How to be an Illustrator

How to be an IllustratorHere’s the book that I wish I could have read forty years ago but which is equally welcome now as a way of reassessing the way I work.

Darrel Rees, an illustrator turned agent, looks at the nuts and bolts of the business with plenty of solid advice on invoices, contracts and agents but he brings his story to life with glimpses of his own ups and downs and through a series of short interviews with illustrators and art directors.

I recognise so much of myself in it; the contrast between college and career; the mistakes you’re likely to make when you put together your first portfolio and the pros and cons of working from home. At several points Rees urges illustrators to try and see their work from the other person’s point of view.

I’m making it sound as if the book is a series of warnings, and you probably also get that impression from the sober cover featuring Brett Ryder’s illustration of sininster pencil-head men in white coats, but, with examples of work from a mixed bunch of illustrators, it’s also a celebration of a way of life that is, in the words of one of them, Michael Gillette, ‘terrifying at times, extremely liberating at others’ and, for Jeffery Decoster a ‘constantly surprising’ spur to ‘the creative process and personal growth’.

How to be an Illustrator second editionLinks; Laurence King, publishers of How to be an Illustrator (2008), which is now available in a second edition . . . with a less scary cover.

Darrel Rees’ Heart Agency

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  1. Hello Richard,

    Though I’ll never be a professional illustrator, I’m sure I want to read the book.
    Bedankt voor de tip!

    I am sorry to hear about your filling.

    Best Wishes,

    1. I’m a late developer so I’m hoping the wise advice in the book is going to transform my flagging career!
      Thank you, the temporary filling is behaving itself today! Must be careful next time I tackle a fruit scone.

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