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Britt Griswold <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 23 Feb 2009 11:59:19 -0500
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Cheryl McCutchan wrote:
> Hi All,
>     I have been following this discussion and have found it very 
> helpful.  I just joined the Guild and have been reading the listserv 
> for about a year now.  I'm a fledgling scientific illustrator and am 
> feeling a bit clueless about how to run my business.  The differing 
> points of view expressed on the listserv are some of the most useful 
> I've come across.  Thanks for being so forthcoming with your advice.
>     I've got a question for the many professional illustrators out 
> there.  I'm not sure if this should have a new subject line but here 
> goes anyway.  How did you go about getting your first job?  Any advice?  
> Thanks,
> Cheryl

Getting a first job is always hard.  Part of it is being in the right 
place.  Being around people who do what you do and others who need what 
you do.

My experience is that most jobs come by word of mouth.  Show others what 
you can do and then you have a bunch of free agents out there who see 
possibilities and recommend you, or get word back to you to follow up on 
a possibility.

Sometime to get into the right place so you can see a job or assignment 
possibility, you have to volunteer in an organization that does what you 
want to do or works with the subject matter that interests you.  If you 
gain some subject expertise and convert that to images, people will 
notice.  The downside is if you give away to much of your time as a 
volunteer, an organization will expect all your efforts to be free, so 
you have to limit the art volunteering you are able to do.  Other 
volunteer skills are fine to use at will, but once they know you can do 
something art-wise, find excuses not to do more of art unless they have 
some money to put to it.