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Seeking Some Career Advice.....

 
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SJeremyHicks



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:09 am    Post subject: Seeking Some Career Advice..... Reply with quote

I am looking for some career help, and I thought I would check in here.
First, a short background on me:

I am 39 years old, I have a wife and two sons, and I work full time at a building supply company Ė been working there 18 years.
Itís never what I wanted to do, but somehow got sucked in, and stuck.
In 2007, I made up my mind that I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a comic artist or illustrator. I began going to school part time, juggling family and work, and eventually earned my Bachelor in Media Arts and Animation in 2013.
Three years later, Iíve continued working for the construction supply company. Miserable and hating every moment of it. I continue though, because I have yet to find a way to earn enough money off of my art to support a family and pay the bills. I dread work every day, but I go.

Now, ultimately, my dream job would be to work from home as an illustrator. Freelance, contract, full time, multiple part time positions, anything. Iím certainly not looking to ďget richĒ, I just want to make enough of a living to pay the bills, which is all Iím looking for.
I WANT to work for it, and I am no stranger to sacrifice. Iím not a slacker, Iím not lazy. I work hard, dedicated, and driven. I am educated and talented.
But where do I start? What steps should I take?
I have a family to consider, and I can just walk out of my job (as much as I'd love to).
How can I earn enough to pay the pills, provide for my family, and do what I love?
I really want to succeed, but how?
Thank you all so much, and any advice would be most appreciated.

- Jeremy
sjeremyhicks.com
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GrayFlames



Joined: 08 Jun 2015
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jeremy Smile I'm pretty much there with you on that dream! I can't speak for how to get jobs, because I've not reached that goal either so all I've got are broad strokes of advice I've received from others. It's all a combination of skill, luck, contacts and divine intervention so it's important to keep looking at different job sites that could potentially have something for you. Do you know of any companies or people you'd like to work with? Perhaps you could look them up and see if they need anything done? Lots of companies have a 'careers' page.

Looking at your site, your art has a nice style and it's great to have a portfolio like that Smile however, the layout of the website could do better. Scrolling down, down, down can be off-putting for people who wanna see your art, and if you had thumbnails that expand into bigger images or something in that vein, it might look better. Of course, it's just one person's opinion. Very Happy

It takes guts and bull-headed determination to follow your dreams with so much else going on in your life, so big kudos to you and don't give up!
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warp9



Joined: 08 Aug 2016
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:01 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking Some Career Advice..... Reply with quote

SJeremyHicks wrote:
I am looking for some career help, and I thought I would check in here.

*snip*

But where do I start? What steps should I take?
I have a family to consider, and I can just walk out of my job (as much as I'd love to).
How can I earn enough to pay the pills, provide for my family, and do what I love?
I really want to succeed, but how?
Thank you all so much, and any advice would be most appreciated.

- Jeremy
sjeremyhicks.com

If you are still looking for advice, here is my 10 cents. Note, I'm not an expert, but here are a few things I've observed. . . .

Some artists, such as Nick Kay, have made instructional videos and posted them to youtube (as seen here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWvWxa2IJIA ) And I don't think it was coincidental that the video featured a Warhammer 40,000 Black Templar Space Marine when Nick was trying to get a job doing War Hammer 40K type stuff. That strategy seems to have paid off for him in terms of getting a job doing WH 40K stuff.

David Revoy, who makes the "Pepper and Carrot" web-comic, has also posted videos of his work on youtube ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUUUiMe_SIE&list=PLtFEAsBxOIL1vFnHwAi0l7j942gyr7Dfr ), and he funds his web-comic through Patreon crowdfunding methods ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper%26Carrot#Funding )

I have heard it claimed in a number of places that a good artist can do pretty well through avenues such as Patreon. Of course I wouldn't know about that, since I am not that good an artist yet (but I keep learning).

Anyway, perhaps some of these same techniques can work for you as well, in any case, good luck Smile
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maurojflores



Joined: 02 Sep 2016
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the best way to start as an independent artist is through social media. Start using social media as a way to promote your art - not a product, that comes later, instead just your art. Concentrate on building a following by making accounts on several platforms: Instagram is the best to maximize exposure, but also make accounts on Twitter, Facebook, all of them. Update consistently and engage with other people who have similar interests. Like, comment, and share on their posts. There's also sites that are specifically for artists like DeviantArt, Behance, and Artstation. Post quality stuff regularly for a lot of time. Building a fan base doesn't happen over night. But once you do have a considerable amount of followers, you can start promoting a product that you intend to sell. Patreon is a good way to start making money with a personal project, but it will fail if you launch it before you have a good solid fan base.

I also suggest listening to advice from the pros. On Youtube, search for Jake Parker, Bobby Chiu, Will Terry, Stephen Silver. They all have videos with great advice for the kind of thing you're looking for.

I've started this path recently too, and it's tough. I started my social media accounts with 0 followers, and even though I still have few, I can tell you it's a big motivational boost to see it slowly growing. Keep learning and practicing, until people have no choice but to notice you!
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Little Guy Stories



Joined: 06 Sep 2016
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds really tough, Jeremy. I commend you for doing your best to pursue your dream!

I don't think there are any easy answers. For most it takes a long time to start making any kind of money off your art. But you have the right mindset, and you can really do it if you try!

Try and get good enough to where you can start doing paid freelance illustration for people during your spare time. Try and create your own stuff too, but be realistic about it. It will probably all take a long time.

I'm most sad to hear that you hate your job. Can you look into getting a new job right away that doesn't make you so miserable? It does not have to be comic related yet. A person can only handle so much.
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Rurina



Joined: 05 Sep 2016
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking Some Career Advice..... Reply with quote

SJeremyHicks wrote:
I am looking for some career help, and I thought I would check in here.
First, a short background on me:

I am 39 years old, I have a wife and two sons, and I work full time at a building supply company Ė been working there 18 years.
Itís never what I wanted to do, but somehow got sucked in, and stuck.
In 2007, I made up my mind that I wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a comic artist or illustrator. I began going to school part time, juggling family and work, and eventually earned my Bachelor in Media Arts and Animation in 2013.
Three years later, Iíve continued working for the construction supply company. Miserable and hating every moment of it. I continue though, because I have yet to find a way to earn enough money off of my art to support a family and pay the bills. I dread work every day, but I go.

Now, ultimately, my dream job would be to work from home as an illustrator. Freelance, contract, full time, multiple part time positions, anything. Iím certainly not looking to ďget richĒ, I just want to make enough of a living to pay the bills, which is all Iím looking for.
I WANT to work for it, and I am no stranger to sacrifice. Iím not a slacker, Iím not lazy. I work hard, dedicated, and driven. I am educated and talented.
But where do I start? What steps should I take?
I have a family to consider, and I can just walk out of my job (as much as I'd love to).
How can I earn enough to pay the pills, provide for my family, and do what I love?
I really want to succeed, but how?
Thank you all so much, and any advice would be most appreciated.

- Jeremy
sjeremyhicks.com



At first try to collaborate with some good writer and create a webcomic, you can fund it through Patreon too. that way you can do something you like and earn extra money from it. should ease up on you a little until you can work full time as an illustrator.
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REDemptioncomic2017



Joined: 14 Nov 2016
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I commend you on wanting to pursue a dream like that. I face many challenges myself, because I am a father of 4 working 3 jobs, yet I want to publish a comic too. Well, that and I also want to run a martial arts school. LOL

This is not a long-term plan by any means, but you could try a freelance site like Fiverr just to build up your portfolio. Buyers there want to take your work for PENNIES, but all you have to do (which is what I do with my writing gigs) is hold out for the customers who are willing to pay a fair price. It may mean I lose out on a lot of work, but I am not about to let myself get paid only $5 for writing a 50,000 word novel, you know?

My point is: pay your dues on there so you have some work to show. Then break away and charge the REAL freelance rates.
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