Illustrious careers in illustration

According to illustrators, illustration, although an art, is different from fine arts but if one is interested in art and thinking of different avenues to explore, then the field of illustration is a good career option to consider.

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As children, illustrations have lured us into reading our very first books; colorful Meena cartoons have informed us about various issues; the Archie’s Comics series have entertained us. We’ve grown up with illustrations around us. Thus, while illustrations have played a role in the way we learn, there’s also the possibility of making this the way through which we earn.

When it comes to choosing illustration as a career option, Sworup Nhasiju, currently the Creative Art Director of Vichitra Advertising, says that patience is the key virtue for a successful illustrator.

“If you aren’t a patient person, this profession might not be for you,” he says, elaborating that a good illustration comes after perfecting a lot of small details, and when working for a client, doing and redoing your work to satisfy and meet the client’s needs.

“When you start off, the first one to two years, you might feel like you have no future in this profession. But you need to keep on pushing yourself,” advices Nhasiju, who is a self-learnt illustrator, and has worked with various print media for the past six years.Knowing the right people always helps, and it’s no different in this profession, either.

“Once you enter the profession, you need to have the right contacts who will give your work a platform,” Nhasiju continues.

Artist Kriti Kaushal Joshi, who is also an Assistant Professor at Kathmandu University (KU) Center for Fine Arts and Design, and teaches illustrations as an elective subject for fine arts students, says that depending on the field of illustration one chooses, one has to have some specific skills.

“For example, if one wants to be involved in book illustrations, apart from the basic illustration skills, one also needs to have story development skills,” Joshi elucidates.

Another illustrator, Krishna Gopal Shrestha, who has been in this field for the past seven years and is currently involved with Kantipur Publications, says that keeping up with the current time and technological advancements, print illustrators also need to be able to work on computerized platforms.

According to all three illustrators – Nhasiju, Joshi and Shrestha – illustration, although an art, is different from fine arts.“However, those who do fine art are usually working for illustration projects on the side,” says Joshi while Shrestha claims, “[But] not all artists can be illustrators.”

“When it comes to fine art, artists can create work out of their own experiences, work that is personal to them. But illustration is mostly done for clients, according to their demands,” says Shrestha. “Also, when it comes to illustrations, mostly for awareness campaigns, it has to be done skillfully, yet simply so that everyone can easily understand it,” he adds.

Another point to which all three illustrators agree is the scope of this career.“From working for government organizations to INGOs and other institutions, there are lots of work opportunities,” says Shrestha. Other opportunities include, but aren’t limited to, working for the print media and other publication houses, textile designing, comic creations and multimedia storytelling.

“One thing to keep in mind is that money shouldn’t be a motivating factor in the initial stages of this profession,” says Nhasiju, adding, “Once you’ve perfected your work skills and created an identity of your own, money will come to you easily.”

Shrestha of Kantipur Publications also agrees that it is quite easy to earn a living through this profession, given the fact that you’re good at it.However, there are no institutions offering specialized, in-depth learning in illustration. Nhasiju points out that there is also a lack of good guidance for entrant illustrators. However, he says, “Nowadays, there are so many platforms on the Internet from where you can learn illustration, and also showcase your work.”

Nhasiju further emphasizes on the fact that this profession requires lots of practice for perfection. Illustrators develop their skills and also an identity over time on the job.If one is interested in art and thinking of different avenues to explore, then the field of illustration is a good career option to consider.

source: republica,6 may 2013

2013-05-07 | EducateNepal

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