Sunday, October 4, 2009

Going Pro...

Welcome to Going Pro at Art Evolved.

Here at Art Evolved, we showcase the professional, and the hobbyist, the serious amateur and the enthusiastic student.
Right now some contributors may be wondering how to break into the next tier on the path toward becoming a professional. I am hoping to share what I have learned so far with the crew.

Alright; time to establish my street cred. I’ve been making art off and on for commissions for about 15 years , and began to really pursue freelance work about 2.5 years ago when I launched my blog The Flying Trilobite. That has led to more people inquiring about commissions, some published illustrations, and it’s incredibly rewarding. I’m currently finishing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours I left 99% unfinished a number of years ago for personal reasons. My illustrations have been published in magazines and books, and commissioned for blogs. You can see more about my work at my bio.

Am I a professional? Well, depending on how you define it, yes and no. I have been published, dealt with contracts and deadlines, and a certain amount of commissions are in demand, so in that sense yes. On the other hand, I do not yet make my primary income from art. It feels like it’s on the way.

So I’d like to share. Please feel free to share with me in the comments of these posts. I will try to maintain this inaugural Going Pro post as an index on future posts in the series.

What can you expect? Well,

-Let's learn about copyright

-Contract considerations
-Is there a time and place to waive fees?

-Possibly we’ll discuss different artists’ organizations, such as the GNSI.

-American Orphan Works legislation

-and other suggestions from members and readers of Art Evolved.

Next Going Pro: we’ll dip our toes in the copyright ocean.


Weapon of Mass Imagination said...

Am very interested into an insight on your expertise in these areas.

Peter Bond said...

Thanks Glendon for initiating this useful series! I am looking forward to discussions about the differences in copyrights between different countries.

Rachael said...

I've been trying for years to get into children's book illustration but have always had polite 'no thank yous' even from agents. When I was struggling as a writer I would get 'no thank yous' that were not at all polite! lol.
I've given up these days but am very interested Glendon to hear about how your getting on. It's a tough world and i've opened rejection letters many a time with a glass of wine and a cigarette at the ready....

Glendon Mellow said...

Thanks Craig, Peter & Rachael.

The second post is almost in the bag.

Rachael, you've got so much talent, it's hard to hear news like that. I do think the internet has changed the game somewhat, and getting published can be approached in a number of news ways. We'll have to debate that in another post.

davidmaas said...

Great topic! Can I contribute? Have no experience in commercial paleoart, but have been commercial artist (and instructor) for over 10 years now.
Subjects I'd add: communication pipelines, illustration as digital asset and - if anyone's interested - project management for animation.

When you go into GNSI, I can wax poetic about the SACD, France's holy grail of artist organizational support. Unless you Americans out there tend towards outbursts of envy or depression, in which case I'll spare you the gritty details.

Glendon Mellow said...

Of course David! So glad to have you on board. Feel free to use the "Going Pro" image and title if you like, or not.

For my own posts I have an idea of sequence to take baby-steps into the sometimes confusing world of copyright, but any advice is appreciated for all of us.

One of the most important things I have learned about freelancing is how much I haven't learned. Each experience is new and sets past decisions in a different light.

davidmaas said...

Cool! Will do...

Nima said...

This is a great idea Glendon! I am very intrigued about the prospects of going pro.

I have not tried to get hired as a book illustrator yet, but I do want to know how to make all the right connections and get my work more publicity.

I think it's a shame people like Rachael get rejected by unscrupulous book publishers. And some crappy no-name cookie-cutter artist who knows nothing about paleo-critters always seems to get hooked up with the exact same job people like us wanted.

I'm thinking of going flat-out commercial with my future art projects, without even talking to book publishers. Now I know it may not make me the next Thomas Kinkade overnight, but what are everyone's thoughts on the idea, the market for the product, and what it would take?