in a contract etc.
*Ask other illustrators for advice. If you get an agent they will look up these things for you too.
*You have to be very switched on to what you’re signing your name to.
*Make sure you get what’s coming to you.
*Don’t sit in your studio all day everyday. Get out and about, make connections, get inspired!
*If you are driven it WILL pay off!
Joe List: Illustration and design, 6 years out
Since graduating from Glyndwr university 6 years ago, Joe List has worked for a design company, created a comic book
known as ‘Freak Leap on line’ and also started his own blog ‘The Annotated Weekender’ in which he doodles over the
Guardian’s weekend magazine every week and then posts his improvements online!
Words of wisdom:
*Keep going. Don’t give up.
*Stylise! Trying to be perfect and photo real is very hard to pull off and most of the time will just look ‘guff’.
*Don’t lose the charm.
*Keep pitching. –take part in competitions and projects
*Keep a sketchbook and keep sketching
*Invent your own projects!
*Don’t o work for free unless it’s really worth your while (for fun, charity etc.)
*Don’t ever hide your work, show it to the world!
*Good reading- David O’Reilly, John. Ks blog, Rexbox, Grain edit.
*Think about whether you care about morals and ethics. What are your limits? Would you be happy designing work for
gambling company for example?
*Got to collaborate with a writer or be a good writer to do comics/books. Depends on you and what you want.
*TWITTER! ‘really good’ ‘invaluable’ ‘brilliant’- gets rid of a lot of boundaries and walls present in day to day life. Never know who you may come across or who may come across you!
*Social media really helps if you’re not based in London. You can feel a bit disjointed from the rest of the creative
centre. Can put you in touch with the right people.
*Get yourself a brand, a website, a nice url. Etc.
*Look at what you’ve got and look at ways of presenting it.
*Get organized! Get professional!
*BE PROUD OF YOUR WORK!
Neil Johnston: Day time design and free time design
Neil Johnston graduated from Glyndwr University 5 years ago and is the only Design post graduate from Glyndwr
to have won a D & AD award. At the outset of his career he found it difficult to get work but with some initial
help from the university he went on to work for View Creative where he did a number of design jobs. Presently he
works and lives in Prague and has done for the past three years.
Words of wisdom
*You don’t need to be employed to be an active designer.
*Try designing a logo for a company you think needs it and propose it to them!
*Have initiative. If there’s no work make some!
*Initiative is key to no regrets.
*Don’t wait around for work to come to you, you have to look for it.
*Working with bigger companies may make you lose touch with clients.
*Student awards 2011- your pencil, your potential- Enter now!
*Advertising agencies. If ethically minded might not suit you. Drink/cigarettes/ insurance etc. You may get one or
two meaningful projects but by and large it’s all about the hard sell.
*Craft and design can get lost in a big agency.
*Look into making a portfolio booklet. (Neil was glad he invested time and money in it because it got him work. )
*Treat your portfolio like a brief in itself.
*Knowing a photographer can be very helpful.
*Look up portfolio website- indexibit.org
*If you have an opportunity to create your own brief or project DO IT! You could create a magazine or comic for
example. More opportunities could spring from it.
*Look up Anti Design festival (ADF)
*Don’t be afraid to contact and send your work to people. They can only say no.
*Take photographs and keep a sketch book to keep the ideas flowing.
*Neil used to work for View. Found them good to work with. If we wanted to get in touch ask for ‘Simon’.
*Don’t be afraid to work for free sometimes. Will help you on the road to learning and will improve your portfolio.
Overall what I learned:
*Be proactive, this career path isn’t an easy ride so don’t take a back seat. Potential clients won’t just turn up
out the blue because you want them to! You’ve got to canvas, sell yourself, be motivated and confident, put yourself
out there and give it 110%!
*Keep your originality and style. Others will try and change it to suit them and make it more marketable to the masses.
If you aren’t happy with selling out then stick to your guns!
*Rejection happens. Keep going.
*Social networking= Twitter! EVERYONE raved about the joys of twitter.
*Be and look as professional as you possibly can.
*Always keep a sketchbook
*Don’t be afraid to work for free or very little. It can teach you a lot and look great in your portfolio. But be
wary. Only do it if it’s REALLY REALLY worth it. Many people/companies will take you for a mug so be very choosy as
to who you bestow this on.