Monday, November 25, 2019

A Balancing Act

One of the biggest challenges I have faced in my attempts to get more illustration work is finding balance between teaching, administrative responsibilities, and my art. I find spending time on building my illustration business the first thing to go, because the other aspects of my job are more pressing. I have many roles and the demands for those are increasing without the release of any other responsibilities. 

As such, I needed to do some serious reflection and make some decisions on how to accomplish my desire to get more illustration work. 

First, I applied for a sabbatical. This removed the administrative responsibilities that were so overwhelming and many of my other work demands. It allowed me to focus on illustrating.

Second, as an illustrator, I need to balance my time between creating and marketing. I have a tendency to focus more on the art work and hope that people will find me. Although this approach had brought in a small amount of work over the years, my-self-promotion efforts needed to increase and be more purposeful.

This involved planning. I now plan out my weeks. When will I work on illustration, and when will I work on contacting potential clients and other self-promotion efforts? Daily, I look over my plan and make adjustments based on what has come up. This has helped immensely in progressing toward more illustration work. I still have a great deal of work to do, but I am making progress. 

An example of a weeks planning

I realize this approach is not for everyone, but it has helped me. Some form of organization and planning is needed. I offer this as one solution and it is evolving and changing as I continue to work.

Now I am in the process of being patient until I see the results of my efforts over the last year or so. I will share my sure fire way to develop patience in two weeks.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Opening night at the Quimby Gallery

It was a wonderful opening night at the faculty art exhibit in the Quimby Gallery this evening. This was an opportunity to exhibit my whale illustration and a number of my recent sketches. What was even better was the amount of students and faculty that showed up. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

My Journey, The Beginning

My Journey, The Beginning

I believe in practicing what you preach. 
One of the things I have been telling my students a lot lately is that they need to tell their story, and get out there work out in the world. It is how people will better connect with their art. So, this is my story–my journey as an artist and an illustrator. My hope is that this will help others that have chosen the same path. I hope to inspire, and I hope to help others not make the same mistakes I have made on my journey. There have been plenty. 

I received inspiration for this from a few places. The first was realizing that my education did a great deal in teaching me how to draw and illustrate, but did little in the way of showing me how to get work. The second was during my studies at Low Residency MFA Illustration Program at the Hartford Art School, Hartford University with Murray Tinkelman. The other is the book Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon, which is a great read with simple, but not easy, advice for any visual artist. I will speak on each in future posts.

In addition to regularly posting my current work I will be posting a weekly conversation on a subject around becoming a visual artist. Some of this will be from my class discussions and others will be from people that have inspired and helped me along the way.

I am not where I want to be as an illustrator. I have been doing small jobs here and there, but I have not gotten the amount of work I want. So, this will also be a journey of discovery for me as I try new things and keep plugging along.

I hope you enjoy the trip.

If you are interested in an incredible MFA illustration program, I highly recommend the One at the Hartford Art School. You can find it here:

If you want to read Show Your Work! you can purchase it here:
Or, you can find out more about Austin Kleon here: