Last year I finally took the plunge. I had been building my illustration portfolio for maybe a year, and was getting prepared to start approaching art directors. The first market I was going to try my hand at was editorial. This can be book covers, magazine covers, spot illustrations... the kind of artwork that accompanies text.
So I had been adding artwork to my portfolio that included people and children, in order to show that I could do the work.
I wrote my email pitch and started introducing myself. I tried to keep my hopes realistic. After all, it's not like someone was going to get me to do a cover, but hopefully a couple of spot illustrations would come my way.
The very next day, I got an email from Mindful Parenting Magazine. The artist they had lined up for the next issue was unavailable and would I like to do it? YES! I would!
They send me a fab brief and a contract and I got to work creating some concepts. Once they had chosen their preferred sketch, I created some colour roughs for them before painting the final artwork.
This was such a dream project. I also learned some lessons along the way.
Communication is key and art directors and designers need to see what is in your head as much as possible. This is always difficult with painting, when the only way you can really show what the artwork will look like is by painting it!
For this project I created colour roughs with coloured pencil. I have also created them digitally, but for subsequent projects I'll be creating thumbnail colour roughs using paint. Thumbnails are small sketches with minimal detail and therefore faster to complete, while still communicating colour and feel.
Colour pencil didn't communicate the saturation or texture of watercolour. I have tried digital roughs but then need to mix my paints anyway.
The added bonus of using paint is that when I get approval, my colour mixes are ready to go.
This image was licensed exclusively in 2020, while that issue was new. It is now available for licensing.
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Surf Artist, Hannah Katarski is based in Fremantle, Western Australia. She creates ocean-inspired art that is bohemian, retro and fun.