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.