Sunday, October 25, 2009

IF: FAST


I was reflecting recently on my work and my career. I have dedicated a great deal of time to creating a portfolio, and improving my work so that I may become a published illustrator. I am also a freelance graphic designer and enjoy that job thoroughly. I would like to do both, but I notice that it is difficult to wear so many hats, marketing graphic design and illustration are very different things, both which are very time consuming.

My graphic design is picking up, while I'm just hearing crickets over on the illustration side. I'm not quite ready to give it up. I'm not a quitter! I know someone will see potential in my work and will value my dedication and passion. In the mean time, I just need to figure out how to manage the constant chaos of trying to do it all!

I was looking at the illustrations from the beginning of the year until now and I do see tremendous growth! That is great, right? Except that it makes for an inconsistent portfolio. I’ve gone from acrylics to digital and from static to more dynamic work; my characters have also evolved. The eyes are not the same (At some point I was experimenting with dots for eyes). I haven’t deliberately been trying to develop a style. I’ve been pushing myself to become better at what I do, which in turns has affected the look of my work…I believe that the style comes out naturally while you are going through this process.

Although I’m not published yet, I can tell that my work is the best when I’m comfortable with it, and that only happens if I draw what is more natural and comfortable to me, but I only know what that is if I experiment and try new things. I guess for me it’s a dance of balance between these two…familiarity and stretching your limits.

Anyway, my point is that I’m now once again re-touching my portfolio. I am thinking about going to the SCBWI Winter conference in NY and really would need to have a solid portfolio before I can even consider going. By the way, are any of you going?

I’m also busy with my design work, which I also enjoy so much, and is the reason why I don’t have as much time to visit other blogs as I used to. I have some friends that talk about going off grid when it comes to social media networks and Internet. These things can really consume you and take up so much of your time! I wonder myself, would I have more time to do the things I need to do if I did not have a blog and was on twitter and Facebook? Do you wonder the same sometimes? How do you do it?

As a side note, I wanted to invite you all to vote for my son @ GAP’s Casting Call http://family.go.com/gapcastingcall/entries/edrianthomidis/717418724/


Have a great week!


11 comments:

Valerie Lorimer said...

This is really darling! Great work.

theartofpuro said...

Love how you do your illustrations and we are all learning day by day!

thedoodlegirl said...

I think you will have an awesome portfolio!! I love the perspective on this one!

Tom Barrett said...

Hey Edrian! Yes, I'm still around... lurking in the shadows! : )

I think you are going to have to come to a point where you stop "re-touching" your work for a bit and get it out there (I assume you sent out your cards already) and leave it out there. Allow it to work. You keep redoing it and no one will have a chance to see what you can do consistently. You have a great style built up now, both in book illustrations, and the new coloring pages you posted a while back. Go with it!! : ) Give the work a chance. Keep sending out mailers to the companies you really want to work with. Some ADs may wait to receive a few cards to see if you are serious. Who knows.

Keep going and have patience... you will be rewarded!

nina seven said...

edrian - as i read your post, i kept saying - me, too!, me, too! i wonder and worry about the same things as you. altough i did get the opportunity to do a book, my career has not yet taken off, the competition is fierce and the uphill battle continues. i am doing as you are, working to improve, trying new things, sending out mailings, etc. that's all we can do, right? everyone tells me - it takes a while. anyway, just know i'm there with you, girlfriend!

Shirley said...

Really great post, Edrian! I admire all of your hard work doing what you do, and breaking into the children's illustration work. You are one tough girl and I know that you will make every avenue successful..it shows in your efforts. I agree..your illustrations have greatly improved since the small time that I've seen your work..it shows that you are working hard. I wish you the best! And, I just don't know how you do all of it - FB, Twitter, all of it...I don't even have time to check in on blogs and such.

Peter Breese said...

It's always wonderful to see the potential in yourself and that positive change in your technique/style. Congrats. Nice illo!

Farik Osman said...

Nice one Edrian!

Eric Barclay said...

Great character as always!

Bella Sinclair said...

Oh, Edrian. Thank you for being so frank and reflective on your career. I'm glad your design work is taking off. You have such great talent. And your illustrations have evolved. I'm really loving your new style and beautiful lines for the coloring pages. Artists are continually evolving, and I'm not sure you'd want to stay static throughout your career. You are one of the hardest working illustrators I know, and it has paid off tremendously. And to be honest with you, I don't know how people with multiple social network accounts do it. It's a struggle to keep up with blogging alone.

I'm off to vote for your adorable son now. Happy Halloween to you!

Heather said...

Having taken a completely different tack in my career by going back to school I know what you mean about time. (which is why I'm commenting so late.) But I want to say two things. One is use your portfolio as the hook--it will show your capability for a consistent style--but keep on pushing and challenging yourself--no one is going to be unhappy with better illustrations. I went to Maurice Sendak exhibit a few weeks ago--and was amazed to find out how many different styles he's worked in. He liked to match the style to the piece. And, lo and behold, push and challenge himself. Ultimately the illustrator who is more flexible will be able to do more jobs.