Tag Archives: freelance

Working for The New Yorker

I was extremely lucky to be offered an opportunity to help with a video that will be appearing on The New Yorker website. My portfolio was passed onto Paul Trillo who is a director from the United States and he got in contact with me asking if it was something I’d be interested in. v

I was asked to create a paper cut totem pole made using common villainess targets and it would have the grim reaper on the top. I started by drawing down different styles of how the characters could look as I was asked to do them in a stylized fashion. Once a style was agreed I went on to use the same techniques on the other characters that I was asked to create. In total Paul wanted 10 characters as well as the grim reaper and I was given 6 with the remaining 4 to be decided by me as long as they were cleared with Paul.

There were a lot of revisions throughout the week and because Paul was 5 hours behind emailing could sometimes be very spaced apart. It was definitely a lot to take on but it was an opportunity I couldn’t let slip and I learnt a lot. Firstly I had never created faces before with paper especially ones that needed to look like people such as Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin so this was a new challenge but I welcomed it with open arms. Paul seemed really impressed with the faces that I came up with and only a few edits had to be made such as lowering of the eyes.


To put all of the totem pole together I decided to take a photo of each face individually because the totem pole was so large and it would be much easier to rearrange the faces and edit them if necessary. It was a good job I decided to this because Paul wanted a different style of grim reaper so luckily it was as easy as removing the grim reaper layer and adding the new grim reaper in. I had an idea for the grim reader to have his arms arm and scythe in hand like the wings spread on traditional totem poles, Paul seemed to really like this idea and let me add it into the final piece.

Once put together I was asked to create a simple paper style background and add a few clouds in too to show the height of the totem pole. The idea was to start the clouds off light and gradually make them darker as they rise up the totem pole and finally end in stars.

Once complete the final thing that I needed to add was a blinking layer to each of the faces so Paul could make the faces blink when he brought it into after effects. This is where folders in Photoshop became really important. I had never used folders before in Photoshop because none of my work usually has that many layers so I just give them a title instead but with so many layers it was really important for me to group different elements in folders. This not only was usual for me but would also help Paul out a lot when the file was passed over to him. Adding the blinking layer was quite easy I just duplicated each face, removed the eyes and added a small curve where the eyes would be so show a closed eye.

The file was passed onto Paul who added some details himself and brought the piece into after effects to give it some movement. The video should be up on The New Yorker’s website by the end of the month and I can’t wait to see it! The opportunity has taught me a lot about creating artwork, editing artwork and making my artwork accessible to others and I’ve taken a lot away from the experience that I will definitely be implementing with future work.

Below is the totem that was created for Paul, a few small edits were made to the background before it was took it into After Effects but as the video is still being created I can’t show the final thing at the moment.

Totem pole 23.png

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Final Year Show building

Over the past couple of days I’ve been going in to help set up the final year show which will be open in a couple of weeks. As I’m quite hands on I decided to volunteer to be in the building group who’s main jobs are making the show walls for work to be displayed on as well as deconstructing unwanted stands so that they can be used for the plinth team.

So far the show is going up very fast and is looking great, I’m really looking forward to seeing it once everything is up and we’re ready to open the show to the public. Today we made a lot of the show walls and the painter team came in to paint them all white ready for work to be displayed on them!

I myself have asked for two plinths for my work and I’ll also be using a wall to display some of my layered paper work which I hope will work well alongside my three dimensional pieces. To give the work more context and to show that my work is mostly editorial I’m thinking of adding a small piece of text underneath each artwork to explain the article that the it was made for.

Below is a photo from the first day which just shows a stand before we took it apart for the plinth team. It’s not a very exciting but I’ll add more in later posts that show the show coming together! The floor itself at this time was very bare as we’d cleared up the space ready for walls to be made and other pieces to be brought in such as chairs for the cinema room.

Photo 03-05-2017, 10 39 54

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Working with The Philosophers Magazine

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working with The Philosophers Magazine to create two illustrations for one of their articles in their latest publication. It’s been a really eye opening and enjoyable experience and because freelance illustration is what I would love to end up doing it’s been invaluable.

I believe I worked with my client professionally and if anything may have asked too many questions but I put that down to the fact that this was the first time I had done anything like this. I started by reading through the article that was sent to me and sketching out rough ideas ranging from the more obvious illustrations to more cleverly crafted pieces that weren’t so clear but worked with the text. After coming up with a range of sketches I sent them over to allow my client to look through and pick out which they felt worked best, once feedback was received I worked on my sketch to show a more refined piece.

As I had the time I agreed to create a second illustration that was once again adapted from my initial sketches. It was great to work with the client to work towards an illustration that they were happy with, usually I just make illustrations that I like but it was nice for me to have to adapt my work to suit someone else’s needs.

The second illustration I made with the 4 dice went through more stages until a final outcome was decided on. My client liked the idea of the 4 dice with maths symbols and wanted me to play around with different compositions so do to this I made the dice and took photos of different compositions and sent them 4 that I felt worked best. A composition was then picked and I took the image into Photoshop to make some final edits before finally sending over the 2 finished illustrations.

As well as making the illustrations I had to make sure the dimensions and resolutions was correct which was easy enough to do but was also something that I’d never really had to consider before.

They have been kind enough to send me a copy of the magazine that will have my illustrations printed in and I’m excited to see my work. The whole experience has been great and I’ve really enjoyed myself, hopefully this is just the start.

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Professional Practice Lessons

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been lucky enough to have Dan Peterson who has been teaching us professional practice. This has included everything from how to approach a client, how to agree a contract and even tips of business cards and websites.

As I would love to end up one day going freelance the sessions with Dan have been really helpful and have taught me a lot about what to expect in the future. I’ve learnt how competitive the art industry is and how fast freelance work gets snapped up but if anything it’s spurred me on to try even harder.

Something that is really important that Dan has taught me is different licenses that exist and what I should be aware of when giving my work to the clients. Depending on he license I can charge more for an illustration, if it’s only being used for a single purpose then I won’t charge as much but if the client would like to use it elsewhere then he price for my illustration may increase. Giving away complete rights to a illustration never seems like a good idea because once you’ve handed it over it’s not your anymore and the client can use it as many times as they want and even sell it on. Single use contracts seem like the ones I may use more often as a freelance editorial illustrator and I must make sure to make it clear that I’m only giving my client the illustration for a single use, if they want to use it again technically they’d have to pay me again.

I’m going to start by contacting as many art directors as possible from newspapers and magazines in the hope that if anything I can get my name known and my work seen. As I create papercraft artwork I’m lucky in the respect that I’m a bit different from the majority of artists who use paints and digital media. This in some ways works in my favour but it all depends on whether my papercraft artwork is something that the client would be interested in.

I think the most important thing for a new illustrator like myself to do is to get out there as much as possible. With me already covering the most popular social media sites it’s important that I keep them up to date and try to connect to as many people as possible. The more people that know about me and my work the better as I may be lucky enough to grab the attention of a potential client or even have my name brought up in conversation.

Something else that is very important is to reply to clients as soon as possible. Clients will most likely contact multiple illustrators for the same job and it may come down to whoever replies first who get the job. Freelance illustration can be very face paced and it’s important to keep on top of everything. I don’t want to disappoint any of my clients in any way because that will stick with them and they may not bother contacting me for jobs again or recommending me to others.

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