Professional Explorations - Week 1

During my professional assessment I realized that I really want to continue my exploration from last semester in Contemporary Topics about Illustration Advocacy and self promotion. This semester I'd like to continue developing a really great and organized website portfolio as well as a series of self promotional mailing materials. I have been researching what other illustrators do to promote their work successfully, and I have found that the successful illustrators (in the same vain of illustrating as I am) all seem to have online portfolios on their websites and etsy shops. I imagine that from the research I have done they also have self promo materials being mailed to prospective clients. Also, I don't know anything about the shows that Bosler was talking about and how that whole thing works and I'm very curious. I keep thinking about Emma's beautiful pattern portfolio for her thesis. I still really love the idea of a paper/physical portfolio to accompany a beautifully design online portfolio.

So I have been transitioning my artwork toward illustration and marketing it as such, but really I've been making art for over 20 years. I don't want to leave that experience off of my website because I think it's valuable, but I wonder how much is too much to share? I don't want to seem like the typical art educator who learned a bunch of different art disciplines and finally after 15 years of art ADD found my path and my voice. I don't want to seem unfocused.

It's a strange place to find myself. As an undergraduate student and drawing/painting major, we were taught to have a very focused portfolio and a style that is consistent. I used to make art that made me happy and then try to show the work and sell it. As an art teacher going on interviews I was taught to have a portfolio with as much range as possible to show you can teach as much as possible. As an illustrator in this program, I have no idea what the parameters of my portfolio should be to seem legit, focused and professional. I need help! I have been researching, but it's tricky to find really good examples. I am really looking forward to Bosler's help and everyone in the class, as this is uncharted territory for me.

I loved the packet because it really helped me take a deeper look at what my professional goals are and what I want my career to look like. I want to think more about that and try to be mindful of realistic expectations of my time and lifestyles as I tend to be a dreamer and try taking on too much when I really should focus on what I'm really great at.


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