a girl who creates
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
June Softie
I finally buckled down and got my softie finish for Loobylu's: A Month of Soties. The theme for June was "June Bug" and this is my "Shutter" Bug named Snap (click on him for a larger view). I learned that duck cloth is a dream to sew and paint, but frays like crazy! I thought I was going to have to scrap it and use another material but I'm glad it worked out. I love the texture it has.

I really had fun getting back to my artsy side. I have always loved to make things and am glad I'm doing the Birdie Swap. That will help me create new things and just have fun with each piece and some of the items may end up as product for my shop!

Since the last week or so, I have gotten so many emails and comments about my "Becoming An Illustrator" journal. I never really thought I'd have so many people read it and find it inspiring (if you emailed me and I haven't responded yet, I will soon). An illustrator who has been bookmarked in my inspiration folder for several years emailed me. I'm sure everyone's seen Cathi Mingus's. work. It is fabulous. It was neat to see how my promotional journey could also help established illustrators. Pretty cool!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Inspiration at the breakfast table. See the sketch here.

Sunday, June 26, 2005
I'm a writer!
I got an exciting voicemail the other day from the editor of The Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market. They are wanting to feature me in their 2006 edition. She read my Becoming An Illustrator journal and would like to include my journey in their book,. Pretty cool huh? I've gotten their books (this one as well as The Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market) for years. If you all have never picked up a copy, do so. They are packed full of helpful tips as well as addresses and submissions to companies who rely on freelance Graphic Designers and Illustrators to make their products pop. It is a very good investment.

Thanks to those who have emailed me so far about wanting to swap. I will begin work in those today as well as my softie for A Month of Softies (June's theme is "June Bug"). I finally have a little free time after being so busy since I left my corporate job about a month ago. I actually took a nap on Friday while the woog was napping. I've been waiting all month to do that!

Thursday, June 23, 2005
I finally had a chance to redesign my blog as you can see and switch it over to it's own domain (be sure to update your bookmarks and links!). It looks best in Safari. My stylesheets seems to read better in it than in IE. I may still tweak the layout some, but overall I'm pleased with it. I think I got everything moved over ok with blogger, but please let me know if you see something missing or out of whack.

I am planning on starting to use my blog as a promotional tool for my illustration, online store, and anything else I can think of. You will notice a new little bird in the sidebar. It's for a "Birdie Swap", so learn more about it here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

One of the major perks of owning a video store is you have access to free movies. I have found the perfect working conditions. Watching a movie while I work. Now playing in the top right corner is Mission Impossible 2. It gives me something to do when big files are saving or uploading. Perfect!

Some links you might enjoy:

Very cool e-bay auction by Jelene (I want it all!!)
Cute paper creations at Paper Toys
Super cool painter tip from Barry Gott

splish-splash summer

This is my submission for Illustration Friday's "summer." It feels good to finally do something just for fun. I've been working for several weeks on a teacher's workbook for kindergardeners, so this was a fun illustration to do to help break up the monotony a bit.

Now that I'm self-employed, I'm starting to tackle my list of things I've always wanted to do. The first thing to do is revamp my blog. I'm in the process of a redesign and switching it over to it's own domain. Hopefully I can get my blogger files moved over correctly. I plan on doing a swap in order to decorate my studio, as well as have a store up and running. If you want to be on my mailing list to know when I have goodies to sell, shoot me an email.

I came across this site a while ago but happened across it again. Since my business is client driven, these were a hoot. I've had some stories about past design clients but some of these are unreal. Be sure to devote some time to read them. Before you know it you've spend an hour at the site!!

Saturday, June 04, 2005
I'm where I want to be
With this week's theme for Illustration Friday being digital I thought it was appropriate to share my last article of Becoming An Illustrator that shows the evolution of my digital work. Enjoy!


Well, it's been a year since I started to "actively" pursue my dream. I am proud to say I have done it. I have reached my goal of becoming a professional illustrator and being a stay-at-home mom. May 31st was my last day as an employee and now I'm out on my own.

I have learned so much over the past year. The main thing has been the evolution of my style. I was happy with what I had going when I first started out, but as I got more feedback I decided I needed to work on some things (like using smaller eyes, adding eyebrows and necks). You cam se my progression below with my digital work.

Illustrator with flat color and outlines. Notice my big eyes:

Illustrator with gradients for more dimension. Notice I'm toning down the eyes in the phase:

My medium of choice now has become Painter. Notice my little eyes:

I am very comfortable with my style and technique now but I know there is room to grow. I'm starting to experiment with paper and surface textures and things I need to work on are my noses and gestures. It will all come together in time and I'm enjoying the process.

I've mentioned my self promotion process throughout the year and have narrow down the things that have helped me the most.

Things that worked for me marketing wise:
My website
Link exchanges
Detailed Meta tags

Things that helped me grow as an illustrator:

Researching other illustrators
Looking at picture books
Starting a blog
Illustration Friday
networking with other illustrators
Joining a critique group
Sketching daily
And believe it or not, just spending time with my daughter to see facial features and body language.

All the things above cost no money (except portfolios.com since I sprung for the titanium portfolio and it has more than paid for itself with referring jobs). Although I had a full time design job in all this and did freelance design work on the side, I still didn't want to spend any money. I wanted to show myself and others that promotion could be done without spending gobs of money on flashy mailers or sample packets. Without doing those fancy things, I got myself out to potiential clients, landed an agent and have gotten enough work so I could quit my full time job.

Getting here has not been easy. I am tired. Incredibly exhausted. The kind of tired where you are so tired you can't sleep. I have worked on my goal one way or another every day for a year. There have been (and still are) many late nights working on projects, slowly building my client base. At least now I have more freedom and am not bogged down with a full-time job, but I do have my hands full chasing a giggly one year old around, so having a huge project with a short deadline sometimes has to wait until naptime or bedtime. I wouldn't have it any other way though. Being home with my daughter is the most important thing for my family and me, but I still want a career. I need to accomplish goals and have something to show for it. I want to be successful. Although I am starting out again, so to speak, by being self employed, I still have to market myself heavy and do what I've been doing.

I truly hope that this series of articles has been beneficial to you in following YOUR dream. I appreciate all the feedback I've gotten and I will continue to write about my promotional efforts and experiences on my blog.

Click here to start reading my articles from the begining (June 2004).

*podcast interview*
What I Do
How I Got There


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© Holli Conger 2005-2009
Please don't steal my work!
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