Shane Madden is an award winning illustrator and cover artist from Toronto, Canada. He has illustrated for books, magazines, and games including NY Times best sellers. He participates in workshops, online communities, and he teaches illustration at a college level. He is also the founder of the Illustration Lighthouse.
In this episode, Shane discusses:
-His experience in going to art school and being initially overwhelmed.
-Technical illustration and what that means.
-The false idea of the “Field of Dreams” art career, where if you build it, they will come.
-Building a portfolio around the type of work that you want to do, and taking the confusion away from the art directors that will be looking at your portfolio.
-How someone like James Jean’s portfolio isn’t something you should try to emulate if you are looking for work, as he is simply showcasing his work.
-His advice to not try to do multiple things at once, but instead start with the first thing you want to get going and then add on as you become competent.
-The power of having your own website and the dangers of people wandering somewhere else when you send them to your profile on social media sites.
-The idea of investing in your art career, even if that means spending money to take a trip with interviews lined up.
-Putting something in your portfolio that you are able to comfortably talk about so that you will appear knowledgeable.
-The three different types of artists and how they develop an audience and make money.
-How many different kinds of jobs that are available to artists that you might never have thought about before.
-His advice for artists who haven’t made a cent from their work to start making money.
-To not work for free – to at least get something from your time and talent (and publicity doesn’t count).
-His math formula for determining if your time is better spent looking for creative work than working at an unrelated job.
-How your resume doesn’t matter at all, all that matters is your portfolio.
-More about Illustration Lighthouse and what people can expect from it.
Shane’s Final Push will inspire you to leave your safe ART BUBBLE and put yourself out there to start pushing your art career forward!
“You really don’t need any social media to get commercial work. The viability of putting your time into social media isn’t as good as you pounding the pavement and finding the right people to hire you for the type of work that you want to do.”
“You need to make sure that those five images say exactly what it is that you do and the kind of work that you want to do. Get that in front of the people that are looking for that specific work. Basically magic happens at that point.”
“What do you want to do first? Because if you try to do thirty things at a time, you are going to fail at thirty things. Try to get some success with one thing that you want to do and then start adding things on top of it.”
“Make sure that the work that is in your portfolio actually fits that market that you’re looking for.”
“You have to make yourself stand out. The best way to do that is to find out what it is that makes you different, what it is that you do that makes you special and amplify that.”
“I always think of myself as an art mercenary. Whoever wants to slam down the bag of money, I will be more than happy to fulfill what they’re looking for.”
“Go where no one else is going. Don’t try to storm the gates with the other thousands of people. Try to knock on the side door and get yourself in that way and differentiate yourself.”