How to Get a Job Drawing

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Work and play collide when you are employed as a drawing artist. Drawers spend the majority of their days stretching their imaginative and inventive minds by way of pencil and pen. Following the right job search strategy can help you land a drawing job where you can enjoy a creative and rewarding career.

Create a Portfolio

  • Select 10 to 15 of your best drawing pieces for the portfolio. A portfolio is a folder or attache case that contains an assortment of artistic works in an organized format. It is a crucial component in the hiring process; employers do not have the time to conduct on-site drawing "tests," so they typically rely on a candidate's portfolio to assess her artistic skills.

  • Incorporate a variety of drawing samples. Place your best art pieces in the beginning of the portfolio and include artwork that reflects your artistic range. While employers look for candidates who can maintain the company's style, they also seek candidates who can adapt and shift gears when needed. If you are applying for a specific project, create mock samples to showcase your potential.

  • Purchase a portfolio case. The case keeps your art neatly organized and clean, which is important for a medium like drawing; one smudge of a charcoal drawing can ruin the entire composition. If you cannot obtain an attache case, acquire a three-ring binder. Slip your drawings into three-ring, archival-quality sheet protectors. These sheet protectors should align perfectly with the rings of the binder.

  • Scan your drawings and upload them to an online portfolio such as Carbonmade or Behance. Because scanning can alter colors in drawings, modify them prior to uploading by using image editing software.

  • Build your own website. Many working artistic professionals have their own websites that they designed themselves. Add a touch of professionalism by purchasing your own domain name. It should only include your full name or the name of your business.

Identify Art Job Boards and Resources

  • Find art job boards. Most colleges have a website dedicated to career resources where you can find job boards specific to industry type. Artbistro and Artsearch are websites that only post arts jobs with the former offering tips on portfolios, interviews, finance and marketing specifically for artists.

  • Join a local arts group. You can receive free critiques of your artwork and exchange tips with group members. Get to know your fellow group members and their unique talents. The group might be the birthplace of a new start-up company, which would create job opportunities for all the group members.

  • Attend workshops and seminars, especially if they are free. These events are usually hosted and frequented by established arts professionals. You might meet someone who needs to fill a position.

Practice Your Craft

  • Improve both your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have mastered a concept, move onto a tougher concept that builds on your current strengths. Staying at the same artistic level at which you are comfortable will hinder your growth as an artist. Weaknesses must also be addressed. A drawer may be highly skilled in creating sketches, but may not be as strong in post-production or editing. Familiarize yourself with software frequently used by the industry such as Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

  • Scope out the artistic landscape and explore current trends. Join graphic arts community forums online and engage in conversation with fellow artists there. Buy a subscription to a popular arts magazine or register your email address with an arts website to receive updates and features via email.

  • Draw outside of your comfort zone. If you are a guru at drawing and coloring two-dimensional cartoon characters, sketch three-dimensional figures and experiment with different shading techniques.

References

  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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