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Hey Tony M,
So I am sure you are extremely busy, but if you have a minute I would love to hear how you made it as an illustrator. I recently graduated with a Graphic Design degree and now really wish I had stayed as a studio major and concentrated in Illustration.
(please if you respond don’t blame the economy! thats all I hear)
It’s been my experience that the economy has very little effect on an artist as long as he-she doesn’t fall into the trap of relying on clients to come to you, or the illusion that if a client, say a magazine, hires you for six months in a row, that they owe any kind of “loyalty’ to you. They do not. Part of their job is to mix up the illustrators as much as they can. Also, here’s an example. I was making a lot of noise on Comics Message boards and landed a $10,000 job working for Microsoft to design 12 characters to be used as avatars for an experimental social online game they were experimenting with. I asked Danny Hellman if he wanted some of this pie, because they need about a hundred avatars from different cartoonists and illustrators. He said, “No! I don’t do that kind of work, I do magazine work.” I laughed at him and earned my $10,000 in less than a week. My job search has always been done by attitude. So-and-so got a job drawing some album covers, I called the 20 or so bands I knew and askedif they knew anyone who needed an album cover. I got three jobs that month, including a record cover for They Might Be Giants. Then I got hired by them to design some t-shirts. I showed the t-shirts to other bands and got a few more jobs designing tshirts. Someone at the New Yorker saw the tshirts and I landed semi-steady work from them for about 5 years. I sent free drawings to various zines, making sure they put me on the cover with the best art I could produce. I was picked up for covers and comics by Screw Magazine. A pervert saw my work and hired me to paint the name on the back of his yacht. A friend of mine got a job painting Rush Limbaugh’s bedroom ceiling, cherubs, floating ribbons, grapes and flowers. Imagine Rush dancing on his bed nude but for a gossamer toga and a crown of white roses.
My point is, if you want to work, crash all the parties at magazine offices and be nice! Carry a card with your website on it. Ask around, just keep after it. Hunting for work is a constant 50% of the job, that part never ends. You can have a lot of fun with each small victory. And draw all the time.
Do you design tattoooos?
No but if you get a Maakies tattoo, send me a clear photo.
You are my hero! Love your work, and loved the twisted cartoon on Adult Swim. Any Drinky the Crow toys left over?
Hi Tony, I am a big fan of yours! I was wondering if you would be interested in doing a shirt design? I run a screen-printing business: waxwingprints.com
and do a series of shirts for an art event called brainframe. brainframe.tumblr.com
We are doing a show at the Museum of Contemporary art of Chicago this summer, and would to get a design for our shirts, that will be there. Please email me if you are interested in contributing?
I work for money.
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