Freelance Illustration- or "how do I get that gig?"

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Freelance Illustration- or "how do I get that gig?"

Postby mrdenmac on Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:06 pm

I'm hoping this is in the right place.

I'm looking for hints, tips or suggestions from those on this board who have been able to make their passion with drawing into their means of employment.

What works, what should I avoid, what is a good way to give me a start, etc.

I appreciate any advice anyone can offer.
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Postby mrdenmac on Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:57 am

Anybody?
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Postby practicecactus on Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:31 am

I too was curious ,particularly, about people's experiences nailing that gig.
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Postby jpaulos on Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:37 am

You can try contacting an agent. I think Chris Wahl uses Drawing Book in North Sydney .. there's a couple of others. Bear in mind you have to be really good otherwise try marketing yourself to art directors, ad agencies, etc.
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Postby douglasbot on Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:53 pm

Put together a bunch of portfolios (hard copies, as AD's like to pass work around the office.) of your 10 or 12 favourite/best works then contact art directors at book publishers, magazines, advertising agencies, television studios, toy and promotional merchandising studios, animation studios...wherever you want to get work. Tell them who you are, what you do and if they'd be interested in seeing your work (they will most likely always say yes).
Get their details and put your portfolios in the mail.

If you don't hear back within a couple of weeks (either with a thanks but no thanks or thanks you're on file or thanks here is THAT gig) try getting in touch again to see what they thought. Don't harrass them too much they're busy people. And if you're on file...it doesn't mean your work got thrown in the bin...it means you're on file. I didn't get my first job with Random House Australia until almost 12 months after i sent my portfolio to them and they said thanks you're on file. Now i'm getting pretty regular work from them.

If you're really serious I can highly recommend getting in touch with an agent and trying to get on their books. 90% of the work i do now comes through my agent. And while they take a healthy cut...they also do the legwork, have the contacts i wouldn't have a hope of otherwise, they sell your work through the best possible avenues, and negotiate contracts and payment.
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Postby mrdenmac on Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:30 pm

Thanks Jase and Doug.

Anything I should know about for folios? Is there a preferred size, like a4, etc? or does it not really matter?
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Postby Gary Lau on Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:09 pm

What Doug said.

Getting an agent would probably be the best scenario. They do all the "not so fun" stuff / business crap while you can concentrate on drawing and not having to chase up clients for payments or find new clients.

Sending portfolios out is also a great self-promotional idea. I'd also suggest a website / online gallery which can save you a lot of printing costs. (Print is still good as Doug said, it gets looked at whenever by whoever is looking for illustrators, etc).

I'd recommend you also get an ABN for local work purposes. You can get one almost instanteously and not have to register for GST.
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Postby jpaulos on Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:51 am

You should also consider doing some kind of tertiary design course to familiarise yourself with the printing process. A good course should feature instruction from industry pros that should cover (among other things) how to put a portfolio together and how to prepare files for publication.
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Postby pinkyfries on Thu May 10, 2007 4:35 pm

this thread is interesting and useful, thanks very much :D
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Postby DMH on Thu Jul 12, 2007 9:53 pm

Hi guys,

funnily enough I've come to this forum looking for freelance illustrators. I'm a creative director for a small but growing design biz, www.xou.com.au

We already do some illustration, and we have hopes to increase that side of the business and would like to have a larger pool of talent to draw on to match jobs to drawing styles.

Taught or self-taught, either way. We like easy going people, who just go with the flow, you just have to be open to what the client wants and meet deadlines. Payment varies per job, as do timelines and all sorts of demands. But if you're interested, email us some small images, or a pdf portfolio to dmhenley@xou.com.au. We'll try to reply and keep your stuff on file to see what work comes up.

good luck to you all.

d
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