Friday, 22 February 2013

Lorraine Owen

This week we had a talk from The Organisation's managing director, Lorraine.
She offered us great, straight-forward advice about what she feels are the benefits of having an illustration agent like her.
She made clear points about what her job entailed:
  • Providing a 'portal' for her illustrators, marketing their work to a huge range of clients.
  • Making sure that illustrators' work is recognised for its value, so they get paid good prices by clients.
  • Helping to develop illustrators' portfolios commercially.
She also mentioned that having an agent behind us might gain more clients simply because it reassures them of our credibility; an illustrator with an agent representing them is more likely to be reliable and professional.

Her other advice to us for getting work after we graduate was to always be proactive. Self marketing is important too! A positive and open mind-set towards work and potential clients will open us up to global opportunities for work; we mustn't forget that having a laptop gives us the potential to get work all over the world.
In regards to our portfolios, she had very specific recommendations for what a lot of clients at the moment are looking to see. This included:
  • The more subject matter that can be seen, the better. What the client sees is what they commission.
  • Drawings of people/the figure are vital.
  • Popular content in editorials is related to finance, travel and maps, so try to express these visually.
  • Character expressions.
  • Around 20% of the work should be black and white, so that clients can see your use for newspapers and packaging.
  • Make work look like it has already been applied to a commercial brief.
After our group talk Lorraine came to talk to us all individually about our portfolios. Although she admitted she wasn't used to work like mine, she was very enthusiastic about it and suggested there might be a commercial niche for my made animals in unusual places; I'm going to try and contact pet and animal magazines to ask if I could put in an advert about a service to make people's pets! We also talked about the importance of giving the figures a good setting, and some of my images need improving in that way.

I'm not sure joining an illustration agency would be particularly beneficial in gaining me work, but I've taken away other useful ideas from Lorraine's visit (especially the proactivity and self-marketing points) that might help to get the ball rolling for a career after graduating!

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