Editorial Illustration : VIP Magazine Singapore
The AIB Illstration Blog had the pleasure of interviewing Admira Pustika, one of AIB's very own alumnas, about ways she handles self promotion in the world of Illustration and Animation! Check out what Admira has to say:
Q: What was the first paid job?
A: I started as an animator in Gloucester, MA, and I hope this is off the record, I was an international student, so it was restricting me from getting paid, but I did get some benefits. My first real job was as designer/illustrator for MTV Trax Magazine in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was probably one of the best creative teams I've worked with. I got paid peanuts, but I went in there for the network as well. The magazine is owned by the largest media conglomeration in Indonesia, so I thought I'd do it as a start and work my way up. At that time I just moved back to Jakarta, so I really need to get myself out there. I have to say, I was right, we don't work together anymore, but I would still refer them for works and vice versa.
Q: How Do you promote yourself as an illustrator?
A: The most effective way was word of mouth. I have a lot of creative friends as well: designer, fashion designers, restaurant owners, web designers, film makers - at some point they must need our help as illustrators :) I joined HongKong Society of Illustrators for a year, but I resigned because I didn't think it helped me as much as I expected. The community is quite solid in Asia, but I think it's not as well managed as it is in the States. Being an illustrator takes a lot of hard work of marketing your works. I join a lot of web community and competitions as well. I used to join a regional/Asia Pacific creative competition at least once a year to broaden my network and work with more talented people across the region. Also... start early!! Get yourself into the community now by starting as intern in BIG company or even boutique studio. It doesn't matter. You'll find where you'd want yourself to be, some people like it to work with big names, other people would want to be in a small environment where everyone is like a family member. Jut get yourself out there.. This is the time for you to learn from the real world professionals without worrying about office politics etc. Hahaha, a lot of big studios have internship programs that will last for 3 to 6 months - you'll get so much stuff to do and to build your portfolio with interesting projects.
Q: What ways have you found to be successful in promotion?
A: I think personal approach is always the best. And be PROUD of what you do :)At BBQ parties, my friends would introduce me to their friends not so much as an illustrator, but as mural artist. That's putting myself in a niche market, and I think that's good! I love making murals, for its scale of work, and most of the time, I'm making mural for children room - the sky is the limit for them! One time I made dinosaurs in space, and you learn from your customers too.
Editorial Illustration : China Daily Beijing
Q: How do you promote yourself without the use of the Internet?
A: If there's a solid network of agents as there is in US, I think it will work well. The thing is, in Asia, it's possible for us to do so much freelance works without an agent. Friend of a friend, cousin of a neighbor might need some wedding invitation or mural for their living room. It was easier for me when I was living in Jakarta. Since I'm living in Singapore now, I'm building my network from the beginning. I go to a few creative gathering, not as much as I'd love to, but there I'll make friends, make new connections, along the line, there must be something that I can do together with them. Sending postcards, Christmas cards, Greeting cards, any kind of thoughtful wishes to Creative Directors and Art Directors of big advertising agency will also help. Let yourself be known, they might not give you work right away, but you'll make yourself be known. They'll introduce you to someone, refer your name to their friends, etc.
A: I don't really submit works to galleries anymore. Most of my time is not occupied for my fulltime job. I work for an experiential agency called e2, I still do murals, but they're mostly for corporate offices or banks :) I submit for call of entries twice a year. I submit a few works for TheyDrawandCook.com. They're amazing team of brother and sister with amazing effort. It became a book last year.
A: Sale price... hm.. this is tough :) It really depends on where the work is going to be showcased, who's engaging you to the project and how soon they want it. Living in Asia, everything is super instant. A lot of stuff needs to be done within 48 hours. I worked as designer/illustrator at an advertising agency in Singapore - I could not continue doing my watercolor paintings: one, it's becoming too expensive as they change direction every day, and two, they wanted everything done within 24hours.
Q: What generates the most feedback from your audience?
A: Most of the time, clients just want something pretty and they want it done quick. And it's hard to realy get them to see that my style is not the same as that other painter's style. So, I had times where it's tough to let them know that I don't do Balinese painting or a hyper realistic painting. The clients are mostly not from the creative side, so most of the time, it's easy to impress them, but other days, they'd probably be surprised of what you come up with. Altough they approve the sketch, doesn't mean they won't change the concept when it comes into final stages.
Editorial Illustration : VIP Magazine Singapore
A special thanks to Admira for sharing with all of us here at AIB!
For more of Admira's work :
Website : http://admira-pustika.com/