I've kept it under wraps for the past month or so, but I have signed on with an illustration representation agency! It's one of the steps I've taken on my journey to a new career. A little history, I had been working as a graphic artist and web specialist for over 5 years for a Federal agency. I liked my team, they were all such great people, and the work was ok but I found myself growing more and more dissatisfied as time progressed. I have two young children (both under the age of 6) and I felt I needed the steady paycheck so I stuck with my job. One day I pretty much took a leap of faith and resigned. I had always wanted to do illustration as a career. I felt that is what I've always wanted to do, dreamed to do since I was little but along the way fear, doubt and a lack of self confidence set in and I abandoned that dream.
I'm not exactly sure how or why I decided to just take the plunge and strive forward on a new career path at the drop of a hat. The financial security definitely wasn't there but I felt it was a good time to try, to pursue something that I felt I could succeed at if given the right opportunities along with a lot of hard work.
Right after I resigned I signed up to take an illustration career consulting course with HOlli Conger. Could not be more happy with this decision. It's been a lot of work but not so overwhelming that I feel like I'm drowning. Holli has had such insightful advice and tips and she's such a sweet person. If you feel you need some help starting out a little boost in building your career as an illustrator, I highly recommend her course! She has 3 different options: 1) Steps to Becoming an Illustrator, 2) Building your Career as an Illustrator (I'm currently taking), and 3)One Month Kickstarter. Here is Holli's original blog post that had really inspired me. It chronicles her journey to become a freelance illustrator through trial and error. IT is a great read and a good realistic view on what it takes to being a full time illustrator. When I originally read this, I truly appreciated her honesty about her trials and challenges. I was able to keep my expectations in check.
I've also signed up for Lilla Rogers' Make Art That Sells Boot Camps for the past two sessions. I wish I could afford her regular MATS (Make Art That Sells) courses but the boot camps are a great option for me. I've had some great briefs that inspired me to do some of my favorite pieces from these boot camp classes. Lilla also offers tons of free helpful advice on her website.
Another step I've taken was to beef up my social media presence. I'm pretty sure my readers have noticed I've tried to keep to a weekly schedule with my posting. I'm not perfect but much more regular than before March. It's been a good practice for me and I enjoy blogging. I'm still trying to figure out what I can provide that isn't already out there.
Most recently I have been signed on with the Astound agency. I'm really excited about this opportunity! I did research before deciding to approach them and I found their list of artists really great. I feel I sort of "fit in" with the artists they signed on but I still had my own voice so I hope I can contribute value to this agency. Right now we're ramping up for Surtex!!!
I'm so thankful to have been given the chance to pursue my dream at my age and stage of life. I appreciate all the support and sacrifices my family has had to make to accommodate this change. I'll keep you all updated on my progress through this journey. Hopefully there will be more ups than downs!