Getting Your First Art Job – Asking Pros

Getting Your First Art Job – Asking Pros


Gold versus fish! It is gold versus fish!
Oh my versus, you did not expect me to celebrate the fish! The fish, gold versus the fish.
we celebrate this fish. It is a fish! Question will be answered, it will just be gold versus
versus – verse fish. it was a versus of fish. Gold versus fish. [Music] Peter: My name is Peter Han, I’m actually
here at San Diego comic-con and you can find my stuff online through social media on instagram
@peterhanstyle and you also can find stuff through Facebook, finding my name here on
style as well. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist. Peter: Yeah, I actually started quite young
too. Well, I’ll give you a story, this is something I’ve actually not really told before.
When I was young, this is like in middle school, there was a – like a pinup book made by Marvel,
and it was all like the Marvel characters that would be posed like all these amazing
comic artists, and actually I owned it and I actually walked around middle school and
all my friends and people that went to that school would look up to the book and like
“draw me this character”. And so, I would draw an original version of that character
and I will sell it to them for like a dollar and I was just a kid. You know, it’s just
like an early form of entrepreneurship where I would use drawing to sell work to people.
And of course over time, you know, you start to learn about the industry; video games,
movies, comics all that kind of stuff. And by the point after high school, I was in a
two-year college at Art Institute. I first got an agent too. She came up to me saying that
“hey, we like to work a lot. We will even represent you”. I was like 19 years old and
got me some early work to do just small little illustration cards. But again, it came back
down to the connection of people to help me break past that point, to get even early early
work. Marshall: I started making a living as an
artist by taking any job that I could possibly get. Anybody would give me any money to draw
any picture, anybody. And then if I did it well enough to where they might refer somebody
else, that was how – you start out typically with very small money that gradually grows. Eric: My first real job was working in video
games. I got my degree in graphic design and I learned how to draw on paint at Watts Atelier.
One of the guys who was a student there at the time, Marty Davis, actually recommended
me for a job in video games to a friend of his. I went in, interviewed, they needed a
guy who could draw and I knew the computer and I could draw, so I got the job. Stan: You got the skills… [Laughter] Who is your cartoon car cartoon crush? Eric: Cartoon crush… Uh, let’s go with Cheetara
from ThunderCats. [Laughter] Well, that’s what I’m going with, Cheetara. Pascal: Hi guys, I’m Pascal Campion, and you
can find my work at @pascalcampionart on Instagram. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Pascal: When that was in college, I got my
first illustration contract for the university. I went to school in France. When I came out
of school, I came to the US, I got my first job in animation. It was a very low paying
job but that’s how can I footing to the door of animation and that was it, that’s it. I
just – I kept working working and then became independent and that was it. Stan: What superpower will be most useful
to an artist? Pascal: Speed. For me at least it’s speed
or time control. That’s one that we – my sons and I always talk about. Stan: oh really. Pascal: Like speed, that’d be amazing because
I can do so much more so much faster and – but you know, that is it, yeah. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? T.J: When I started making a living as an
artist, technically still working part-time as like a taco salesman. I was working at
like a Mexican food restaurant during the day, at night I was Batman working at my computer
and fighting crime. But yeah, so it was – it was like working the daytime job, making bills,
all that sort of stuff, but then going home and working on my pirate Photoshop for my
intuos and just taking up whatever jobs I could. For the last like 10 years, I’ve been working
conventions. I have like artist tables and booths. Never had one of this one yet, this
is like the big leagues but I’m from Arizona so I did a lot of Phoenix Comic-Con, Saboten
Con and anime conventions. I did Anime Expo once, that’s where I started to realize I
could actually make money doing art because I’d have like comics I did, I’d have some
fan art. I’m mostly tried to stick with like an original illustration, that was kind of
always my path but then people would order commissions and I was like “this is badass.
I’m making more doing this than I am at my taco place”, and that’s when I started to
kind of see the line lay out for me. Yeah, just from there, started working and doing
contractor work you know, bigger and bigger companies here and there doing freelance.
So, I landed with Magnopus and their sky carousel division and that’s when it kind of hit like
big studio. Stephen: I started making a living as an artist
as a caricature artist at SeaWorld in San Diego and I was doing that for a few years
working in different theme parks and that was my beginning and that transitioned to
doing freelance illustration work and then I got hired at Warner Brothers animation by
submitting a portfolio and that’s how I had my journey started. Stan: Did you work there at the same time
as Cort Jones? Stephen: Yeah yeah yeah yeah, I was there
with Cort Jones just doing it. Being in San Diego, he was there all the time. We did a
lot of gigs together. I do remember him being in his uh, turquoise uniform and I was wearing
my turquoise uniform. Stan: OK. Stephen: Yeah. Stan: Who’s your cartoon crush? Stephen: Ren & Stimpy [Chuckles] You know,
in a sick weird wild way. Stan: What! Oh my God! Stephen: I don’t know… Stan: You got even weirder. Stephen: I know, this is weird. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Karl: I started out struggling to try and
work for a UK comic called “2000 AD Judge Dredd” and I submitted sample scripts for
two years without making any progress with it. And then fortunately, another comic opened
up at Games Workshop which is based in Nottingham in my hometown and they contacted me and said
“oh, you got some work that you could show us?” I did and then they took us on and it
kind of picked up from there. But I think another piece of advice I’d say as well is,
don’t be too blinkered and narrow-minded about where you want to go with what you’re doing
because I set out to be a comic artist and it’s actually become, in my opinion, a far
more interesting career. I don’t know if I’d have succeeded as well as I have in comics.
So, don’t be too blinkered in your approach. Don’t go “this is just what I want to do”.
Look for opportunities that might offer themselves up to you and try and cover a broader spectrum
of stuff. My sort of analogy is like the pyramid effect you know, you start out wide and you’d
focus more and more as you get older. So, that’s a good approach I think. [Music] Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Bobby: When I started off, I was designing
toys for movies generally, animation and that’s what got me interested in getting into the
backend of that, like actually making the movies, making the video games and such. Stan: Who’s your cartoon crush? Bobby: Oh man! Man cartoon crush… Geez…
You know it’s Jessica Rabbit, right? Stan: Of course. Bobby: Also Sailor Mars was a big one, you’re
really digging deep here, I shouldn’t even expose myself but right there you go. Stan: Nice. How did you start making a living
as an artist? William: When I was in art school, they had
a job bulletin board. Art jobs would be posted on that board. One day, there was a posting
and it said “we’re looking – we’re having a contest, we were looking for an artist to
be the – to paint the first cover for a new pulp magazine called ‘Coven 13 News’.” stories
about witchcraft, supernatural, vampires, werewolves. Well, that’s right up my alley.
So I submitted three pieces and one of them won. And when I went to deliver the cover
to the editor, I asked him “what are you doing for interior illustrations?” and he said “oh
the art director is doing those” I said “can I see them?” and he showed them to me. They
were horrible. I said “how about if I do the interior illustrations as well?” they had
a great policy at my art school in the illustration department which was if you got any real jobs
on the outside, you could turn them in and move your homework. So my last two years of
art school, almost everything I was turning in was a real job, so made that transition
from school, academia to the real world almost seamlessly. And in the beginning, I took almost
any job that came along. I did the very first advertising in this country for Toyota, did
the first advertising in this country for Taco Bell and what was happening with taking
all those different jobs, I was finding out what I didn’t want to do and I started to
gravitate towards more of what I wanted to do and also, I’m an American, I’ve always
been after the buck and I found out that the two highest paying jobs in illustration at
that time in the 1970s were corporate annual reports and movie posters. Well, my work wasn’t
sophisticated enough for annual reports but I was a huge movie fan and I’ve always been
good at likenesses so, I sort of got into the movie poster business with a little help
from George Lucas. I did the very first merchandising of Star Wars for George and he never forgot
that. When they decided to re-release American Graffiti, George forced the ad agency to hire
me to do the new art for the re-release. Now, that agency did not want to use me, I was
untested in their mind, they didn’t know if I could make deadlines, they didn’t know about
the quality of my work but I came through on that American Graffiti job and suddenly
they began to inundate me with work. I feel so lucky to have been part of the last great
Golden Age of movie poster illustration. Most of my work I did for a company called sign
Seiniger and Associates and it was a joy to walk in there and to see what was being done.
It could be Drew Struzan doing sort of Leyendecker meets Mucha posters or Dan Goozee’s poster
for “Streets of Fire” which looked like Russian Agitprop or Peter Palombi’s poster for “The
Sting” which looked like you know, JC Leyendecker. It’s just really fantastic time to be working
in that industry. Vanessa: I’m Vanessa Lemen. You can find my
work at Vanessalemenart.com. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Vanessa: kind of always done a little bit
of different things. Freelance work; that could be some random mural or something when
I was younger to working in – I worked in a greeting card company for eight years which
is very different from my work now. But I always was doing the work like I do now then,
I just was also working at the greeting card company. Kind of a little bit of everything
all the time and that’s actually what my work is so much – it’s all-encompassing that you
know, all of my experience goes into that and you can see that. It’s like pieces of
life are in there. [Music] Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Eliza: I went to school for animation, so
that helped. Stan: Which school did you go to? Eliza: I went to Cal art. Stan: Oh yeah that’s right, I knew that about
you. Eliza: so if you want to be in the field,
it doesn’t hurt to figure out where the top people in your field went to, like in school
or my mentorship, the resources are out there, it’s just a matter of finding the right ones
for you. In animation, there’s a lot of things, you can actually be a fine artist within animation.
So, it’s good to narrow down your interests and then build a portfolio around that and
from there, you know, if you can get a professional opinion you know, that would be the best thing. Chrissie: Hi guys, I’m Chrissie Zullo, you
can follow me on pretty much everything Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and they’re all just
Chrissie Zullo, C-H-R-I-S-S-I-E Z-U-L-L-O. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Chrissie: So, I actually started working like
full-time as an artist really shortly after college. I put a portfolio together and I
got my first job really quickly out of college and I struggled a lot for probably the first
year or two trying to figure out like “how do I make money with art? And how can I you
know, do this as a full-time thing even though I’m a freelance artist?” and I think everyone
kind of learns, like goes through that rollercoaster of up and downs and they figure out what works
for them and it just took me a little bit and then I figured out kind of how to keep
getting work and what conventions I should do and how to get yourself out there and how
to open yourself up to commissions and you just find different ways to help you make
a living doing this as a career. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Colin: I had taken a web design class in high
school and someone was like “I need a website”, so I was like “okay, I can do that” and then
I told somebody else that I was building a website, they’re like “well, I need a website”.
And so, I started off with web design and graphic design, not very good at that honestly,
and then I was able to kind of move it more into doing illustration and even a little
bit animation. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Lucio: Okay, at the beginning I start doing
like cartoon things, cartoonish style. I started traveling here to San Diego and New York,
having interview with Marvel. So, I started with small publishers and then step by step,
Marvel Comics, Dynamite, Magic: The Gathering, Warcraft. So, was slow but it takes me years,
finally I was happy because I invested money in traveling. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Sean: I started off doing web design actually.
I worked for a company called “Funny Garbage”, sort of web design but it was also a game
design. They did the Cartoon Network website and I was a game artist and game designer
for the web games that they made for Cartoon Network. So, if anybody remembers playing
Cartoon Cartoon Summer Resort or Toonami Lockdown, I was the lead artist and designer on those
projects. The Toonami Lockdown project actually gave me my first taste of doing concept art
for new designs because most of the Cartoon Network projects were dealing with existing
characters. For that project, I actually got to do concepts for new characters that were
incorporated into the game. So, that’s when I decided that I really wanted to pursue concept
art in games as a career. I mean, it just kind of launched from there. The next job
was working at Turbine on the Lord of the Rings Online. Stan: What superpower would be most useful
to an artist? Sean: To me, I think it would be if you could
travel anywhere in an instance. There is not enough time in anyone’s life to see all the
amazing things in the world that there are to see. I mean, that’s why when Google Earth
came out, I mean, it just became an obsession of mine because I could just explore all kinds
of things that you know, I may or may not be able to see in real life and obviously
it’s not the same as actually being there but if yeah, if you could travel instantaneously,
I think it’d be great because you can go and be inspired by you know, so many more things
and so many more cultures and cities and places in the world. Stan: That’s teleportation. Sean: Teleportation essentially, yes. [Music] Stan: how did you start making a living as
an artist? Sanford: Honestly, I started going to shows.
Again, before social media really became a big thing, this right here was the thing to
do, to go to a lot of the trade shows, conferences, stand in the long lines to show one person
hopefully your work and they hold the fate of your entire existence at that moment to
where then you want to keep going or not. But that’s how I got in, I started walking
and being a part of the conventions. Stan: Just showing people your portfolio? Sanford: Showing my portfolio. Mainly a lot
of the professionals that I was a fan of, I think that’s always good you know, they
say don’t meet your heroes, but I think you gotta roll the dice. Sometimes you’re gonna
meet some people that are not as pleasant but for every five, there might be one that’s
gonna you know, not so inviting. But the other four is not so bad. Four out of five is not
bad at all. So, just go out there and – this is for aspiring artists too. Social media
is great but nothing beats that one-on-one personal connection. So, I still tell students
all the time “you got to do that because now, you got that time with a creator that you
admire and it’s you and that person”. And it may be that same way online, someone you
know, may contact you and give you feedback online, but to be able to see their expressions
when they look at your work because you never know. On social media “hey, I like your work”,
that doesn’t necessarily mean you know, some nuances there. I tell people a lot to make
sure that you go to conventions and see the show Stan: For you it didn’t lead to any jobs or
any kind of -? Sanford: Yeah, actually I was pretty persistent.
I went to this show in North Carolina called “Heroes Con”, it’s a very artists friendly
show, so that made it even better for me as a creator to be able to go to a show that
had nothing but artist, you know? A show like Comic-Con is awesome, but it’s a little bit
of everything. There’s a lot of white noise to some degree but when you go to a show that’s
very centric to artists, you’re going to get exactly that. You’re not gonna get a vendor
that’s trying to sell a pop figure, you’re gonna get an artist that’s there to be an
artist. So, those are the best shows to go to for creators I think. Stan: Awesome. How did you start making a
living as an artist? Brian: I was always the kid that drew through
school, every time people ask me to draw up things. I’ve been a professional illustrator
since I was 18. Some of the first stuff I did was stuff for old school game companies
and things like that. I just worked really hard. I mean, in high school, I would be the
kid that from a freshman to a senior, I’m gonna go into the library all day at lunch
and just draw arms and draw arms and draw arms you know? Also again, I think a great
piece of advice that a lot of artists don’t think about, treat it like it’s an – it’s
a sport, like you’re an athlete, okay? So, life drawing, that’s your weight lifting,
you know? That’s your running, that’s that stuff. We have to work at this stuff to get
to a certain level. There’s certain people with talent who can do certain stuff right
away, right? But anyone who puts the talent with the hard work is always gonna be better
than the person who just has the talent. Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Cutter: I started when I was in junior college
taking random jobs. I I did about a hundred jobs on spec which means they come to you
and they say “hey, college student, we got a great project and we’re gonna make millions
of dollars, but when we get paid you’ll get paid okay? Meanwhile, can you do like six
months’ worth of work for us and bust your head on this deal and just really really do
it for free?” and I said “yes” about a hundred times literally. I got paid twice. But my
stuff got out there and people saw it and that got me more work and so, just really
slowly I started working. I worked through college, I took any job that I could get as
an illustrator and then kept writing and kept doing my own stuff, my own comic books on
the side you know, 14-hour days and I just kept that up. To this day, I take just about
any job as long as it’s really not underpaid. I don’t do that anymore, because I don’t need
to. Stan: Who is your cartoon crush? Cutter: Oh, you mean what character? Stan: Yeah. Cutter: Oh, Taarna from Heavy Metal. Stan: Okay. Cutter: Yeah. Someone else said something
from Cool World. You know no Jessica Rabbit, yeah she’s hot but no, Taarna. I like I like
sword wielding hardcore babes. [Laughter] Cutter: And she was done by Mobius, so, yeah. Stan: Oh, cool. Cutter: Yeah. [Music] Stan: How did you start making a living as
an artist? Philip: All right, I didn’t got to break like
everyone else but I put together a book of back then, pick it up
and brought it to Wildstorm and I started my career like that. Stan: Okay, and how did you know them? Philip: There was a contest they have, like
when they were launching their books back then and I joined the contest and you know,
I got to know them. You know, I didn’t win the contest you know, I don’t think I was
that ready but you know, there was something in my work and after a few more years, I put
together my own book and that was it. I started like that yeah. Stan: Awesome. How did you start making a
living as an artist? Sean: In 2004, I was a teacher’s aide here
in San Diego, System for Autistic Kids and it had such a flexible schedule that I could
go sit in boarders when I got off a draw right? So, I got a phone call out of the blue one
day from Scotty Young and he’s like “hey man, I really dig your urban style”, and you know,
he goes “I think we have some of the kind of tastes”, yeah. He goes “I’d like you to
come out to Chicago and stay with us for a week and see how you like it, if you like
it, you can be part of Lead Heavy”. I went out there for a week, we gelled and I
became part of Lead Heavy you know? So, that really put me up there with the fella and
I was the underdog. You never think your poop don’t stink, you can never think that, you
won’t grow you know you? Got to know how to grow, all right? Because they were so good
these artists that I knew I had to find a way to get there somehow and then get my first
opportunity drawing Vinum Number 13 and that’s when I knew I had to draw a page a day, and
that’s when I knew – when I first got my first dream job, I completed the job and I made
the deadline but I was like “okay, I can’t make that their career”, so I stripped my
style back and that’s when I start getting animation and “Teen Titans Go!” cover gigs.
It’s crazy, you want one thing but you don’t know what’s available out there and so you
kind of dabble a little bit and so basically, I’ve been very blessed with the opportunity
that presented itself by, decisions that I didn’t know I was making for those kind of
reasons. Stan: All these artists started their careers
by taking a leap, but they also had the skills to get their foot in the industry door, that’s
where Skillshare comes in. Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of
classes covering dozens of creative and entrepreneurial skills. You can find classes and everything
from illustration and animation, the creative writing, fine art and more. SkillShare’s premium
membership gives you unlimited access to high-quality classes from experts working in their fields
to help you gain new skills and get the jobs you want. Adobe Fresco just came out on iPad
and iOS and Skillshare already has some great courses that will teach you how to get started.
Adobe Fresco is a drawing and painting app with the most advanced brushes in the world,
with a modern experience that balances ease-of-use with powerful tools. Best of all, it’s free
to download and try out today. Check out Jennet Liaw’s class “Digital Illustrative Typography:
Playing With Adobe Fresco”. In her class, she teaches the basics of working in Fresco
through an illustrative typography project. Skillshare is also really affordable, especially
when compared to in-person classes and workshops. An annual subscription is less than $10 a
month. And since Skillshare is sponsoring this video, if you use the promo link in the
description, you’ll get your first two months free to try out, risk-free. So, make sure
to click on the link in the description. Thank you to all the artists who participated in
this video and thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring it. If you have an interesting story about
how you started making a living as an artist, share it in the comments below or if you’re
struggling and you have questions, leave a comment, you might be surprised how helpful
the community can be. Okay everyone, good luck, I’ll see you all next time.

47 thoughts on “Getting Your First Art Job – Asking Pros

  1. If you have an interesting story about making it as an artist let us know! Your story could help other artists out.

  2. What if you don't feel skillful enough for the job they offered? If you just taking a job for the sake of taking one the a poorly done work will forever hang on your wall of shame! You can't just disappear it🤔

  3. I love this video, very inspiring, its my dream to be an ilustrator but im not a kid anymore im working everyday in a bar, is really hard to me to start, begin something that change everything. I feel like my dream is a candle melting

  4. I stareted by doing furry porn commissions. Huge market and it goes easly for around 300$ per piece.

  5. Tips on How to drawing art a habit 🙂

  6. Artist ≠ illustrator

  7. Please invite karl kopinski on your podcast if you can ! It would be amazing.

  8. I think that Goat vs Fish guy had a point

  9. Awesome video Proko! This has just made my day and help me get started on my art career 🙂

  10. Te amo prokitoooo

  11. Getting your first artjob is easy. Just forget all sense of pride and draw the most horrid commission people wish for. Best part is that these people dont care about the price. You can ask for 500€ easily. (Google the amount to your national currency, lazy bum)

  12. It’s nice to hear different artists’ stories

  13. He went to the art institute just for connections. What a useful school? 🙃

  14. where dat thicc superman from the thumbnail at?

  15. that t rex @3:39 lol nice

  16. I actually got my first gig when I was 17 and it didn't pay much buh I also had to redo the illustration because the client didn't like them and so i was sent back to drawing board .haha

  17. is there a website or a way I can get more info on when and where the next cons for an artist are like some of the smaller ones? someone, please help I've googled it but it's not clear

  18. Why does Superman look like a shy anime boy in the thumbnail

  19. 3:36 is that Cooper?

  20. CalArts is shit

  21. that guy Marshall Vandruff is really cool, Proko and him should start a podcast about drawing lol

  22. No NSFW artist ?

  23. What bother me is, don't you all people became pro long ago? When internet wasn't a big thing and not created a millions of wanna be artists, and industry wasn't full of creative people? It's great that you succeed back then, but what about now? How to get a job in modern times, while competing with million others, and more importantly with you guys? And don't tell me that art isn't a competition, it is, because people need money, and you really need to go really hard if you don't want to ruin your future career with furry porn.

  24. 1:57 MARSHALLLLL

  25. You've turned all those awesome artists' interviews into a commercial for skillshare in the end. Not cool, and I don;t think they will like it either.

  26. is it wrong that I keep pausing video to try to figure out the loomis head structure of the artists featured? 😀 😐

  27. Hi ….plz show as some storybording camp….. like this camp. …

  28. 7:46 "sailor mars was a bit one": haha ya this video is real

  29. Does anyone have advice on how to get your first commissions?

    I’ve been making art for years, but i’ve only ever been commissioned by family and friends. I’m currently in college, deciding between animation or post production.
    I know social media can be helpful, but i’m not sure how to optimize mine.

  30. Omg…. just remembered my cartoon crush 1 of them….cheetara

  31. 12:02 potato

  32. Love these videos

  33. I did not expect to see so many of the incredible artists I follow on ArtStation and Instagram in this video! It’s so interesting to hear their stories and it honestly fills me with hope for the future. People who say you can’t make a living as an artist have only payed attention to stereotypes and do not know the truth about this incredible industry. If you want it enough, you will get there! <3

  34. Fish

  35. thanks for this video, i was inspired to draw. i'll post the video process on the group

  36. Awesome 👍 Karl is great .

  37. Yes but no

  38. I'm graduating next year and I'm really scared. 😭 The animation industry in my country is non-existent, but at the same time I don't want to live abroad forever.

  39. THE FISH

  40. Gracias

  41. No stories yet…maybe someday

  42. you should have asked the fishman's inspirations and art stories

  43. So many people are helped through your channel

  44. These Asking Pros videos are the best!

  45. Still working on the whole get a job as an artist bit lol. Just posting personal project work on ArtStation at the moment.

  46. Spoiler alert ⚠️ Input-output CoolworldThe high school crush 😍 Hollywood from the film 🎬 1992. 😊 😁 😂

  47. Love the videos.. It's hard to watch them all though with the fluctuating audio 🙁

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