COMD3633, Advanced Strategies in Illustration, SP20

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    Sara Gómez Woolley

    Week 3 reading of the semester is from:

    Inside the Business of Illustration by Heller and Arisman

    You will find Chapter 5 in FILES, located to the upper right of the screen.

    Please Read 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?

    USE the instructions on Page 102 of the chapter to begin your MAILING LIST. Talk in this discussion about your experiences compiling your mailing list too.

    We will continue the discussion in class.


    Rachel Kim

    . pg. 102 – Find studios, art directors, illustrators, etc. that match your ideals and something you want to work alongside with. Place them on your mailing list.

    . pg. 103 – Alphabetize your growing list in categories (organization is important)

    . pg. 108 – “The best promotion is being published,” I think this quote is so amusing because it’s true. I ended up finding an illustrator’s work through a bookstore, near the cash register, and in the front. It was bound and set up to get attention.

    . pg. 107 – Always know what kind of work the art director does. Too many young illustrators don’t take the time and effort to research art directors (valid) Prof Woolley, last class said, “have a sense of curiosity” because no one knew who the authors of the book were.

    . pg. 109 – Sending promotion to an art director is an assignment (end goal), not a critique.


    Yuhang Wang

    I am the type of person who doesn’t like social at all. I enjoy spending my time doing works alone and sometimes with others. I know how important it is to sell yourselves and be brave most of the time. After reading through the reading, the way how to present ourselves is way more complicated than I thought, especially you have to research each art director’s “hiring baseline” what they like about. And sending your promotional pieces is another tricky thing to me. If it’s not shinning, your piece goes into garbage can and if you are going to much like sending a book series of your work, the chance to impress art director is bigger but at the same time, your cost will be much more than just getting a single job.



    literally at page 102 stage one is what caught my attention the most. But the part where they explained to go to Barnes and Noble and spend hours looking for art directors is what caught me. I know going into Barnes and noble is a hassle but just spending time there looking for them is worth it. Not a lot of people research art directors or take the time to research other things. After what the professor said in class, it just gave me more of a push to research and take many hours in Barnes and Noble to research and find art directors.


    What I took away from this chapter is that, when you are promoting yourself, you are showcasing what represents you. One guideline that caught my attention was “Don’t jump start.” Sometimes, I have an urge to just jump right into things. I have to remember that self-promotion takes time, so I could look over everything. Another thing that caught my attention was when Heller said, Illustrators are no different from any other businesspeople in that they must promote themselves by putting their names and styles out into the marketplace.” It should be reminded that illustration is not just about having creative skills, but it’s also about having business skills. In order to promote yourself, you have to know how to market yourself and your works.


    Jason Villalva

    From this takeaway of the reading, I also am not too fond in social media, especially when promoting my artwork or just branding myself. For me, is this fear that if I promote myself, then I won’t get enough attention than those people who just post pictures of their dogs of them on the beach. After reading this, it’s a lot harder to promote yourself to others or at least get your name out there. There’s all these appointments with art directors, making a good relationship with others. But now it’s even harder to make appointments in today’s world. Very rare. There’s also the cost of money of how many you’re mailing out to each art director or publisher. It’s a hustle.


    Jennifer Chung

    Because my career focus is on motion design and animation, I remove the word illustrators and replaced it with freelancers instead. But just based on this reading, I’ve always wondered how freelancers get clients. I thought they search through indeed or glassdoor and type in “work anywhere” or “freelancer”, or get luck through social media. I never would have thought you were allowed to email art directors or studios to promote yourself. This reading gave me great advice on how you should promote yourself. The self-promotion guideline is a great way to keep yourself reminded.
    1. Find a work that reflects your own work, and write down the name of the art director and company.
    2. Address not available? Look on the internet or your local book store.
    3. Write a personal note.
    4. Go to Barnes and Noble and look for a magazine.
    5. What best advertise you?
    6. Mailing List specific categories like advertising, animation, etc.


    Ashli Barker

    What I took away from this reading is that being an Illustrator requires more than just art skills. It also requires you to have marketing skills and a business sense. Being able to market yourself is crucial to getting work. What surprised me was the part about not jump starting and how it takes time to produce work. I’ve often had issues with feeling like my work is taking too long or I’m wasting time that could be used on other works by focusing too long on one.


    Henry Zeng

    Reading this chapter reminded me of the first chapter in Nuts & Bolts: as illustrators we will be responsible for everything which includes self-promotion. One point I took away from this reading was knowing your target audience is important because it relates to the art directors you will be reaching out to. Researching art directors and sending stuff out to them are an important step to landing a job, or at the least, reminding them that you exist. There are many ways of self-promotion but there aren’t any guaranteed methods, it’s all about patience and persistence.


    Andre Green

    From reading this about the business of illustration, I took from this that in your portfolio, you don’t put in pieces that doesn’t show off your best work. You have to keep in mind these questions: Does a single piece represent me? If not, then how many? Would text (do not include resume) help clarify your ilustrations? What size and format are needed? Are envelopes available? The 2 steps of getting your feet in the door is 1) Research The Editorial Market , when you find an illustrator that best reflects your own work, write down the names of the art director & company name. 2) Research Children’s Book, Illustrated Books & Graphic Novels, consider developing 2 promotion pieces, 1 for the editorial market and 1 for the book market.


    Julie Bradford

    -making a small promo book is “harder to throw away”
    -alphabetize the mailing list! Seems obvious but when in the dark hole of stalking, it might not seem apparent
    -stay relevant and fresh in the directors mind



    My big take away from the article is knowing what art director or company you are trying to promote yourself. Research is necessary to know their targeted audience because knowing their audience will help you understand what the audience’s want. Not all audience want the same thing, everyone has their own likes and dislikes.

    I remember in an 2019 E3 ( Electronic Entertainment Expo, an event in the USA where triple A [major video game publisher] come together and showcase their upcoming event), the company Bethesda (famously know for Elder Scrolls, Doom, and Fallout series) teased about a come coming new Elder Scrolls game. Their target audience were expecting Elder Scrolls 6, but instead were told about a Elder Scrolls mobile game which confused everyone. Even one of their audience asked if this was a joke. In the end they missed their target or did poor research thinking that most gamer play on their phone. I did hear some rumors that this game was more in favor for Chinese gamer, since there are studies show they have a higher demographic of mobile players.

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