Gail,

I joined Twitter after the storm because I couldn't stand the thought of yet another reason to be attached to my devices. However, I think it will be more useful than any other network I use, such as LinkIn and Facebook. I have a professional FB page, but it gets little attention, especially since FB decided who sees what posts when. One has to pay to boost their posts to where it is more useful, which I haven't had time to do yet.

Emily is spot on regarding being part of one's community. In Providence, nearly all my work was word of mouth. When I moved to NYS, I had to start over, essentially from scratch. Because I am active in my community, I was offered what would have been the largest freelance job of my working career….had I agreed to an undisclosed work-for-hire contract. (Rewind, put my career over that of educating big business on the rights of illustrators.) But that offer came about only because of being social. There was no job posting to apply for, just "I heard you did this, and so-and-so is in the market".

See you in PA!
Gretchen



Gretchen Halpert
Illustrator/educator
Scientific Illustration Distance Program

On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 11:08 AM, Gail Guth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I took Kapi's excellent workshop, that's when I joined. But I have been so busy I haven't been able to explore it more, I still don't "get" Twitter (Old School Dinosaur talking here) so I am taking the lazy way out and asking now!  ;-)

I don't have my business FaceBook page running yet. It's there, but has nothing on it. It's been that way for at least a year, maybe more. Sigh.

thanks, Emily, interesting info. I would be interested in anyone else's experiences.

Gail




 

On 4/14/15 10:50 AM, Emily S. Damstra wrote:
Hi Gail,
I joined Twitter during the recent SciArt tweet storm (see here, for anyone not familiar:) http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/2015/03/13/aftermath-sciart-tweet-storm/
I am by no means a Twitter expert!

I started posting some of my illustrations and tagging them with relevant hashtags like #sciart #fossils #echinoderms #MolluscMonday #TrilobiteTuesday etc.. Then various people see my work via one of those hashtags or because they're already following me or because they are following someone who retweets my original tweet.
So far I have been able to license a few illustrations to one person who found my work that way, and I am connected to several potential clients.

I am under the impression that one does have to be at least somewhat active on Twitter to maximize its potential.

Glendon or Kalliopi might have other suggestions.

---
Emily S. Damstra
natural science illustration
Guelph, Ontario
(519) 616-3654
[log in to unmask]
www.emilydamstra.com
Twitter: @EmilyDamstra

On Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 10:28 AM, Gail Guth <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi, Emily,

How are you using Twitter? I have joined but haven't had time to explore it and frankly just don't know what to do with it.

Is anyone else using Twitter to advantage?

Gail




On 4/14/15 9:36 AM, Emily S. Damstra wrote:
Hi Laura,
Below is my answer to your question "How did you find work, when you started your career?"

My first several projects (at least!) were for people I knew or for people who were referred to me by someone I knew.

These days my website does bring me some work, but I think the majority of projects I work on can be traced back to someone I know. I have acquired some excellent clients thanks to volunteering at a local nature reserve and to being active in SONSI (sonsi.ca).

My advice to anyone who is looking for illustration work:

1) Be active in your community – though not for the express purpose of getting work. Volunteer, join clubs, be social, engage. Not only is it good for the soul, but someday one of those relationships will probably lead to work - and it might be in the most unexpected way.

2) While working on a project, don't fear asking for help from scientists or other content experts. The worst that can happen is that they won't reply; the best that can happen is that someone enthusiastic about the subject your illustrating is really helpful and now knows you exist and might hire you in the future. If they do help you, be sure to thank them with a card or print featuring your work.

3) Have a website and put as much good quality work up there as you can. Sometimes people will end up at your website after searching for an illustration of something specific. Do keep in mind that potential clients who find you via your website are likely to hire you to do the same type of work that they see in your portfolio.

4) Others might say to be active on social media. Personally I have not maximized the potential of social media, but I can say that (for me) Twitter is definitely showing potential (I just joined last month).
---
Emily S. Damstra
natural science illustration
Guelph, Ontario
(519) 616-3654
[log in to unmask]
www.emilydamstra.com
Twitter: @EmilyDamstra

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--
Gail Guth
Guth Illustration & Design
139 Lathrop Avenue
Battle Creek, MI  49014-5076
269-963-1311
[log in to unmask]
www.guthillustration.com


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--
Gail Guth
Guth Illustration & Design
139 Lathrop Avenue
Battle Creek, MI  49014-5076
269-963-1311
[log in to unmask]
www.guthillustration.com


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