COMD3633, Advanced Strategies in Illustration, SP20

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  • The First Four Years
  • #60770

    Sara Gómez Woolley

    Hello Class,

    I’d like us all to check out this panel discussion called, The First Four Years put together by the Society of Illustrators.

    It is about young creatives taking control of their careers right after graduation, as well as what to expect in those first few years.

    Take a moment to look at the portfolios of the panelists … so you understand well what they are talking about as they speak to their respective journeys.

    What stands out to you in this conversation? Do any of their experiences resonate with you? What can you take away from this discussion and apply to your own work?


    Henry Zeng

    There was a lot of portfolio questions towards the end and they were some of the questions that I had thought about. I agree with John Malta in that having a few good pieces is better than having a bunch of mediocre pieces. Also only include work in your portfolio for jobs that you want to do.
    When they spoke about how they all got into art, I think my experience resonated with Victo in that I drew a lot as a kid as an escape but art isn’t valued in my culture so it was never something I thought I could pursue.

    Draw what you want to draw, some people may not like your work but there will be someone out there that will.


    Yuhang Wang

    I think the video is a pretty value suggestion/ reference of how an illustrator’s life. To most of us to remember as new illustrators getting out of college and facing the most challenging turning point in our life, which is looking for jobs is being smart. You got to know what you want to do and make sure you put right work into your portfolio. Also, you got to know where to be looking for your dream job, searching for the exact position is very important instead of looking/paying 500 mailing list and some may not apply for what you want to do. Another important thing I found in the video is living in New York is not bad. If you are lucky, some people find their job through face to face to an art director and actually talking to them, get them to know you are much more effective compare to email them.


    Andre Green

    I finished listening to the panel, they all talked about their personal experiences in art. I related to what they were saying about what they were gonna do after they graduated from school. They spoke about having an agent which could be helpful to them because it allowed them to make decisions on the type of artwork and time they needed to finish the work. They also stressed about finishing your work on time. Always be nice to people because it well help you in the long haul because they would call you back to give you new work. They all agreed and said that social networking is a huge part of success.


    Andre Green

    Also, I liked how they talked about the benefits of living in New York. The social networking is great, you get some great jobs and also spend time to get to know art directors. Also communicating with other illustrators is great cause they can also give you advice on artwork, your portfolio, but just in general life. Also you gotta continue to draw and update your work because it allows you to get a job. Work on your own work because it makes you happy and you are more into it.


    After listening to the podcast, I can definitely relate to the panel. I understand that the first four years as an artist would be slightly rocky, but it would all be worth it in the end. Victo Ngai was talking about being passionate and honest about your work. The audience value passion and honesty from the artist, so staying true to who you are as an artist is beneficial in your career. It sort of reminds me of what Noah Bradley said in the interview: “Don’t just do the work that you’re assigned in class. Do your own work all the time.” Ultimately, the works that you assign for yourself will stand out because it’s you being honest and true to yourself.


    Jennifer Chung

    The first hour of the video talks about how they got their first job and how they promote themselves. When meeting an art director, they would send out an email every 6 months, and the would eventually get a job. I would have never constantly emailed the art director but learning from the video, it’s normal and how it’s okay to be different/ stand out. I thought the director would get annoyed but then I realized that they get emails everyday for a job opportunity. They gave an advice to be nice which can lead you to get a job or even more opportunities in the future. Networking is very important and if you can’t get a job after you have graduated, they have said people would give up and stop drawing or looking. Their advice is to never give up.

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