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Art Archive The *OFFICIAL* Fan-To-Pro Thread

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Otis_Frampton, Jun 2, 2002.

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  1. padawangrasshopper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2002
    star 1
    Hey HS29,

    it all depends on what you want to do. The illustration world is highly competitive and extremely undpredictable, especially if you choose the freelance route!

    Finding an in house job will give you some security, but it depends on who you work for. I've got some friends who work for Disney and Dreamworks and for them it's based on a project by project basis. Once the project is over, you may or may not get rehired for the next project. I've noticed that people I know who work in the Gaming industry usually have a lot more job stability.

    The freelance route is definitely the most unpredictable. I don't know of anyone who I graduated with who is making a living PURELY off of art. There are those who are, especially the big guns like CF Payne, Joe Sorren and Gary Kelly and others, but that is the exception to the rule. A lot of it really depends on luck and timing. I know of some friends who have more talent in their pinky than I do in my whole body, do all the right things, such as marketing themselves properly, and they STILL have to wait tables full time. Heck, I've got a part time job at the city just to cover expenses when times are slow.

    Don't want to intimidate you or anything, just want to let you know what you MIGHT face. But hey, If you're passionate about what you do, you gotta just go for it with no regrets!

    talk more later,
    Pad G
  2. TheBalinakaBaroness Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    ahhh. Padawan Grasshopper speaks truth!

    <<if I major in illustration will there be enough job opportunities>>

    Well, there are a lot of different factors involved. Merely "majoring" in illustration may not get you many jobs. Succeeding in the Illustration world (freelance, anyway) is going to depend not only on your talent, but your business savvy, ability to carve a niche for yourself, determination to pound the pavement, and putting forth the effort to create a scenario for yourself where people *need* to hire you over that schmuck over on 83rd street. Oh, and Luck. Luck always helps! ;)

    Basically what I'm saying, is rather than looking for job opportunities, you'll have a greater chance of success by creating your own job opportunities.

    My, wasn't that philisophical. Um. Tell your parents, it's a tough industry. But if you're determined that it is what you want to do, embrace it, knowing what you're getting yourself into, and you'll be fine!

    Sorry, hope this rambling made some semblance of sense! :)
    ~Baroness
  3. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    Thanks, guys! :) It helped out a lot.

    I thought it would be a competitve field. Maybe I should look around a little bit before jumping into things.
  4. Darth yo moma Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 18, 1999
    star 3
    Any industry is tough. My dad has a Ph.D in microbiology and has trouble finding a job. If I were you I would try to weight art school vs. a four year university. I'm going into my senior year too, and I suggest you think about what you really want. You can still get your art classes while getting other stuff at school, but can you get that other ciriculum at an art school? Will a four year university give you the same quality of art education as an art school? There are many options to weight out, and I suggest you start figuring it out now before you go to high school in the fall, because you need to know to apply then. Just my two cents.
  5. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Hi guys, I actually majored in illustration back in my college days. I learned a lot, but left still with no real focus--it didn't help that my student advisor was the head of the Graphic Design department (Illustration's competitor for funding) and didn't know JACK about the profession. But then, he also failed me (My only non-A ever in an art class!) in his Graphic Design class because we got into a debate in class... another story for another time!

    I've always toyed with the idea of illustrating childrens' books. But then, I'm 30 and still not "in" the industry, so I can't really be dishing out advice. I think if I'd known what sorts of occupational choices there really were out in the real world when I was in school, I would still have taken an Illustration major. I learned quite a bit, regardless. ;)
  6. TheBalinakaBaroness Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    I also majored in Illustration, and it was the perfect major for me. When I graduated, I "thought" I was ready for Prime Time, even sent out my first batch of Mailers. In the meantime, I was working as an inhouse artist at a software company. I got a little sidetracked, and ended up in the Mulitmedia world for 7+ years. I am now once again on the cusp of being a freelance Illustrator. It is a bit daunting, but now I actually think I really am ready. I value those years in Mulitmedia. Everything I have done has given me experience, work ethic, relationships (contacts), skills you really can't learn in school. Looking back at me 7 years ago, ha ha ha ha. What a joke. I was not ready. :)

    Anyway. My point is, every one's path will be different, the important thing is to find the value in all of your experiences along the way.

    Wow. I feel so Zen. ;)
    ~Baroness
  7. Leela Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2001
    star 4
    Job opportunities for Illustrators... [nervous laugh]heheheh...

    Just be grateful you're in America; such a huge population makes for a much greater chance of success as an Illustrator.

    My Illustration teacher works full time as an Illustrator and is a very successful one. Maybe not well known on the world stage, but he's always working. (and his art is breathtaking IMO!) Nevertheless, he also does two days a week teaching. Whether this is to suppliment his income or simply to make sure he still has an income during times when the illustration work is thin on the ground... I don't know, but I suspect the latter.

    I think perhaps it's like acting. Only the lucky few become stars. But if you're happy to muddle along as a character actor you could make a living out of it.

  8. Trev-Solo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2001
    star 1
    ah, the question that seperates the men from the boys...er, or the women from the girls.

    I'm 15 years old, I have no buisness coming up with philosiphies on something I've yet to experience. I'm learning about the principles of life, and I'm not ready to embrace the buisness since of art. (though I've done some minor commissioning and I do sell fanart)

    however, you ask me what I want to do with my life, I tell you that I want to become an illustrator. The answer is not a very biased one. Illustration has brought to me one of the meanings of human life, art. It's a very available means of communication. Fine art is amazing and wonderous, but it is not available to your average joe. people like me, people like most of us. the internet has changed that quite a bit however.

    Like Struzan says, he wanted a way to communicate with everyone with his talents. Illustration is the best way to do that... albiet a very difficult one.

    planing for college is important. I've yet to really realize that importance. I look forward to art school. I would really love to attend Art Center, because it fairly local.

    yeah, we'll all be digging up the last bits of food to feed our thin bodies, and using everyone last ounce of pencil and paint to create our works, but we'll have something that sooo many others have yet to realize, appriciation. it's something our gift gives to us, free of charge, and it lets us enjoy the little things in life. Just for that, I'll continue this path I've chosen...

    "we art artists, for we sacrifice our own needs, for others. To give to them that one moment they long for."

    Trev
  9. padawangrasshopper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2002
    star 1
    Hey Trev, just the fact that you can say "I'm 15 years old, I have no business coming up with philosophies on something I've yet to experience" shows your are a lot wiser than you realize. I know of guys twice your age who could use your insight. You're on the right track and don't you forget it! Believe it or not, understanding and learning the principles of life IS learning the business! It will be your most valuable and powerful tool.

    When I graduated 7 years ago, I did not feel ready and I still truly don't think I'm at the level I want to be or should be at. I had received an incredible amount of insight from my teachers about the business, but I still didn't feel prepared, skill wise at least. I don't think you ever will until that first big job comes along and you feel the pressure of a real world situation. I have found my feelings a blessing and a curse through the years. I feel insecure about my abilities, but that same insecurity pushes me to constantly train, improve and grow. As usual, balance is the key to everything.

    I totally and whole heartedly agree with Baroness when she says everybody has a different path and to try to find value in all of our experiences along the way! Also concur with Leela's comparison to acting! Not too many Tom Hanks, Robert DeNiros or Jodi Fosters out there, but even they alone cannot make all the movies out there!

    Well, been preaching a little much! Must punish myself with a searing blow to my stomach with the painstick! Oops, sorry, wrong forum! :D!

    more later,
    Pad G
  10. Trev-Solo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2001
    star 1
    It's kinda crazy how many people have been telling me that I'm already on the right path to success. It's obviously a very inspiring thing to hear. Thank you Padawan G

    I'm happy I've been able to reflect what has been around me, and that I've already chosen wisely.

    Great conversation guys
    Trev
  11. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    My experiances:

    1) Be flexible... If it's apersonal peice, it's finished when YOU think it's finished. A profesional piece, it's finished when the CLIENT says it's finished.

    2) Life drawings are your freind.

    3) Never be afraid to try different mediums, you might be surprised to find you have a knack in something you weren't aware of.

    4) Practice

    5) Don't be afraid to draw "ideas"... thumbnails. Save everything for a while.

    5) Try to learn when a piece is DONE or that it just needs to be DONE OVER.

    6) There will ALWAYS be someone better than you. Accept it but still strive for improvement.

    7) Some people will not like anything you do. Learn to develop a thick skin.

    8) don't be afraid to learn from your mistakes.

    9) There is nothing wrong with being "semi professional".

    10) :D
  12. Otis_Frampton LFL Artist, Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2001
    star 4
    DarthBreezy-

    I'm printing that up and tacking it to the wall next to my desk.

    Here's one I already have there:

    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

    Talent will not;
    nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

    Genius will not;
    unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

    Education will not;
    the world is full of educated derelicts.

    Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

    --Calvin Coolidge

    I found it here, a few years ago:

    The Drawing Board for Illustrators

    -Otis

  13. Trev-Solo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2001
    star 1
    "We are artists, for we sacrifice our own needs for others. to give them that one moment they long for." -James Bradley.

    "a true artist lives with beauty. When we can not find it in our moments on this planet, we create it. THAT IS OUR GIFT"-James Bradley

    "You must experience the physical, to appriciate the spiritual, and to see the invisible."-Drew

    I live by these words.
    Trev
  14. Trev-Solo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2001
    star 1
    otis- I've read a bit of the content on that page. thanks for passing it on!!!

    Trev
  15. padawangrasshopper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2002
    star 1
    Darth Breezy-Bravo, agree with and believe in everything you've written!

    Otis-First off, never did tell you how much I enjoy your work, and if I did, never hurts to say it over and over! :D. Great quotes and great website. Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

    Since everyone is gettin' philosophical, here's a quote I keep posted on my studio wall:

    "Beyond heaven there is always another heaven, beyond the towering edifice is always another, even taller. A hero tries his utmost to achieve his goal. But when the goal is reached, he should not be proud. Why? Because, there is always another Hero, still ahead of him."

    -Shaolin Proverb


    Pad G
  16. TheBalinakaBaroness Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    Since everyone's posting quotes posted on our studio walls, here's the only one I have up:

    REMINDER:
    To keep your "SMILE" bright, please call to schedule an appointment for your dental check-up.


    OK, so I don't have any quotes, but I like reading all y'all's. :D Well, I do have a little Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory holding a little sign that says "You are Stoooopid." Helps me get through the day! ;)

    ~Baroness
  17. Otis_Frampton LFL Artist, Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2001
    star 4
    Trev-Solo-

    Your quotes are great, as well.

    PG-

    Thanks! I'm blushing. This must be how the Baroness feels. Speaking her Royal Redness . .

    Bar-

    You are not stoopid.

    And speaking of DEXTER . . there was an awesome Dexter's Laboratory short before the Powerpuff Girls Movie. Very cool, can't wait for the DVD.

    -Otis
  18. TheBalinakaBaroness Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    If they ever put all the Dexter cartoons on a DVD, man, I would just be blissed out. :D
  19. kinggeorge Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2002
    hello there from the united kingdom(that's england,great britain...you know,where star wars was filmed?).
    anyway,i've been reading all the postings-and they are all very interesting but i have to say that maybe you're all focusing a bit too much on the whole college thing.
    now,that isn't the be-all-and-end-all,many of you might be better off in the long run getting a job in another area and then focusing your individual talents on various projects like submitting paintings to art galleries or self-publishing your own comic-books...anything to get your style established while still earning a decent pay.
    i'm not saying college is a bad thing just that i've seen many people over here piss away their time at university with not much to show at the end of it.
    good luck anyway.
    (madness of)king george
  20. TheBalinakaBaroness Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    When I was in New York, I met with Marshall Arisman, (oh boy, if you've seen his work - woah. uh... I do like his metal dog paintings!) chair of the master of fine arts illustration program at the School of Visual Arts. I asked if he recommended Illustrators going to Grad school, getting a masters degree and he said No, not necessarily. He said most of the Grad students stay because it is a safe place to continue working on your portfolio, define your style. He said you would probably get the same skills and better experience by hitting the real world rather than by hiding out in Grad School.

    I think the benefit of getting a Masters is if you want to teach at University. :) At least that's what my Illlustrator professors told me!
  21. padawangrasshopper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2002
    star 1
    Hey Baroness, I agree with Otis, you're not stooopid. No, you're an eeeeediooohht! :D.

    Of course not. I'm just jealous because you got to meet one of the gods of illustration, Marshall Arisman!!!

    Talent AND walking amongst the giants, oooh I hate you :D!

    kowtow, kowtow to the Baroness!

    PadG
  22. TheBalinakaBaroness Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    <<No, you're an eeeeediooohht! >>

    Finally! Someone who understands me! :D LOL, PadG!

    Arisman was the most gracious and pleasant of men, but after an hour at his studio, uh, interesting.... Hey, shall I do some more name dropping? I once met Peter de Seve. He has the dreamiest blue eyes! ;)

  23. KongZilla Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2001
    star 4
    Oh no! It's an Art Groupie!! :)

    Just teasin' BB. :D
  24. Skywalker1138 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 3
    I'm a Visual Artist and Graphic Designer (Multimedia Specialist) by trade. I've been trying to get into ILM for years (since I got out of college). The company I currently work for has me travel for work and next week I'll be in Fremont, near San Jose (near San Francisco) for nearly two weeks flying from Milwaukee to Detroit, working there first and then flying out to CA. This is the second time in three months I've happened to work in CA. I used to live there, but that was in southern Cal. Flying out to northern Cal gives me this frustration and excitement simutaneously because Marin County is right around there (home of ILM). Maybe some of you can empathize having traveled there as well (?)

    As for my background art history:
    ? Most recently I've been with E.J. Malek & Associates, working as a designer for a marketing firm which is automotive-based. Been traveling and working as a MultiMedia Specialist, Graphic Designer, Video Recorder, MultiMedia Recorder and Facilitator since the turn of 2002.
    ? Prior to this experience I worked at Lasertype and Document Creation Centers in California and Wisconsin, in which I did design for hundreds of Kinko's branches, for three years.
    ? Prior to this experience I worked at the 440th Airlift Wing, AFRC, in which I was a civilian but used digital photography and computer design in the Visual Information Center in the headquarters for over two years--started as an intern when I was 17, and worked until I was hired--worked on the Honduras Crash Case, SR-71 NASA emergency landing in WI, etc.
    ? In 1997 I graduated with a degree in Computer Graphics/Visual Communication from college.
    ? Milwaukee High School of the Arts was where I got serious initially though, majored in Fine Art, and was one of three superlative artists in my senior year; competed, took classes at the art museum as well, worked as the Cover Artist on our school magazine, and as the Cover and Chief Artist on our sennior year book, etc.,etc. That was a long time ago.

    I've been sketching, painting and sculpting in clay models of figures and portraits since I was a kid, primarly Star Wars. I don't think I'd have become an artist had it not been my obsession trying to make paper Tie Fighters when I was in middle school after I slipped by accidentally on ESB (I was sheltered growing up and not allowed to watch much of anything). I auditioned the next summer as an art major and was accepted at MHSA (Milw. H.S. of the Arts). I'm 25 now. It seems the years have given me a lot of experience but there's always so much more to learn.

    My most recent Star Wars project is "The Galactic Enquirer" Fan Force: The Milwookie Council, which will premier in October 2002. I'm designing it and working with the editor to create a magnificent newsletter. Anyone from the WI area is welcome to submit their work and post on our strings!

    Please stay in touch!

    Fellow Friend & Artisian,
    Jenni (Skywalker1138)

    MTFBWY
  25. Leela Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2001
    star 4
    Another advantage of going to "art school" is the connections you make.

    As we all know, (and has been proven very true all my working life) "it's not what you know but who you know."
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