Yesterday I mentioned that I would tell you the story of my first illustration... and here it is!
I will take you back to 2004. I was in year three, the final year, of my illustration diploma at Sheridan College. In the final year of my program I was to do a three week unpaid work placement. I knew as soon as I was told about it that I wanted to do it with a studio of working illustrators in Toronto that I knew were super talented and that I thought I could learn a bunch from. The guys in the studio were Steve Murray, Ben Shannon, Cameron Stewart, and Kagan McLeod. I couldn't have been more right. I owe these guys a debt of gratitude for the words of wisdom. It was my first exposure to the REAL illustration world. I spent most of my time in their studio, but I also had the opportunity to follow Kagan into the offices of The National Post, where he worked in office on Fridays. It was amazing to see the inner workings of a newspaper. I went with portfolio in arms, totally excited to show anyone who wanted to look at it. I was introduced to the art director for the Arts and Life section. He flipped through my book and he must have seen something workable as he asked me if I wanted to do a job for the paper. It was for a review of a book about bird watching. I was over the moon. The rush I got from that first offer was unforgettable, even though it was unpaid. I would have paid HIM! I called everyone I knew to tell them. I'm not sure what the due date on the job was, I remember spending my fair share of evenings in the computer lab at Sheridan and painting my butt off so I'm sure it was quick. I loved every minute of it! When the paper containing my hard work hit the newsstands I couldn't believe it. I knew right then that I was in love. What a high!! Over the remainder of my placement I did a few more freebies (I was not to be paid, remember) that eventually led to my first paid illustration through the National Post. It was the start of a long running relationship with the paper that will always take the credit for launching my illustration career and helping me realize that it can be done.
Here is the paper that started it all!
I spent this morning updating artwork on clairemanning.com and highly recommend checking it out. Hopefully I will have more to share soon!
Do you have any memorable firsts?