I asked Melbourne based artist, Laura Mckellar a couple of questions.
She is an Illustrator and Graphic Designer exhibiting her work world wide.
Laura got back to me with some great and inspirational feedback/responses...
1. What would be your one piece of advice to a new Illustrator?
dont work for free!!!!!!!
we all have to start somewhere, but unless you are really enjoying the piece you are working on for somebody else and think it will get you more work, it's not worth spending all your free time on it without being paid.
people don't value the work we do in the same way they value the work a builder, an athlete, or even an architect does. i know people that think its a hobby not a job, and so getting paid for 'art work' is sometimes quite difficult.
if you want to build your folio keep up your personal work and soon enough people will pay you to work for them. and use resources online to promote your work - keep a blog! contribute to online art communities, make a bigcartel shop and sell your work, network with other artists you like online.
2. How well did your studies prepare you for life as an artist?
funnily enough the best thing i got out of my studies was a strong network of like minded people. one of my lecturers is a mentor to me and if i need advice i always go to friends from uni who i trust.
i studied graphic design and i learnt to use industry standard programs, which has very much influenced my artwork. i do a lot of my work on the computer and i really value programs like photoshop + illustrator. it's also allowed me to be able to present my work digitally and printwise to a high standard.
3. What are your likes and dislikes about being an artist?
im a very visual person so its important for me to be able to express myself through artwork.
i dislike being judged because i dont have a 'full time job' that is expected.
4. Would you say you have a specific style or preferred way of working?
I have a couple of ways i really love working.
1 - i create something hands on whether its drawing or painting, i then scan it and combine it with other elements digitally. for example i will combine a drawing and a scanned or photographed texture to complete the drawing.
2 - i create something digitally, and then print it and get hands on! for example i enjoy combining photographs and drawings digitally, then printing them onto textiles and embroidering in details that i could never do digitally to add another dimension to the artwork.
Some of Laura's beautiful handy work...