Recap: where did I go, where am I going?

March 6, 2008

So here’s where I’ve been in the last nine or so months:

Illustrating for print work; mostly repeat clients: Nickelodeon Magazine and Las Vegas Weekly being the two top repeaters;

Sending out a few postcard mailers and finding my returns to be kind of not that great;

Daydreaming about quitting my freelance work and earning better money doing something else (obviously, the dreams weren’t good enough!);

Working with a few cool companies to make some cool prints and wallets;

Wondering what my strengths and weaknesses are, devolving into OH GOD WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE every couple of weeks;

Courting a rep to then receive some really great feedback and really start looking seriously at focusing in my artwork and keeping it to a high caliber;

Experimenting a lot, adding in texture, upping my drawing skills with practice; now I’m working with painted tissue paper a la Eric Carle;

Finally meeting up with some local illustrators (Tiny Army) last night and feeling pretty re-energized and positive.

There probably were some assorted things besides that, but that’s the gist. Where have I gone? Where am I going? This is what preoccupies me now. The way I see it, every so often I have a breakthrough creatively– getting somewhere I wanted to be but not realizing it. And every time that happens it makes me introspective. I may think too much actually about this. Strengths and weaknesses and all that nonsense. Improving my lot so more art directors take notice. But besides that I know I need to get wiser on the business end of illustration– I know a fair amount but there’s much more I know I don’t know.

And then there are things I know but I’ll admit I’m pretty nervous to implement. Last night’s meeting reiterated a point I was told a few weeks ago by my pal Luc Latulippe: cold calling is essential. An illustrator at the meeting told me it’s got to be done; but I’ll admit the idea terrifies me. I inherited my dad’s good old hatred of the phone, and now it’s biting me. I get pretty anxious about these things, even to the point of fumbling and getting kind of panicky over the phone. But hey– it’s facing your fears, and it’s something I know I’ve got to do– obviously I can’t coast on my good emailing charms alone.

This means writing myself a script; a simple, short yet sweet message to call art directors with and practice it religiously until I don’t need it anymore. I’ll try writing one in the next few days and post it up here; any critiques to it will be most appreciated.

So on a business end, of the constant war of promoting yourself I want to get these things done in the next month:

File my taxes

Don’t cry or tear my hair out when I file my taxes and realize how much money I owe

Write a script for cold-calling

Prepare a list of art directors and call them

Develop an actual e-mailing list again. Daniel suggested Mailchimp and based on how great his mailings look I may take them on.

For me this a heady list. The cold-calling and the taxes are the big things– one day I am totally going to hire an accountant and shove all my paperwork to him or her– because I really hate taxtime.  But you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess!

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6 Responses to “Recap: where did I go, where am I going?”

  1. You won’t believe the difference a good accountant makes. I switch this year to an accountant that specializes in creative types and was thrilled. My old accountant was very good and I hated to leave him, but he didn’t have the answers I needed.

  2. Oh dear…this is the first time I have heard about cold calling in terms of illustration…that is my worst nightmare. Say it isn’t so!

  3. kate said

    I’m interested in hearing more about cold calling as well. When I worked as an art director I hated it when photographers cold called. I was so busy and phone phobic as well. But I’d like to hear more about what other people think.

  4. jonathan said

    i miss you meg hunt, and want you to know that your awesomeness will help you prevail. xoxo.

  5. I’m scared to death with cold calling. We had to do it as part of an assignment in College. I ran into some pretty rude receptionists that really took the wind out of my sails.

  6. Tony said

    Glad to see the site back, I’m gonna graduate soon and after a few talks with art directors i’ve also come to the realisation that cold calling is one of the ways to go. I’ve been told to just call up and ask if you can send them some examples of your work and if you’re close enough, bring your portfolio in to show them. In fact one art director of a major newspaper told a story of looking through an illustrators site whilst on the telephone and commissioning them on the spot for an urgent illustration.

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