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Artists/ Art directors..

Any of you out there?  I'm going to school for art.  I was wondering how many of you might have advice in the way you live, how you started, or even how to go about breaking into the business, freelance of art direction, both of which are my interests...

thanks!!

Hey!
I'm a temporary dropout student aiming for a BA in Graphic Design...although to be honest, I really chose that area because that's "where the money is." I have always enjoyed creating art...I started drawing at about 6 months old and it became a passion of mine in early childhood. Most of my interest lies in drawing and painting, but I love to work in a variety of media and styles. (check out my profile to find my Deviant Art gallery if you'd like to see any of it..)

I know there are a few more of us who frequent the boards...Capture comes to mind; also, little2ant is an art teacher and proud mommy of an artistic prodigy (possibly two). So I hope you'll feel right at home here!

Is it just art direction that you're into, or are you a studio artist as well? What is your main area of study? Or if you don't have one yet, what do you like doing most?

As far as freelance stuff, I'm trying to get into that myself. I took a Professional Practices class last fall that gave me some good resources about where to go, what to look out for, etc., and how to promote yourself and get into exhibitions....I'll have to dig through my stuff and see if I can find that for you.

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I have a BFA in painting and drawing from the School of Visual Arts.
I work as a fabricator, currently prototyping for a retro/antique lighting design company.
I am giving it a lot of thought I leaving and picking up independent contractor work with an architectural metal designer.
I can work long hours 3-4 days a week and have much for flexibility over my personal project schedule.
Which has been dragging for a few years, I own my place and have the room to make the art...
which was my plan, but the ideas are not flowing.

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Most of my interest lies in drawing and painting, but I love to work in a variety of media and styles. (check out my profile to find my Deviant Art gallery if you'd like to see any of it..)

Day-am!  I like your work.

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I have a BFA in painting and drawing from the School of Visual Arts.
I work as a fabricator, currently prototyping for a retro/antique lighting design company.
I am giving it a lot of thought I leaving and picking up independent contractor work with an architectural metal designer.
I can work long hours 3-4 days a week and have much for flexibility over my personal project schedule.
Which has been dragging for a few years, I own my place and have the room to make the art...
which was my plan, but the ideas are not flowing.

*jaw drop*
Why, Eric, you are just full of surprises! you just keep getting more and more interesting...

and on the above note, your schedule will depend on what kinds of projects you do. If you can work at home, you can pretty much work whatever hours you need in order to meet deadlines. If you're working on site, that will change things...
...for instance, I've been doing this painting job every summer since '03, where my friend and I go to high school gymnasiums around the state to paint murals and text on the walls and floor. He does all the business stuff--proposing bids, designing and re-designing as per request, ordering materials, etc.--and then we go to work in the gym whenever the school can let us occupy the space. Sometimes they have other people working in there, or they'll have basketball camps and such, so we schedule around their needs. We often do a gym over the course of 1 or 2 weeks, working for 2 or 3 days at a time (10 - 15 hour days are common) with a day or two break in between....and yeah, we sleep IN the gym when we stay for those few days. It's super fun.

Day-am!  I like your work.

aw, shucks...my usual response to compliments involves self-doubting and negation, but I trust that you're being honest at least...so thanks. :)

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Hi teade,

My best advice is to work, work, read, work, frequent galleries and museums, aaaand work. A good piece of advice is to show everywhere you can and if there aren't any places you want to propose an exhibit in, plan your own show, and often. Go into coffee shops, hair salons, rest area info stations, park systems, etc etc etc and offer a written proposal for a show. Trust me, it works. Start grant writing now. Rejections can only help you become better at asking for money. ;D Also, don't be afraid to take jobs that you don't necessarily find ideal. I did construction work for a short time and I got so much free material to work with! It was a gold mine... although exhausting. My uncles both worked in stained glass and graphic design (designing wall paper, ugh!) when they were in desperate need of work. Try to get a job in a frame shop or gallery. You'll find that framing skills are a major asset.

-amber

PS - have fun.

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Wow, thanks everyone for the great advice. 
I really am prepared to try and work hard.  Its one of those things where its hard to get your foot in the door, but once you get rolling, it rolls. haha.

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