Monday, November 2, 2009


Last Friday, I hosted a studio visit for some of the Graphic Design students visiting from the University of Central Missouri. I always enjoy meeting new students who are interested in both illustration and design, which is why I was happy to share with them some of my experiences as a freelance illustrator. I graduated from art college about 10 years ago, but didn't begin working steadily as a freelance illustrator until about 8 years ago. It was a somewhat difficult transition for me from being a student to a professional because I really had no idea how to approach this. I was working full-time in a retail store and illustrating part-time, but desperately wanted for it to be the other way around. Oftentimes when asked, "What do you do?" I would respond by saying apologetically that, "I worked in retail, but drew pictures on the side." Sounds self deprecating, I know, but I think it had more to do with the fact that I understood that I had not quite reached a point in my professional life where I could comfortably admit to anyone that I was indeed an Illustrator. But, I believe this was the case with many of my friends who currently work as freelance artists, writers, designers, or illustrators - they never announced what it was that they did professionally, but rather the industry assigned them that role, and position. I have such clear memories about what it was like to get my illustration career off of the ground. I'm asked quite frequently by students, how it was that I was able to grow my career to a point where illustrating is what I did day-to-day. That's why hosting this tour was very interesting for me because it's what I would have wanted to experience as a student and young illustrator. I had a truly great time and hopefully they did as well. Many thanks to David Babcock, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at UCMO, for arranging the tour.


Dennis Juan Ma said...

Hi Marcos, love your work buddy. I have been reading your website and blog a while ago, sorry didn't leave any comment till now. You have been a truly inspiration to me. I'm current in the same situation as you were 8 years ago. I'm working as a full-time graphic designer, and illustrate part-time. It's very encouraging to hear the story from some coolest illustrators like you. Keep it up buddy! God bless you

Marcos Chin said...

thanks dennis... it's funny but every few years i'm thrown back into situations that feel very similar to what they were like starting out... i guess that's essentially part of the life of freelancer: change... i know i chose this profession because i liked that i was able to work on different types of projects... but it can become exhausting at times and even more frustrating throwing yourself out there, so-to-speak, and hoping there'll be an audience out there who'll bite.
that being said, i wouldn't want it any other way... the rewards outweigh the frustrations.
anyway, much good luck to you - enjoy the (creative) ride!