Today we had a visit from Craig Oldham from Music. He gave a talk from his experiences with illustrators in the industry and gave some advice, comparing his view as a designer to our jobs as illustrations and the relationship between the two.
He mentioned, as all our visiting speakers have, about producing the right email to agencies. Spelling being the number 1 factor, correct addressing and to research the company and make them feel you have a connection with them, not just a generic email. "Write and email as you would wish to receive".
Craig also advised against agents, which I thought was a very confident thing to say. A notice a lot of illustrators are unsure about working with and agent or go it alone but Craig said that "speaking direct gets you a lot more out of it".
He raised some very impacting advice:
"enthusiasm is key, you can teach everything else"
"you can teach monkeys to work Photoshop but you cant teach thinking of an idea"
"get the idea right and the rest will follow"
"put new things in if nothings coming out, have a life, watch films, meet people"
"find idea/inspiration in life not internet"
"an idea is best when it has legs, can turn into multiple things, not just flat"
"believe and stick by your style"
A technique Craig swears by (literally as Craig has a very adult vocabulary) is the mum test, if you can explain an idea to your mum, and shes understands it, its a winner!
Things Craig has learnt about Illustrators are:
- extremely talented people
- business smart
- passion plays a big part in commissions
- are not as flexible as they would like you to believe
- are harder to work with than photographers, but easier than writers
- prefer a voice of opinion
and Craig also stated how hard it can be to find illustrators sometimes, that we need to be market better, in new ways and more often.
- they always change everything, including their minds
- not good at explaining what they want
- majority of the time they just say "i like that, can we have this?"
- prefer a lot of scans, quick and often rather than more worked on images
- and don't hate them if they cant get you the money, they are always restricted by someone else