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Ste IllustratesFreelance Illustrator

Scaring your illustration career on it’s way

Climbing over fear

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently about pushing and not sitting on your laurels – I keep getting caught in the fear of how to contact a client to see if I will be of interest to them. Oh my this regularly debilitates me on a regular basis – but listening to Arrest All Mimics podcats and particularly the episode with Kerry Lemon, made me realise that a lot of these contacts need to happen to find someone. Contacting 2 or 3 people is really limiting the amount of chances of getting work. Kerry explained how she would send work to clients and it could be years until she got work but she didn’t give up, I liked that.

Recently my adobe CC membership was up. I’d got a sale discount from the year before so I tried my chances asking for the same price thinking if not I’d just get a lesser package but asking got me an even better deal. This also inspired me a bit more to ask for things because you never know.

These 2 events just got me thinking – I’ve been doing illustration for nearly 3 years now and I’ve had to do okay to pay for everything but other illustrators who are 3 years into their path are usually still finding their feet before beginning their career – I skipped uni or education in illustration so my illustrative voice and my skill at producing artwork is only recently at a level I’m happy with. There’s lots still to hone and develop and get right – lots still to push to improve and learn and that’s good because it means I’ll carry along this path that I want to tread and I really want to enjoy the walk. One further thing that struck a cord was Jia Jang’s Ted talk about rejection. It was inspired, Jia struggled with rejection, like me – so he tried to get rejected and confront the rejection to turn a no into yes. So this all brings me back to the title of this post.

I need to push to try new things – even if I currently don’t believe it’ll work or I’ll get picked or get work. I’m still terrified none of this will work out but it’ll be much more likely to not work out if I don’t do anything – so I won’t be scared but I will very likely be back in employment doing whatever rather than giving myself every chance to make a success of illustration. Now it daunts me and it also frustrates me, I see others get the work I want to do and I wish I could of had that chance and I wonder how they got that work. I suppose that’s natural but as my good mate Deb says – it’s wasted energy thinking of what might of been or getting upset over things you can’t control. As Deb said use that energy to drive on to move forward.

This is all great and makes a lot of sense – get myself out there – contact lots of people – send stuff to the clients I want to work with – but in front of this gorgeous landscape of an illustration career is a massive wall, walls of fear. It’s like hurdles that get taller as you get over one – but after each one you get better at vaulting – it won’t be easy but as G’Kar said nothing worthwhile ever is.

It’s nearly 2017 and the annual new years resolution thing starts and whilst I’m not saying this is a new years resolution it does seem to make sense to hit the ground jumping after Christmas – sending things out, talking to people, pushing into new places – scaring the shit out of myself and dealing with the fears of doing a thing to hopefully make it as an illustrator – because that’s all I want to make it and be successful. Because then I can let you all know it worked and hopefully help you with you getting over the fear walls too.

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