Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Editorial Illustration: What are the Pros and Cons?

Woodland Girl, originally uploaded by lauren minco.

Hey troops,

I thought I'd honor my Editorial Class that I teach by blogging about some pros/cons about the market. This was stuff my students and I discussed in class, and for some of you it might be helpful, for others just interesting.

First of all, editorial illustration can be described as any artwork made to be printed in magazines and/or newspapers. It usually accompanies text with the goal of complimenting or enhancing the topic, whether it's a social commentary or a review of the current Harry Potter Movie.


*You are a fast worker.

         Deadlines are quick, usually around 2 weeks.

* You like working on several small projects instead of one big project.

        Some of us are the multi-tasking queens and kings. If you get bored easily, sometimes       longer projects (like a children's book that takes a year) will loose your attention and patience. With editorial assignments you can work on several different pieces all at once.

* You want flexible work

    I take the summer off from editorial work simply because I have a very big teaching schedule at that time. If you decided that you need a break or have other obligations coming up in your schedule, you can turn off the editorial faucet and turn it back on when you're ready. Likewise, if it's a slow month you can take on another job or two without making any serious commitment.


*You don't play well with others

   If you can't handle an Art Director giving you advice or requesting changes, than don't even try. Team players will do well, but artists that are protective of their work will make the process a living hell.

*You prefer one long project to work on.

    Pretty much the opposite of what was stated above. You won't find 6 month long projects in this field of work, nor can you make a reasonable living just doing one at a time. Successful editorial illsutrators can handle 3 or 4 different projects at once.

* You don't want to actively promote yourself

   Many artists and illustrators fall short of their potential because they simply do not advertise their services! Creating a website or making a portfolio on sites like Altpick.com is a good start, but if you sit back and expect people to just find you...well, don't hold your breath! Meetings, mailers, and other forms of advertisement are also needed and deserve your time and attention. Furthermore, once you get hired by an Art Director, don't expect them to hire you constantly. You have to remind them that you exist!

So that's it folks! Soon I'll be discussing basic skills on promotional mailers for all you artists and illsutrators out there. Same bat time, same bat channel.

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