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Sneaky peak #typography progress shot! Pretty happy with this guy! #design #illustration #excited

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How do I become a full time illustrator?



A young, aspiring illustrator recently asked me how to become a full time freelancer. The answer is murky at best and provides no quick route to a stable career, but I’d like to think I learned a thing or two over the last fifteen-ish years that’s worth repeating.

I was lucky in that I started a blog before most folks were actively doing so. I posted a ton of work for at least five years before I got noticed from folks like Nike. It’s a numbers game. The more you put out into the ether, the better chance that the right people will see it.

Make a lot of work. Post it everywhere. Ev-er-y-where. Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, Twitter, Reddit, group blogs, art forums, sites whose content needs align with your work’s subject matter, and your own site.

If shotgunning the work into the world is half the battle, networking is the second. You’ll get notice eventually if you keep pumping out work, but develop a peer group in the meantime. These co-illustrators are more likely to get you your first gigs than anything else. You can’t go wrong with meeting, knowing, and being nice to a lot of people. Much of the time my success feels like a karmic reprieve for not being a dick.

Do the work. Make so much work that it’s persuasive as a body and speaks FOR you. Accept failures. Hell, accelerate the rate at which you fail. It’s the quickest route to learning what you need to do. And pretty soon you’ll have a base of fans or peers, or, if you’re lucky, both, that are open to what you’re creating.

That’s worth more than a big client or two. None of the work I’ve done for big clients has ever gotten me big clients. I didn’t even bother to put it into my portfolio when I was actively soliciting freelance clients half of the time. The esoteric, personal, honest stuff always has.

Be honest in your work. Make a shit-ton of it. Be nice to people.

That’s it.

This advice is so spot on. This is true and good and if you want to be an illustrator or designer or musician or painter or whatever, then read this multiple times and put it into practice everyday.

This is some of the most succinct and honest freelance career advice I’ve read to date. I couldn’t agree more; the more work you make, the more you increase your chances of getting noticed.

Here is another piece of advice: do the work you want to get paid to do. If you’re not already doing what you want to do and you want to be an illustrator, illustrate every day; if you want to be a letterer, draw letters every day, and if you want to be a writer, blog every day. Just keep creating honest work and you will get there!

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Another sneaky #typography progress shot! This one is a different project altogether! So much going on, but it’s all so exciting! #design #lettering #goodtype

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Comic Sans for Cancer poster design.

**Hooray! I can finally post this because the Comic Sans for Cancer Exhibition is currently on in London!! See website link below for details.**

This is the finished piece from this WIP sketch. I’m pretty happy with this poster, considering I only had about a week to work on it. The colour scheme is inspired by the colours of a sunset - which is, to me, one of the most beautiful things in the world. And for those who’ve been through, or known someone who has been through cancer, you’ll understand just how meaningful each sunset becomes. <3

Comic Sans for Cancer website.

Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Shop

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Sneaky peak progress shot of the late night #lettering session! #typography #design #goodtype

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I’ve always struggled #drawing the letter S, but I’m fairly happy with this little dude! #lettering #design #goodtype #typography

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"The best part of your day should be the moment you wake up & realize you’re alive" by the talented @perspective_collective
#goodtype #typography #lettering #handletter #handdrawn #typedesign #tipografia #typographie #drawletters #handlettering

This is actually so beautiful.

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Random Words of Kindness #8: Light Up My Life [WIP]

This is the eighth #randomwordsofkindness print in it’s WIP stage. I was inspired by retro neon signage this week, and although it doesn’t look overly detailed right now, I promise it will look amazing when it’s finished!

If you’d like to be the lucky owner of the finished print simply like or reblog this post!

Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Society6

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Woo! My new #business cards arrived today, complete with new logo #design! Keen as a bean to start handing out these bad boys!

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Custom lettering request for hannakoi <3 Just a black and white sketch at the stage, I hope you like it!

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Strategies include everything from setting timers to taking nature walks to listening to black metal.

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Verena Michelitsch: “When I feel stuck with a design, I save versions and start from a fresh blank document instead of constantly seeing a graveyard of design options floating around on your artboards.””

Love it, a fantastic resource for all creatives!

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Random Words of Kindness #7: Never Ever Give Up

Here is the final print from this WIP sketch! Thanks to your likes and reblogs, I’ve found someone to surprise with this gorgeous finished print! I can’t wait to put a huge smile on their face!

This print is now available at my Society6 shop for those who want one of their own!

Website | Tumblr | Twitter | Facebook | Society6

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Attention other #design and #lettering nerds: How are my handles? Trying to perfect my technique! Many thanks :)

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Wake up early. Drink coffee. Work hard. Be ambitious. Keep your priorities straight, your mind right and your head up. Do well, live well and dress really well. Do what you love, love what you do. It is time to start living. Living this every single day! <3

(Source: rustedbones, via cleantonedfree)

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Custom 404 Page [WIP]

I’ve decided to hand-letter a custom error 404 page for my website! It’s pretty cute, but I’m keen to clean it up in Illustrator and get it onto my site - stay tuned folks!