If you want to be an illustrator then don’t expect riches. I’ve struggled with this aspect of being an artist my whole career and now I’m finally ok with that. The solution I adapted was to become a real estate agent for money and an artist for the love of it. During my career as a creative director in the entertainment business I bought, renovated and sold real estate. What I made in real estate eclipse my salary. When I left Warner Bros in 2006 I decided to illustrate children’s books. This is not a path to riches I assure you. Along the way I bought some run down homes, fixed them up. (mostly doing the work myself ) and sold them for profits. This allowed me to navigate my artistic endeavors the way I wanted to. It took quite a while to get to the point where I was satisfied with the direction I was headed but I stuck with it. I am still in the process. I can honestly say I love creating imagery and learning new ways of approaching my work every day. The most that I hope for is recognition among my peers and helping others succeed.
“There are many ways to be become successful. First off you have to decide what constitutes success to you then set the goal. You will have to be systematic and develop a tough hide to withstand suggestions and criticisms that’ll be hurled your way. The next step is exposing your art to anyone and everyone who could make a difference to you becoming a success. Then stay on them constantly until they tell you to stop. If your work is worthy and can help that person accomplish their job in a great way you’ll get the work. Be persistent and do not give up.” – The Editor
Becoming a Successful Illustrator: New Edition Nov 1, 2017 2:07 pm13 The second edition of Becoming a Successful Illustrator is now available. With cover artwork by hot illustration duo, Cachetejack, this edition expands on the advice from practicing illustrators as well as the people that commission them, including M&C Saatchi and The New York Times. Additional coverage in fields such as moving image, character illustration and the all-important social media ensure the information is bang up to date, and there are new exercises to aid illustrators starting to plan and build their business. With over 200 inspirational examples of artwork, Becoming a Successful Illustrator is beautifully contemporary as well as informative. Readers can expect practical tips on how to seek commissions, how to market themselves and how to run their illustration business in an enterprising way, with advice that will prove useful long after their first commissions. Building on the resources of the first edition, this continues to be the must-have guide to practicing professionally as an illustrator.
I wasn’t going to post this until tomorrow, but since I am home unexpectedly today, here it goes. Tomorrow, June 8th, 2017, marks 13 years that I came home from prison, and while I am aware that I have done some good things during this time, overall, I am not happy or satisfied at all. […]
This painting is from a children’s book without a home yet. It’s called Emma and Digger. It started out as a sand crab adventure story, yet I fear that since Emma and Digger don’t exactly look like sand crabs that perhaps they should just be little beach creatures and call it a day. I’ve gotten feedback that these are insects or sand crabs don’t look like that.
If you’re working on your own projects I’m sure this has happened to you. You get excited about the work and suddenly after the fact you realize you’ve done something that doesn’t make sense…or does it?
I think sometimes people cannot let go of what their perceptions are to see the bigger picture. Here it’s about losing family and friends and creating your own life and completing the cycle. Not about whether Emma and Digger are sand crabs, insects or from outer space. Thoughts??
“The most enriching rewards for creative endeavor are intrinsic; that is, the reward is in the pleasure the creator takes in doing the work itself, and in achieving the result, and not from the pay or the prize.” – Jane Piirto
Monday Morning is here again and here’s some food for thought to start your day. If you’re creative and you enjoy doing whatever fuels the creativity do it. Don’t worry about how good you are or whether you’ll get rewarded for your work. That is not the point. It’s taken me a long time to realize I am driven to create. Though I’ve tried to suppress this urge and do things that are “more practical” in terms of making a living or creating wealth, I cannot hide from the fact I need to create. So I embrace the beast. I don’t try and tame it, rather I am riding it and enjoying the journey.
Professor Jane Piirto, in her book Creativity for 21st Century Skills covers the motivation to create.
She writes, “The main cause for creativity is that the creative person wants to be creative, in whatever domain he or she is working – whether it be woodworking in the basement, dancing, acting, drawing, singing, doing science, mathematics, inventing, being an entrepreneur, being an athlete, cooking, sewing, building, designing.
“People who are creative must have motivation. Creators intend to be creative, to make—something. People have to want to be creative. Creativity takes a long time and a certain amount of obsession.”
She thinks “Motivation is the only and main personality attribute that all creative people have and need.”
If you relate to this you are part of the tribe, so stop judging yourself so harshly and take comfort in the thought that millions of creative people all over the world are in the same boat. Piirto notes, “Creators must have the talent necessary to create in their area, and have had the environmental influence and support necessary.”
I’m sure most creatives feel this way. The way to get there is to day by day practice your craft and seek support from those who can relate to what you’re doing. IT DOES NO GOOD AND IT’S TOXIC FOR YOUR SOUL TO SEEK APPROVAL FROM THOSE WHO DON’T GET IT!
“What are the rewards for being creative? Fame is not usually one of them.” Piirto quotes musician Mat Callahan: “I have never found any correlation between money and the effectiveness of the creative process and its results. Do I produce a demand for my creative work… do I produce marketable commodities? Maybe. Do I apply my energies to my creative work, regardless? Certainly. Continuously. Why? Because of the satisfaction I derive from the process itself and the pleasure it brings to others.”
I leave you with that. The results of your mindset, your talent and your work will dictate the outcome. Focus on the work and being the best you can. Embrace the beast, take it for a long ride and enjoy the journey.
steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.“his perseverance with the technique illustrates his single-mindedness”
synonyms: persistence, tenacity, determination, staying power, indefatigability, steadfastness, purposefulness;
The word for the day is Perseverance. Who said this would be easy? It’s not. I’ve talked to enough successful illustrators and artists to know they too have their trials and tribulations.
What they do have that you may not is the will to continue despite all odds. They know that success, however you see it, is obtained by contsnace and vigil work habits. No matter what the outcome. If you have a goal and you focus and work towards that goal you will get there.
Here are some great quotes from successful people who know what it’s like to persevere
Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
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. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
Jacob A. Riis
It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.
Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.
When you get into a tight place, and everything goes against you till it seems as if you couldn’t hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that’s just the place and time that the tide’ll turn.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
It’s funny how things seem to fall into place for us at the Journal. After a period of dormancy (is that a word?) the election of our new president stirred up emotions in me that I had long since not paid attention to. It started with the campaign season. As my wife and I watched in total disbelief Donald Trump dismantled and destroyed any semblance of normalcy in the primaries. This started an intense daily conversation between Havi (my wife) and me. “He’ll never get elected” “This is a joke” “How can he get away with this?” and so forth. Then came the election and the realization that this was not a joke and we would be living under the administration of a malignant narcissist.
Soon our conversations and talks turned into what can we do? Long story short, the revival of TIJ became very appealing on various levels. I could create new art, we could voice our displeasure thru a new character “Arnold Grump” and finally and most importantly we could cover artists who are giving their voice to their feelings. Hence the video above.
We are reaching out to various artists (some in the video) to be included in the next issue of the TIJ along with others. We will continue to move forward with our eyes on how we can be a voice for artists and their works.
It’s our firm belief that now more than ever artists of all types need to chime in on the state of our country and the world. To fight back against those forces that would quiet us. Even as I write the government is cutting off vital programs for artists and children that would benefit us all as a society. There is precedent for all this and it doesn’t have a happy ending if we don’t stand up and be counted.
So continue to do your work whether it’s a kid lit book about immigration to the US and it’s affect on children or artwork that shows the on the ground consequences of our military action in foreign countries. Make your work have purpose.
There’s really nothing I can say about Gerald that can match his work. It speaks for itself. He’s prolific, original and unafraid to show his visual opinions. His recent prints of Donald Trump are brilliant and without any apologies. He tells like it is and as he’s been doing for decades.
About Gerald Scarfe
Gerald Scarfe was born in London. After a brief period at the Royal College of Art in London, he established himself as a satirical cartoonist, working for Punch magazine and Private Eye during the early sixties, and in 1967 he began a long association with the Sunday Times as their political cartoonist, also carrying out reportage assignments in Vietnam, the Middle East, India and Northern Ireland.
TV & Film Work
Gerald’s film work includes Walt Disney’s Hercules, and he designed and directed the animation sequences for the film of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, as well as the live concerts. He recently collaborated with Roger Waters once again, for the new live tour of The Wall. On television Gerald created the opening title sequences for the classic comedy series, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister.
He has written, directed and appeared in many live action and documentary films for the BBC and Channel 4 and has published a number of books of his work.
Gerald Scarfe has now been political cartoonist for the London Sunday Times for 44 years, and has also worked for The New Yorker magazine for 21 years. His work regularly appears in many periodicals in the UK and worldwide.
Gerald Scarfe was made a CBE in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours. He has also received Honorary Degrees from the University of Dundee and University of Kent, is an Honorary Professor of the University of Dundee and an Honorary Fellow of the London Institute. He has been a member of the Royal Designers for Industry since 1989. Gerald Scarfe regularly gives illustrated talks about his life and work in the UK and around the world.