After one year at art college we were told that we had to choose between graphic design or illustration. It was time to ‘specialise’.
What did we want to be? What career path were we going to follow?
The lecturers said that if anyone was undecided it was better to choose graphic design. Their reasoning was that it would be possible for a qualified graphic designer to switch careers and become an illustrator. However, an illustrator would probably have difficulty trying to get a job as a graphic designer.
I chose graphic design. My partner at the time (now my wife) chose illustration. I left college and found a job as a graphic designer. My partner left college with a portfolio of illustrations, but with little idea about how to get work as an illustrator. Agents? Exhibitions? How much to charge? Things that could have been taught at college, but weren’t. She spent many demoralising months trudging around London, picking up the odd job here and there. We had rent to pay and in the end she decided to call it a day. The illustration career was put on hold.
Fast forward twenty years and my daughter is considering a career as an illustrator. She loves drawing. She loves being creative. We have always said that she should choose a career based on doing something she loves, but we explained that an illustrator’s life isn’t as simple as sitting at a desk all day, drawing nice pictures. It got me thinking that it might be good to set up a website with mini-interviews and career stories. Perhaps not just with illustrators, but with designers and photographers too. In fact, anyone involved in the creative industry. Something that might give people an idea of what a creative’s life is really like. Something that might help people decide if a creative career is for them and if they do decide to follow the creative road, tips and ideas that might make that road a smoother road to follow.
If you’d like to be included on this site, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Recently graduated, struggling or established creatives are all welcome.
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