Building A Reputation In An Illustrator's Market

On many occasions a good number of talented and emerging artists who want to establish a successful career in illustration and graphic design, realize that just having an amazing body of work or a beautiful portfolio, by itself, doesn't always result in steady commission work.

In todays competitive marketscape, the economic survival of a freelance artist depends on proactively reaching out to the market, finding work, and then maintaining business relationships with those clients to product recurring commissions.

This tip is based on the assumption that most of you already have an amazing body of work ready to show. If not, first things first, go and finish up that portfolio. This email will be right here in your Inbox, waiting for you to continue reading when you're done.

The market for illustrators and graphic designers is made up of an incredibly vast variety of industries such as advertising agencies, web-publishers, magazines, book publishers, motion picture studios, news agencies, art galleries, greeting card companies, marketing companies, and many more. The key is to find your specialization in any or many of these industries and continue to build your reputation in these industries of your choice.

Having a unique and consistent style, is the most important factor in building a reputation as an illustrator or graphic designer. Art Directors usually look for a style of illustration or design for an advertising campaign or project, and they conduct their search for illustrators and graphic designers based on the style they're looking for. Therefore it is important that you can be identified with a consistent style.

Another important aspect for building a good reputation within the industry is attitude. Most people (including yourself) do not like to work with people who don't have a positive attitude about work and challenges. Art Directors and Creative Directors are typically very busy professionals who work on multiple high-pressure and time-sensitive projects at any given time. So, having a good attitude with them or your boss would only make their experience of you better. This doesn't mean you have to do anything they say with a big smile on your face. Be realistic with them about any disagreements you may have, but it is very important to stay positive and flexible.

Show evolution in your work. The marketplace for illustrators and graphic designers is arguably one of the most fast paced markets in the world. This means, you cannot afford to stagnate. The marketplace is going to keep looking for that next hot new thing, and it would do you a lot of good to be constantly evolving, so you can draw the interest of the market, and be desirable. This doesn't mean that you keep changing everything you do every day - It means, that you continue to grow your ideas and communicate those ideas to your clients or bosses. Naturally, they won't know that you are evolving unless they see or hear your ideas on a regular basis.

We wish you all the best in your adventure.