I undertook a second Skillshare class this weekend (trying to use it a bit before my free trial expires!). It was Professional Practice In Illustration: Following a Creative Brief & Executing An Assignment by Lisa Congdon and it detailed the practical steps of interpreting a creative brief and communicating with an art director. The class has a mock brief and you need to write a response email practicing asking pertinent questions, two rough concepts, and a final image. The project was a modern take on “The Three Little Pigs” incorporating hand lettering and appealing to adult sensibilities as well as children.
She was very practical in her take on working as an illustrator and stressing the importance of the communication and professional skills you need outside of the creative aspects. Maybe this is beside the point for a critique of the class, but as I was watching it I thought, “How would her recommendation for how to talk with your client/art director and her guidelines for accepting projects be different if she was a man?” Not to say being deferential and aware of your own limitations is wrong, and she is obviously doing well in her career, but her advice was mired in an attitude in the workplace of not belonging and not naturally leading which felt very culturally gendered. As someone who struggles with self confidence, especially as it relates to my work and putting it and my job dreams out into the world, I found her advice a little crippling. It bolstered my fears of, “you wouldn’t really be good enough for certain jobs and would be out of your depth dealing with real professionals anyway; who are you fooling trying to pursue this?”
Anyway, back to the actual art project, in the end I did two final copies of my chosen concept because I was so unhappy with how my first “final copy” turned out. I don’t know why I thought I could hand letter and have it come out as I envisioned it when I never practice lettering. My second copy was a bit more in line with my vision but still quite far from what I would like to produce. Practice, practice, practice.