Hello everyone ! Portrait stuff this sideI am doing my graduation in journalism and mass communication. I am interested in making the human vector portraits but dont know how to start this and how to make my carrer as a vector portriat artist right now i am practicing the adobe illustror started it few weeks ago. I also want to make my own page and website to showcase my skill .
should i also learn the digital marketing ?
can anyone guide me what steps are needed in being a portrait artist and how can i earn with this skill.
Let’s start with the basic question. Can you draw by hand?
Let’s ask the next question, when Illustrator can take a photo and create a “vector” portrait at the push of a button - and anyone with the software can do it - what can you bring to the table that will enhance this option, and make it a saleable object from which you can earn a living?
Drawing pretty pictures has nothing at all to do with digital marketing. Quite often students of design find out far far too late that digital marketing is NOT about your Art. It’s about doing design that involves some artistic ability to SELL someone else’s product. You do not get to do what pleases YOU and it involves a lot of skill and experience to determine what art decisions to make that will please your CUSTOMER’s demographic. Think long and hard about getting into a career where your art decisions and aesthetic might not even be a part of the picture.
Want I want do as a career… anything but this career.
I didn’t choose this path, this path choose me.
I took a summer job in a textile factory, helping seamsters gather their cloth for sewing of sports jerseys. I was basically they’re go-for. It was an ok job for a 17 year old who had spent the previous summer working on a building site, where the money was good, but I worked 90 hour weeks. This was better at a 9-5 job and I could still enjoy some summer.
My parents wanted me to go to college, and I didn’t want to go. I didn’t see the point, there was nothing in college courses that interested me, not a single thing. I wasn’t that bothered with any of it. I had no art degree from school - as the way they worked it it was done alphabetically until the class was full, and I was bottom of the list - I didn’t study art at all - and probably the only thing I might have gone to college for, but damn the alphabet!
Towards the end of that summer one of the managers in the printing factory inquired if there was anyone available to cover in the printing for a couple of weeks while some guys took some holidays, apparently the summer is the busiest time. My name was put forward and I went over and spent two weeks with the printing.
It was screen printing using thermal ‘beads’ which stuck to the wet print, dried, then ironed on, the thermal ‘beads’ would heat and stick to the garment. I was a No.2 on the machine, the No 1. being the guy who gets the screen, makes it up, tapes it, attaches to the machine, applies the ink, cuts the paper, ensures enough etc. - setups the whole machine.
My job was to take the sheet from him - dust it with some beads, roll it around on the page carefully, and put it on a rack to dry. Once it dried you’d bring it to a special machine that would suck and dust the rest of the beads off it - and this means there’s no excess thermal adheisve on the sheet to get stuck to a garment. I then trimmed them down to a set size and banded them.
After 2 or 3 weeks was up I was asked if I wanted to stay on - I had no college plans - I had no job after this one. I had karate tournaments I wanted to go to, and pay for, and training, and I wanted to travel with the karate club - so money was important - I took the job.
After about 2 months I was made No.1 on the machine - this was basic stuff - just 1 colour white ‘barrier’ applied to a sheet of flock paper of a certain colour, which the adhesive melds with the barrier, and it’s ironed on - the barrier sticks to the garment, leaving just the flock side showing of whatever colour was needed.
Pretty simple stuff. Making the barrier paste was the job of the No.2 - I forgot to mention that - that was fun.
After about 6 months the guy who was working there for about 10 years decided it was time I learned how to mix the colours to make the special colours required. He’d add a bit of black, add a bit of red (pigments) - do a swatch, dry it, see if it’s ok - if it was he’d make more.
I was watching him one day and he was trying to match Coca-Cola red - and stared at him doing it, he adding a bit of black, bit of blue, bit of yellow.
I asked him, does it take this long with all colours - he said yes, you have get it matching as closely as possible. So I watched him do his dance for about 15 minutes of mixing colours.
I just piped up - why don’t we write down how many grams of pigment we use for coca cola red - 5gms black, 10gsm red, etc. He asked why. I just said the next time you go to make it you can just weigh the pigments and have it 100% the same everytime.
He ran up to the boss, sold it as his idea and I didn’t get any credit. Not that I was looking for any, but after 10 years working there, a 17 year old kid tells him a better way to do it and he stole it. I just felt icky after that. But nonetheless. I was happy as a pig in shite at 17 mixing inks, going home head to toe covered in different colours etc. It was wonderful.
One day the guy who was supposed to be doing the colour work was out sick, and I said I’d cover him for the day - the manager was hesitant but let me do it under supervision from the other colour worker.
The guy who trained me in on the 1 colours stuff was fuming - he was there 5 years and had never touched the colour work. Eventually it was agreed we’d take turns. But 5 years he never asked to do it.
Eventually I went into all sorts of great screen printing - the funnest being the Dye Sublimation.
I had mastered a lot of it - stretching screens, emulsifying, burning the screens, washing screens. I even placed orders for more materials when the manager was out for the day. He came back and looked through the book and asked - who ordered this? I just said I did. He said, next time only order 1 of this and 1 of this, don’t ned 2 as it’s used often. He was pleased I did it. Nobody else had ever done that.
Anyway - after I had done really well in about 2.5. years I wanted to get into the graphics - do it all from start to finish. I asked could I spend some time learning it with the guys in the art department. I was told I could and the next opening they’d give me a go.
They hired someone and my heart sank. I asked about it, they said they couldn’t afford me to be out of the print room and needed someone to hit the ground running in the art department.
I was disappointed but I understood. A few months later an opportunity came up to do a DTP course, it was 6 months and they paid you to do the course.
I ended up leaving that job I loved so much, in search of something better.
How wrong I was.
Thanks for your story.
The Screen printing industry will always thrive imo. You can sell online, local, etc. if you don’t have the equipment, you can still sell and sub contract the work. The experience that you gained will only help you in your next job. There is a learning curve to designing for pre press, sublimation, and textiles. It’s not as simple as coming up with a cool design, especially if multi colors are involved.
If graphic design is truly what you want to do, the you must educate yourself somehow. You are the only person that can choose how.
Best of luck on your journey!