Questioning Creatives

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This article was written on 13 May 2013, and is filled under illustrators.

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Kim Tomacruz

Hello! My name is Kim Tomacruz and I’m a 21-year old illustrator from Manila, Philippines. I’m set to graduate this July from De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde with a degree in Multimedia Arts. I’ve been doing freelance work for the past two years but right now, I’m just taking it easy (aka hibernating) while waiting for graduation.

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When did you decide you wanted to be illustrator?
I think it was during my fourth year of college. In my course, we learn a lot – graphic design, web design/development, interactive authoring, video, animation, photography, etc. I fell in like with each of them at one point but I learned that the only thing I had real love for was illustration.

Would you recommend studying at art school?
Most definitely. Learning the technical aspects of your craft help expand the limits of your creativity. Aside from that, it also pushes you to constantly produce quality work within a short amount of time. That really helped me deal with the demands of the freelance world.

But I believe that the best reason I can give you is this: you will meet insanely talented people that will push you to be better. They’ll teach you tips and tricks [and sympathize with you when you complain about typefaces and bad kerning]. Plus, in my experience, you get to develop this great network where friends pass on job opportunities to other friends.

How long was it before illustration became your primary form of income?
Oh, I wish. That’s still the dream! I earn most of my income from freelance graphic design/layout projects.

Could you describe your typical day?
Ever since school ended, my days haven’t exactly been routine but the standard details are a little something like this:

I wake up at around 9am [but I actually get out of bed by 9:30]. Then I have breakfast while checking my social media accounts and replying to emails. Most days, I make it a point to visit Tumblr because [even if it is a black hole that sucks up all your time – thank you, endless scrolling.] it really gets me inspired. After that, I put some music on and get started on freelance work or new portfolio pieces ’til it’s time for lunch. Then it’s back to work. If I get stuck somewhere along the creative process, I take a break and do one of the following:

(a) Read a book or watch a movie/tv show.
(b) Go to the gym.
(c) Take a shower. [Seriously, all of my life problems get solved in there.]
(d) Curl up into a ball on the floor and take a nap.

This will go on until dinner. I usually get most of my best work done late at night though. I like the quiet that 3am provides. Then sleep and repeat.

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What do you wish you’d know when you first started out?
How to price creative services. It really is the most confusing thing.

What’s the best thing about being an illustrator?
You get paid to draw and/or paint. That’s ace.

What’s the worst thing about being an illustrator?
There are times when you’ll miss out on big opportunities because your style doesn’t fit the art direction of the project. There are even sadder times when everything you make sucks and you just want to give up but you can’t because there’s a deadline.

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If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
Photographer. I’ve got a soft spot for that craft too.

Any other tips you could share? 
Keep on drawing even if the output isn’t so nice. With every bad drawing, there is improvement. That’s the beautiful thing about the whole process.

www.kimtomacruz.tumblr.com
www.twitter.com/kimtomacruise

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