I have been very blessed with student assistants and two of my super stars have recently graduated and are/were madly looking for employment. It’s always hard to find a new job (in a good economy), much less that fantastic, meant-to-be-yours job that makes your heart sing and you happy to go to work every day. These kids deserve such jobs — they are full of talent and have work ethics you wouldn’t believe.
So what do you do when you are already pounding the pavement, knocking on doors and still not getting a job? I think you take it to the web.K is a bourgeoning children’s book illustrator. I encouraged her, while looking for a job, to build a web site and keep a blog. Illustrate every day. Don’t have something to illustrate? Pick your favorite book. Now, create illustrations for it. Put up a new piece daily. Visit other illustration blogs. Make friends, share links. But most of all: get your work out there. Slap a CC copyright on it and go go go.
- Improve your web skills
- Keep yourself busy (underrated virtue, but important when unemployed)
- Meet your people interested in your field (book arts and illustration)
- Impress every single interviewer you meet
For those interested, three illustration sites I sent to K are Keri Smith Illustration, Camilla Engman, and Claire Robertson. I know there are many out there, but these are three I used to follow quite frequently back in the proverbial day. All three have gotten great gigs from their web sites including the New York Times and book deals.