The Small Win

It has officially been 8 months since I crossed across that long stage and ended my journey at SCAD with a warm handshake and a reassuring smile.

It has been hard.

Working 40+ hours in addition to going to school full-time was not this hard.

For the first time in my life...hard work and perseverance failed me.

Day after day through countless emails I have reached out trying to get a foothold.

No one taking a chance. Not one freelance opportunity given. No response.

After nothing from all the emails came the first investment:

300 postcards and stamps to send out....

NPR Shout Out

The first round- pretty, no?

Beautiful Charley Harper- Postcard Edition Stamps

Broke out the ink and nib!

So two months pass... nothing. New strategy! Pick 10 dream clients who could actually use my work without me having to change my style completely. NPR, Nautilus, Random House, Viking, 10 Speed, Anthro, Chronicle, Lucky Peach, Sasquatch Books and Darling Magazine. Found the proper contact info, the names of the art directors, and formatted all my new postcards.

30 different postcards distributed every day for 30 days to these 10 special art directors- Maybe a little overkill.

Lo and behold I not only receive an email but a shout out on NPR's website. It means so much to be heard. Even if it is not a job just yet, I am grateful for the small win.

ICON9: Inspiration & A Practical Review

First...What I learned/inspired me-

1. Jessica Hische- Having a consistent process (you enjoy) matters, it helps you get started when there's a blank page staring at you and also it shows art directors how you think.

2. Bridget Watson Payne- Always lead with visuals when pitching your book idea (you would be surprised how many people forget this and just do a word document) ***Make it pretty***

3. Anita Kunz- Work hard, embrace self-doubt, remove toxic influence, nurture your uniqueness, be kind, take care of yourselves, stay humble, student for life mentality (lots of golden nuggets here)

4. William Joyce- Carve your own: career path, conversation, platform, voice.

5. Jonathen Tobin- copyright.gov .........Enough Said

6. Hellen Jo- Put your stuff out there, HUSTLE

7. Antoinette Carrol- Look Beyond Your Own Fear, Determine your vision, immerse yourself, collaborate, use your power for good

8. Steve Brodner- Be considerate, be clever

9. James Victore- Seek the muse

10. Poul Lange- Everything...just everything he said was beautiful. Go look at his work!

 

Practical things I learned for next time- which there will absolutely be a next time!

1. Stay in the hotel or as close as to it as you can- you will save yourself transportation costs $$$ Also you can pop upstairs to your room for a quick change of clothes/nap/breather without missing too much.

2. Food- Research your food options for lunch/dinner when its not provided. You have such a short break and the exodus of peers around you is overwhelming-15 minutes. Pull out your phone, search yelp for options- another 5 minutes. Walk to destination- 10 minutes
(sometimes 15 because you will inevitably have that 1 person in your posse with no sense of urgency). Stand in line- 10 min. Eating- Basically have 5 minutes to eat. RUN to make it to the next speaker who you are dying to hear from.

3. Workshops- The longer studio based ones are the best I think. I found myself not entirely satisfied with the quick lecture based workshops but found Richard Borge's after effects workshop most instructive and helpful.

4. Apparel- Comfortable shoes (surprising amount of walking involved). Dress for the climate even if that means sacrificing some professional standards but keep a light jacket handy for the long main stage events because the AC is working overtime.

5. Business Cards- Splurge and bring enough-I would say atleast 150 if you are feeling a bit daring! Make sure they are a standard size for the love.... In the little name tag/conference badge things a standard size business card and a 4x6 postcard fit beautifully. You don't want to end up in the trash.

6. Social Media- Participate! Leading up to the conference and during the conference. Make sure you are using the hashtags and do your research as to who is coming to this thing- make new friends. Also entertaining byproducts happen such as @IconHulk

7. Roadshow- You will spend money, especially if Teagan White is there...her work is even better in print if that's possible. ALSO if you have a beautiful product in various sizes and price points absolutely apply to be a part of it.