COMD 3633, Advanced Strategies in Illustration, FA23

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  • Nuts & Bolts
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    Sara Gómez Woolley

    Our first reading of the semester is from:

    Nuts & Bolts: A blueprint for a successful illustration career by Charles Hively

    You will find Chapter 1in FILES, located to the upper right of the screen.

    Please Read the First Chapter and discuss:
    What are your take-aways from the chapter. Were there any statements or pieces of information that stuck out or were surprising to you? How does this measure up with the mental picture you have of your chosen career?

    We will continue the discussion in class on Thursday 9/7.

    Please PURCHASE this book ASAP as we will use it several times as a reference for the course.



    Nuts & Bolts Chapter 1

    What I got from the text is how artists are one of a kind and must be hardworking to succeed. Something that stood out to me is how there are a lot of artists that don’t realize that you don’t only sell your art but also who you are. In order to do this you have to learn things outside of the art world such as marketing and finances. This is something that I had to learn as well as when I would watch YouTube videos of artists going to festivals they would talk about having to pay to be able to sell their work as well as different expenses such as travel.


    Sebastian Chapman

    <p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; color: #000000;”>The biggest takeaway for me was the idea of letting go of illustration as a hobby and treating it like a business. I agree that Illustration will always have the upper hand on photography. My greatest obstacle right now is that I struggle to find discipline and focus, but I have recently been practicing scheduling tasks and using a project manager app to break down each task and give it a deadline. I am still figuring out my timing with each project. I am cautiously optimistic that the business side of this career will get easier the more I practice doing it.</p>


    Stephanie Erazo

    Upon completing the first chapter, I realized that becoming an illustrator entails more than just having drawing skills. Familiarity with business and marketing practices can help illustrators create a more stable income. It allows them to spot opportunities, establish competitive prices, and efficiently manage their finances. This reduces the financial uncertainty that often accompanies a creative career. I’m currently looking to identify my personal brand, and this class will enable me to take the next step. Identifying my interests and passions is an excellent starting point. Time management has been a hurdle for me. Due to life’s interruptions, it has been challenging to allocate time to merchandise and marketing planning.


    Stephanie Erazo

    Hey Layla, I totally get what you’re saying. My summer internship was eye-opening for me, especially regarding personal branding. I thought I would learn about marketing since I was interning in Advertising and Marketing, but I got so much more out of it.


    From reading the chapter it gives a sort of wake up call as beforehand I knew that what I wanted would’ve meant I would need to be a small business owner and while my mom’s side of my family all own their own business her included. I just figured I could go to any of them, However just as illustrators are as original as their art that would also mean that my business will be as me as possible and while there are certain things that will definitely overlap such as the paperwork. I can ask them for advice on that but in the end my business is me just as my art is me and I need to always be working on me as I would my art and business.


    Stephanie Erazo

    Hey Anthony!

    It’s great that your family has experience owning businesses. You can seek their advice, especially regarding finances, paperwork, and taxes.



    <p dir=”ltr” style=”line-height: 1.56; margin-right: 15pt; margin-top: 6pt; margin-bottom: 0pt;”><span style=”font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-variant-east-asian: normal; font-variant-position: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>What I got from this chapter is that everyone has their own personality that they incorporate into their artwork. It is not necessary to copy a photo and try to make an illustration of it, but we must put our identity on it. Also, another thing that stood out to me is that illustrators are more than just employees. As the book shows, they are more self-starters, independent and can be businessmen or entrepreneurs once they graduate rather than just trying to get a job and work for someone.</span><span id=”docs-internal-guid-fa2dd06e-7fff-a951-228a-709c7e2a500f” style=”caret-color: #000000; color: #000000;”></span></p>



    Hi Sebastian, looking art as a business rather than hobby is something important but also hard to do. It’s interesting to experience that transition as we have to learn new skills and like you mentioned it requires discipline and focus. I also have trouble doing things without setting a deadline. This is why I think school is a great way to teach us these skills as we always have deadlines for assignments which can help us with time management.



    The part that stood out the most for me was ” You need to start looking at illustration as a business and not a hobby”. This has been so important in my pivot in career choices. For the past two 2 years I have been trying to establish myself as an entrepreneur in the creative world and it has not been an easy one. I hasn’t been as fun as it used to be when I was just creating for myself. Now I work for people, have deadlines, have to read contracts, send invoices, and etc… I realized that I am responsible for everything, and that if I do not conduct myself as such then ruin my reputation. I’ve been investing in myself and researching. The Handbook Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, and past experience have literally been shaping how I do everything going forward in this pursuit to entrepreneurship.


    Tommy H. De La Cruz

    The immediate impression I got after reading “Nuts & Bolts: A blueprint for a successful illustration career” by Charles Hively, was that choosing to be an Illustrator as a profession meant to lose the passion you have for what you love. However, with some deep thought later I realized that those “obstacles” that prevented you from chasing your passions were really there to demonstrate what it took and guarantee success. Being an illustrator means you have to present your own representative.


    Edd Mendez

    After I read chapter 1, “Illustration is a business,” According to this chapter, Illustration is not about the hobby, it’s actually about a very important business, so the illustrators will find a job, and they are able to work anywhere. More importantly, people can set their own goals, call their own shots, and set their own timetables. So people need to start searching for illustrations as an important opportunity to raise money. Another thing, being as an illustrator is responsible for trashout the fee, billing and collecting fee, that they develop marketing plans to make sure people are continually busy, by thinking their ideas to illustrate.</p>

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Edd Mendez.
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