Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Contacting Illustrator: Vicky Fallon

So this is my last post of 2013, how exciting! After contacting illustrator Vicky Fallon before Christmas, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email response from her today! Therefore, I would like to share with you all my questions and her answers which I think are very inspiring, just what I need to motivate me to push myself towards being an illustrator in the New Year!

Here are a few links to Fallon's beautiful personal work:

Lemonade Illustration Agency Portfolio

Personal Website: VickyInk

Facebook Page: VickyFallonIllustration

After coming across her work on the Lemonade Agency website, I desired to know more about the illustrator:

"Hey Vicky,
My name is Carla Taylor, a second year illustration student studying at the University of Huddersfield. I am eager to become part of the illustration industry, therefore I would like to ask how did you become so successful and where did you start out to be an illustrator?
I found you on the Lemonade agency website and I must say your illustrations are absolutely beautiful. How do you find working for an agency and do you rely on this for commissioned work? Also, I had a peek at your personal website and saw that you sell products with your own unique designs on them. How did you go about doing this? I would be interested in starting out designing for products similar to this, I would really value your advice.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.
Carla Taylor."

I was very happy to hear back and she gave a thorough and intricate response:

"Hi Carla!

Thanks for your email and hope you had a lovely Christmas. 

Thanks for your lovely compliments! I would say I do rely on Lemonade for the majority of my work and also Hire an Illustrator. HAI takes an upfront payment of £185 for the year or £3.99 per week but I've made my money back and much more, so I recommend it. 

I think the best tip I can give you is just to get your work out there as much as you possibly can. A website and blog is great - there is a real sense of community among bloggers and a lot of work is shared around with credit so it can be such an amazing networking tool for you. But in terms of getting your work seen by the right people - try to submit it wherever and whenever you can. Look at different websites that feature upcoming artists/illustrators, online magazines, competitions, real-life magazines and you can of course send your folio to art directors of different design agencies as they're the ones who commission illustrators outside of their agency for jobs. Just something small, no need to send them everything. Just a quick email - or note - to say that you just wanted to share your work and would love to be featured/work for them anytime. Choose maybe 5 of your best illustrations and attach/print them.

That's what I did when I was starting out, and to be honest alot of the time you never hear back, but occasionally you do and that's the main thing. It's also a great way to receive advice/feedback on your work from people in the industry that do the hiring.

There’s lots of websites out there that will print your designs onto products, my faves are moo.com and awesome merchandise, put them out there where you can - craft fairs, Etsy, Folky and on your own website. 

I'd say keep doing what you do, the more the do the better you get! Patience is a massive part of being an illustrator but stick at it!

Hope that helps and good luck with your studies :) i’ll keep an eye out for your stuff in the coming years! 

Happy new year! 

I must admit, after reading Fallon's response, it has made me a lot more confident for the New Year. It just proves that even successful illustrators are willing to help those like me who are yet to get their foot in the creative door of illustration. 

Through talking to practicing illustrators, it has given me a realistic insight in how to get my work known and recognised to eventually become a successful illustrator myself. I hope this has motivated you to try email an illustrator yourself. So, send a quick email, don't be shy! The worst they can do is not respond, the best they can do is give you REAL advice!

Thanks for reading,