In short, it’s been a year of growth as an artist. I recognized several months back that I developed my artistic skills to a place of comfort. I also recognized, that unfortunately, my art did not have a niche or fit into any particular market. At least not one that I could figure out on my own, as I only have so much time to dedicate to selling and marketing, while also supporting myself in a full-time job. And I realized it’s now or never for me to either get serious about being an artist as a career, or to let that dream go and just make art as a hobby instead.
And so the pursuit of illustration began. It started with the most intense online art course I have ever taken. This was the Illustrating Children’s Books course with art agent Lilla Rogers in her Make Art That Sells class series. Lilla taught this class with Zoé Tucker, a charming Art Director for the children’s book publishing industry in London. We were given wonderful inside tips on how to create character illustrations and how to pitch them to publishers. It was a fast-paced, fun, and all-consuming 5 week course. After that course, I was hooked.
Illustration is an amazing combination of behavioral study and artistic skills. It allows you to give personality to your art on a whole new level. It stretches your artistic skills in ways that I never could have imagined: Line, color, shape, figure, movement, expression, trends, emotions, light, lettering, shadow and so much more. I am totally a beginner student in the illustration world, which is both humbling and thrilling all at the same time.
I am currently taking another Make Art That Sells course called Bootcamp. In this 5 month course, we have monthly illustration assignments. So far we created a pattern design for a backpack and a “Mind Map” illustration in the style of a magazine editorial.
In addition to this course, I am also participating in #the100dayproject with artist, Elle Luna. This is just a challenge to practice something of your choice consistently for 100 days in order to develop your skills. I chose #100daysoflettercritters and you can follow along on my instagram account here.
So, although I have my Etsy site available and my original paintings, works on wood, and prints still available for purchase, I am so much in student mode that I am not marketing or selling too much. Taking a break from that is really allowing me some breathing room to grow as an artist. The plan is to continue to develop my illustration portfolio and take some direct action to get work as an illustrator once my website is updated appropriately. I am in no rush though as I love being a student and am still finding my illustration style.
Thank you for all of your support throughout this journey.