My life has always been surrounded by artists one sort or another. Some of them were learners and some of them were masters of one or more forms of art such as creatives, graphic designing, book illustrating, and digital images. However, only a few of them were actually kids’ book illustrators. At that time, I was wondering why the number of them was fewer than the ones engaged in the core art forms.
I went ahead and asked a few of the reasons behind not pursuing the kids’ storybook stream. Since I couldn’t get a satisfactory reply from them, I kept digging. Fortunately, I finally crossed paths with a person who was active in the same line for more than eleven years and was seemed like the perfect candidate to carry out the detailed interview.
We set over a coffee in a low key coffee bar at the New York City and ordered two cups of expresso and potato puffs. The guy’s name was Joseph and at that point of his life, he was leading a team of three video editors, two graphic designers, four illustrators, and a 3D VFX artist for a renowned publishing house which was also managing a number of monetized YouTube channels.
Joseph’s company had tie-ups with several authors and other publishing houses and hence, all kinds of illustration work, including the kids’ storybook was used to come there. He was in his forties and told me that he was always a hard-working fellow and a dreamer. During the early period of his life, he sweated it out for countless hours and nights to master the art of illustration.
He was fortunate that his work was noticed by some of the very rewarding eyes of that era and he held an important position in the firm as well as the industry. After a few years, he became the team leader and now almost every big house knows him by his name. He stated that low competition and high dedication worked as milestones for him.
However, the scenario today is completely different. Today, technology has taken over almost most of the segments of illustration. Nowadays, there are various digital tools to do so and the automation is on its all-time high. As a result, the number of jobs in the market for designers and illustrators is getting sucked up. It’s not as easy as it used to be then.
Connections, nepotism, and appearance combined with the factors I stated above are taking a toll on true talent. Hence, a candidate has to break the traditional shell of mediocre talent and employ his wings to jump into the world of sheer excellence now if he ready wish to make something out of his world.
He further said that a good illustrator stays away from ego issues at all costs. He looks for inspiration from all the living and non-living things that surround him. He never leaves the path of creativity and learning and he makes hard work and dedication his best-friends. It was soon going to dark and we were feeling sleepy. Therefore we decided to have this conversation at some other time.