Category Archives: Art and Illustration

I’m an artist, do I need an agent?

Getting an agent can save you a lot of time and trouble, says guest blogger illustrator Clare Mackie. And if you’re an artist do let us at ‘Writers & Artists’ know what your view is on having an agent.

This one’s up to you – it’s not imperative to have an agent, but if you’re not business-minded or would rather not deal with that side at all, then it’s well worth it.

Illustrators’ agents take about Continue reading

Comments Off on I’m an artist, do I need an agent?

Filed under Art and Illustration

Don’t be shy, be seen

Guest blogger illustrator Clare Mackie has a few valuable pointers on how you can get your portfolio seen by the people that count

Illustrator Clare Mackie

Illustrator Clare Mackie

Once you’re set, perhaps with a website and definitely with a portfolio, you’ll need to have your work seen.

I am a little out of the loop, but on asking an agent they did recommend making appointments (as I did when starting out) with art directors, dropping off your folio with them or hopefully seeing them face-to-face.

If it’s the latter, do ask advice on Continue reading

Comments Off on Don’t be shy, be seen

Filed under Art and Illustration

Can I use a website as my portfolio?

Advice for illustrators from guest blogger Clare Mackie

Clare in her London studio

Clare in her London studio

By all means do try to get yourself a website so that art directors can look you up online.

I’ve found this invaluable – more important to me now than a portfolio, but I’m not sure it’s a substitute when you’re starting out.

Try to also have a traditional portfolio, and make it as beautiful and enticing as you possibly can.

Your portfolio is your showcase – you will be judged by it – so prepare it in a way that reflects your talents and abilities at their best. Art directors are by nature highly visual and will appreciate a well-presented folio to show to their colleagues and clients too. Continue reading

Comments Off on Can I use a website as my portfolio?

Filed under Art and Illustration, Marketing Yourself

Editorial illustration for Country Life magazine with Clare Mackie

Clare Mackie creating an illustration for Country Life

Clare Mackie creating an illustration for Country Life

Guest blogger Clare Mackie tells us about life as an illustrator.

Quick update: this is a picture of me working at home on an illustration for Country Life, whose commissions I love. They employ different writers for their ‘My Week’ column, and it’s my job to realise a scene or a quirky image that springs to mind from their copy. It’s always engaging as there’s a mix of writing styles, subject matter, and seasons, but as I enjoy painting animals best (and they’re mostly what’s required!), it’s a very happy collaboration indeed. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Art and Illustration

How to get started as an illustrator

Joining us as guest blogger today is illustrator Clare Mackie, who shares her experience of how she broke into the world of illustrating – it’s a competitive career, but it can be done! You’ll find some of her book illustrations, among others, in her online portfolio. For more inspiration, read on…

I often get asked about how to start out – or about how I started out – so I’m dedicating my first post to that topic. Illustration is a good career, but it can be a battle to get your foot in the door. This is a brief story of how I started out and I hope it’ll be of use to you.

After art school in Edinburgh I booked lots of portfolio interviews with art directors from design and advertising agencies. Unfortunately, a lot of them didn’t turn up to the meetings, and it was all very disheartening until one art director (who did turn up) suggested I move to London, Germany or New York, as my style of work wasn’t going to earn me much of a living in Scotland, though there is certainly work there too. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Art and Illustration