Monday, April 13, 2009

Words of advice from Rob Guillory on Breaking in to Comics.

Great Blog entry by Rob Guillory, artist of Chew from Image in June.

Here's the link

From his blog column...

1) Hit a con.

Walked the alleys, working past my own general awkwardness to
meet, greet and get portfolio reviews from artists, editors and the occasional
writer. Take note of whatever feedback I got in a sketchbook. Be polite and not
too self-deprecating. Ask questions. Trade business cards for instant
connection. Network!

2) Go home and Follow up.

I’d email almost all of the creators that I’d meet, just as a thank-you and as a way of saying “I’m serious about doing this for a living”. Oftentimes, creators would encourage me to send them new work, and they’d respond with invaluable advice. Jim Mahfood was the first creator that did this for me, and it was a huge boost to me when things got hard. And since we’re on the subject of using the Net…

3) Post Work Online.

I posted new work at least twice a week on at least five different message boards.
Sometimes, people would respond. Sometimes, they wouldn’t. Sometimes, they were
flaming assholes, but whatever. This was a priceless way to getting my work
seen, getting feedback, and meeting people. I can’t count the number of
professional contacts I’ve made just because the right person was surfing my
site at the right time. This is how Marvel Talent Coordinator/Writer C.B.
Cebulski found me via MySpace, of all places. I was just minding my own business
when he messaged me one day, saying he dug my work, and asking if I'd be
interested in working with him. Crazy. You’ll be amazed.

4) Work my Ass off.

Apply what I’d learned at the last con and try some new things. Build a new
portfolio and get ready for the next one.

5) Hit another con.

I’d hit two conventions a year. Once every six months, roughly. Being from the south, going to these shows usually required an expensive trek out of state, so this gave me
plenty of time to save the necessary cash, as well as produce a whole new
portfolio of work for each con. Simple enough idea. Added bonus of hitting these
cons regularly was that I became a face to creators. People remembered me and my
work, often to the point that many of those folks are now good friends.

Simple and wise words from an amazing talent.

And True. Face time at cons is a great first step. And the follow-up is essential. Even if I do think the days of approaching editors and getting invited to the offices in NYC are mostly gone, familiarity and name recognition work. Especially if you have something close to professional grade talent, a unique marketable style and are professional.

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