Last week I was invited by Robert Shadbolt to visit Salford University, Manchester to check out some of the student’s portfolios and to give a general talk about what I do and the business of illustration. I saw some really great work, and it made a change that the students I spoke to seemed to be focused on producing a great portfolio that they would be proud to show to a potential client.
Above is the work of Ryan Robinson, one of the students I got to talk to.
I’ve done a number of one-on-one consultation and talks, online and in person in the past and how it normally goes is… I’ll introduce myself or be introduced and then I’ll talk for a bit about what I do for a living and the projects I run. This includes web design and programming, Hire an illustrator!, the Little Chimp Society, Mail Me Art, and Gimur Hosting, along with a number of other projects that are in development!
After the introduction I go straight into a Q and A. I’ve found this is a more engaging way to talk about a number of different subjects, without boring the pants off the audience, which is very easy to do. The first subject to normally come up is pricing artwork – I try to be as honest as I can on the topic, listing all of the variables that come into play when pricing a job. I also mention as many real life examples as I can think of and list a few recommended books. Working out how much to charge isn’t a simple task, but it does help to talk about it. Next there’s talk about promotion and marketing, followed by networking and building solid professional relationships with clients. I don’t really touch on copyright and law, as that’s not my field, so the focus is on the business side of things.
This is a video I found on YouTube while using Google to find a map of the area, before I made the journey.
I spent most of the day at Salford Uni and in Manchester, and it was very enjoyable. So if you’re reading this Robert, thank you for inviting me.
On one last note – Gemma Correll will be making the trip, quite possibly with Norman Pickles (her Pug), to Salford in the next few weeks to do a talk about life as an illustrator. It’s a shame the lecture is only open to students as that would be an interesting one to see.