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If I want to be a children's book illustrator, what can I do to get my own style for comission work?

I am majoring in English language at a super normal university in Vietnam. If I keep going, I am fear of wasting time on unnecessary things. Moreover, my university is not famous for my major and I don't see myself grow enormously any skills that I had studied after about two years. Therefore, I am so confused whether I should continue or not. #college #college-major


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Anne’s Answer

Hi there! I do think it is important to continue your education; while you may not realize it, you are learning valuable skills that will help you navigate life - prioritizing, critical thinking, communication skills, and teamwork (if you work in small groups).

Regarding the children's book illustrator, perhaps you can explore classes online or at your current school that are offered in design or art in general. I recommend you research illustrators locally or online and learn how they got their start. Most importantly, keep a portfolio of your drawings and/or characters so that you are able to share them with people who might be interested in using them. And - what is holding you back from writing and illustrating your own book? Good luck1

I'm so thankful for your advice. Now, I can gradually realize what I have to do next. Thank you for taking time to give me the guidance. Png N.

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Judy’s Answer

Hi Png,

I had the same attitude about college and said almost the same things about myself, just like you.

"I'm a hard worker and I know how to work with others..why should I complete my education and get a degree??"

At that time I was choosing to go into Youth Ministry. My mentors shared with me that if I want to do great work for youth students and go into roles that will allow me to make a greater impact, the degree will help.

There are some companies that do not require a college degree to be hired but we still have a system where a degree is considered valuable and displays more than just an education. Having a college degree also displays that you are disciplined, understand deadlines, can work in groups, able to follow direction, learner etc etc.

For your illustrations, don't give up on that. There are no rules that state you cannot pursue your dreams or have a creative goal on the side while you finish your education or work your first job. I've seen creative friends start on social media to get their work seen. Some ended up opening a small Art School while having their own artwork displayed in exhibits. Visit library websites to see if they have any artwork being displayed. Be creative even in how you socialize your artwork.

Good luck!

Judy

Thank you so much for spending time on sharing. I truly appreciate your help. I am trying to keep on my own way. Png N.

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Pamela’s Answer

I think that having your own style as an illustrator is great, but I also think that there are benefits to being able to create art in many different ways! If you are not currently working with clients, I would recommend creating art for yourself that shows the type of work you would like to get client jobs for. So if you want to illustrate children's books, think about typical themes of books you would want to create for. If there are children's books you like, maybe re-imagine a page in your own way. If you have a passion for food, or animals, or some other thing, how can you bring that passion into a children's book? Maybe you could make an illustrated series around the alphabet and animals? Or an illustrated series around foods kids like to eat?

When it comes to establishing a style, that will happen over time, so practicing and drawing a lot will be key. When you finish pieces, think about what you like and why, and think about how you can bring more of what you like into future pieces. Or how you can make those parts you like even better by changing other elements in the piece.

The key is to make things you enjoy doing, because that will help you to create your best work, and attract clients in the future. Best of luck!!

Thank you so much for give me advice here. I really appreciate it. Png N.

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Patrick’s Answer

Hi there! I really like this question. I went to college for Theatre, which is exceptionally challenging to get a job directly after graduation. However, knowing this, I went to a university that was a Liberal Arts university, so my BFA in Musical Theatre was extremely well-rounded because I had to take classes outside of my major. I think that it's very valuable to do things outside of what you might ultimately end up doing in your career. I'm working as a receptionist right now, but I am still able to focus time on my career.

I would say to do whatever you can to learn and meet new people - those two things have always influenced my art, even when I wasn't regularly practicing it. I'm not doing the job that I want to be doing right now, but I would say that I'm learning so much about so many different things and it's going to end up influencing my performance and my art.

Best of luck with everything - you're going to figure out what works for you - just keep learning and growing!

Patrick recommends the following next steps:

Stick to your degree. Even if it's not what you want to be doing.
Saved!
Learn, learn, learn.
Saved!
Meet new people and network!
Saved!

Thank you so much. ❤And thanks for your encouragement. Png N.

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