As I write this, my first ever blog post, I’m sat on the train in Euston waiting for it to depart back to Milton Keynes... or as Sean Percival called it during his stand up show on Saturday: Milton “the dog’s bollocks” Keynes. He was being ironic of course, but I am in fact genuinely happy to be travelling there, not least because I’ve now got lots of ideas and tips to mull over on the ride. Which is where this blog features. It’s intended to be a bit of an expose of my professional life as a new illustrator, and because like many artists I cannot bear the self-promotion side of my job, today I thought I’d simply tell you why I’m doing this, and why sitting on a train bound for Milton Keynes is the dog’s bollocks.
It’s because I live there. Me, me me!
I’m joking of course. It’s because I’m returning from a very useful trip to London. And writing a good quality, purposeful blog was one of the tips I received in my meeting with Fig Taylor of the AOI. Fig runs portfolio reviews for new and/or confused illustrators (of which I am both) and offers advice on practical matters, such as how to tackle getting commissioned. It was a really relaxed and, most importantly, a really useful hour, in which I learnt a lot. She talked about how important social media can be to modern illustrators, and how having a blog is a great way to show the nitty gritty of illustration work that one can’t always express in Instagram.
I also discovered that Fig knows someone studying at Circomedia: the same circus university as my sister (Yes people, circus uni really is a thing. Fig is either friends with or related to or the aunty of one of my sister’s friends. I wish I could remember the connection, but there was a lot to take in in the meeting and Fig was wearing a fantastic midnight kitty cat dress, and as soon as anything with cats becomes involved I become immediately distracted!) So we concluded in that banal way that it’s a small world, and isn’t it funny, and how cool. But boy did it put into perspective just how effortless it can be to spread an idea or a connection. To think that we both know a pair of friends who are doing a pretty uncommon degree just demonstrates how much connection and influence people can share. And that’s what being an author illustrator is all about – the reproduction of ideas and opinions.
So Hopefully today will mark the beginning of me sorting my bloody life out.. or more realistically, tidying up this website and refocusing my artistic practice. I plan to blog a little more of my work, concentrate a little more on writing, and demonstrate a little more of my processes. Starting now. Ready set go!
And the train symbolically departs. Toot toot!