Cartoonist seeks opportunities
April 30, 2013 9:33 AM   Subscribe

My DrawSomething addiction has coaxed out of me a desire to illustrate without getting bogged down by a writing process. My recent draws are cartoonish, bright and friendly, and other players keep asking if I'm an artist. Where can I find cartoon or childrens book writers in need of artwork that might tolerate my lack of portfolio and professional experience?
posted by jayCampbell to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It strikes me that starting your own blog/webcomic may be a better way to create opportunities. You'll keep working, you'll develop a following, and writers may eventually come to find you rather than you looking for them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:37 AM on April 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Man, I was looking for you a couple of years ago. MeMail me and let's talk. I have no artistic skills whatsoever but I have a children's book ready to go.
posted by Sophie1 at 9:40 AM on April 30, 2013

Yeah I want to write a kids book too! MeMail me a link to some of your drawings.
posted by Dansaman at 10:06 AM on April 30, 2013

Oddly enough, I too have a children's book outlined and am in need of an illustrator. MeMail me a link to your drawings too please!
posted by bedhead at 10:22 AM on April 30, 2013

Well, I guess you're busy now, but I'd love to make a cartoon-like poster for my foster cat's home search -- she's all personality, not much on looks. OK, she's beautiful, but I'm not sure everyone else can see it right away. Also can you draw a cat for cheap.
posted by amtho at 10:49 AM on April 30, 2013

Response by poster: Wow, opportunity comes a-bangin'! I welcome all these and will contact everyone expressing interest. Please don't worry about overloading me, I need the experience. I'll assemble examples of the couple styles I've developed.

A web comic would be fun but I'm afraid of the pressure of consistently coming up with funny stuff.
posted by jayCampbell at 10:56 AM on April 30, 2013

Best answer: Web comics do not have to be about consistency, hilarity, or regular posting. For a lot of young artists, they're a growth experience and an exercise. The more you draw, the closer you come to having a portfolio. In some sense, you've already got one - Dansaman up there said "memail me some of your drawings", and that selection of things you put together for him is your portfolio. You should consider starting an online archive of your work. A "web comic" could be a blog or tumblr or whatever, on which you post your absolute favorite DrawSomething output. This might over time shift to what your hypothetical DrawSomething output would be if you got awesome imaginary clues. And then you've got a link that you can give to people when they ask "so what kind of stuff do you like to draw?". Just do it. It will be good practice, and if you don't like the results, you can stop giving out the link.
posted by aimedwander at 11:17 AM on April 30, 2013

Elance posts jobs which you, the freelance artist, "bid" on. I've never actually used it, and a lot of the price points seem overly low to me, but ymmv. I've seen "jobs" listed on Indeed that are actually Elance postings for a one-off gig so you could search for artist or designer or illustrator jobs on Indeed, too.
posted by vegartanipla at 11:50 AM on April 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you want a portfolio, of sorts, in the meantime just take screenshots of your Draw Somethings and post them to tumblr.
posted by mikepop at 11:53 AM on April 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Count me in, if you want to send some samples of your drawings and discuss ideas!
posted by PlutoniumX at 12:54 PM on April 30, 2013

I have no experience with this, but it might be an interesting commercial way to illustrate a bit and get paid to do it! They give you the narrative (what the logo needs to convey) and you submit an illustration for the contest!
posted by jph at 1:26 PM on April 30, 2013

Best answer: I took a class once from Scott McCloud, the comics theory guy, and his advice (for both sides, writers and artists) was that instead of trying to find an artist or a writer, to do that work yourself. It will make you better at whatever your medium is too, and have the advantage of showing prospective partners what you're capable of. The only caveat — and this is for comics — is that he said if you can pay someone else to letter your work professionally, do that. The thing that almost always sinks self-published work is terrible lettering.
posted by klangklangston at 1:46 PM on April 30, 2013

If you want a portfolio, of sorts, in the meantime just take screenshots of your Draw Somethings and post them to tumblr.

*ahem*...maybe something like this, perhaps?
posted by sexyrobot at 1:51 PM on April 30, 2013

Best answer: From what I've read, if writers want to get a children's book published, they should NOT hire/collaborate with their own illustrator. Publishers prefer to match the text with an illustrator they have on file (although I'm sure they take the author's preferences and ideas into consideration). So the people who are suggesting working with you on this should maybe submit their text to a publisher first, unless they are planning a non-traditional publishing route, of course. You could try creating a portfolio and submitting to publishers for their consideration. Also if you are interested in picture books, there is a genre of children's picture book with no text at all: just pictures. You could try creating one of those.
posted by lollusc at 6:20 PM on April 30, 2013

Mod note: Hey, jaycampbell, please put the link to your site on your profile page instead -- members can go check it out there by clicking your username. Also, you might doublecheck the link because the one you posted earlier led to an error page.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:49 PM on April 30, 2013

Response by poster: Done! Thanks.
posted by jayCampbell at 9:29 PM on April 30, 2013

My wife, who writes children's books, agrees with lollusc — with one exception. She says that publishers are still sometimes okay with a single artist who does all their own writing and all their own illustration (à la Maurice Sendak/Shel Silverstein/Chris Grimly/whoever the current rockstar of this sort of thing is).

But yes, for collaborative stuff, she agrees that the publishers would much rather be the ones playing matchmaker between authors and illustrators.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 9:31 AM on May 2, 2013

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