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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

one two caribou!

"Courage and willingness to just go for it, whether it is a conversation or a spontaneous trip or trying new things that are scary - it is a really attractive quality"
(Alanis Morissette)

So it begins! I have just opened my first ever online shop!

Introducing.....

one two caribou - Original Prints by Lou Endicott

Here is a screen grab of my little online shop:




 













 

A few months ago I was asked by a Facebook friend if I sold prints. My answer was "Not yet" - which sounded better than no! I had for some unknown reason had the phrase "one two caribou" stuck in my head over the last few months. I love a good rhyme and a bit of nonsense so the catchiness of the phrase stuck. So when it was time to name my shop the words just fell out onto the screen.

It's been a little bit of a challenge to open this new store. On a student budget, test prints and paper are worth as much as my weekly shopping bill - so it was a risk to put the money forward before having an actual sales.

But I decided that it was worth the risk. I have belief in what I do and have had such incredible feedback from friends and strangers alike since starting this illustration journey. It was time to step it up a notch and to see myself as a professional and begin to play in the market place. 

So far, I have sold five prints. FIVE! This may not seem a lot to seasoned shop owners, but to me (only three days in) it's a cause for celebration. My best seller so far is my Back Stroke Maiden (whose creation I shared some months ago here on my blog). She has remained a favourite with me - and obviously others like her two :-)

Here she is on her side, just enjoying the water....




I go back to college on Monday after a 3 week break (which has been heavenly!) I am excited to be learning new things again but also a little nervous as this term my design course heads into the direction of multi media and coding. Not my strong point. 

But I have to trust that if I don't know how to do something I will have the courage to just ask for assistance.

Recently I decided to be a little brave and contact a Melbourne illustrator for advice and tips on working in the industry. You can check out her beautiful work here:Laura Wood Illustrations  

She most graciously replied to my email with lots of advice and even gave me the name of her printers (which I have used for my shop). I subscribe to her blog and a few days ago received a blog entry that mentioned she gets contacted by students from time to time and she wrote up even MORE tips and advice. Legendary. I hope that when I am working full time in my field my door will always be open to share what I have learnt. 

Among her pearls of advice on her recent blog posting was this one:
Where should a person start if they want to pursue this career?
Regarding starting out, my first tip for someone that is about to get out of college is to not wait until you finished college to promote yourself or find the first commissions. An art degree doesn't make any different in the illustration world, so my advice is to start now, immediately, do not wait any more time to actively start behaving like an illustrator and look for work, commissions and possible clients to contact. 
I would highly recommend you to get a proper professional website (behance is good to share stuff with other peers, but not so much as a professional window for your work to show to a client). Having one helped me enormously. 
Then you could start emailing the clients you would like to work with. A nice brief email introducing yourself with a link to your new shiny website will do. 
Most of them might not reply but some will do! And those might become your first clients...

I particularly resonated with this as it is on the same track that I feel I have been on the last few months. Apart from this blog I have a professional portfolio on The Loop, a Facebook page, an instragram account and even Twitter (though this last one is still a little confusing!)

I am feeling like I am on the right path. It's a bit rocky and the going is uphill, but the view is exhilarating and every bit of encouragement from my friends and peers helps.

I hope that wherever you are today the going is easy and the view is a delight.

- Lou




Thursday, 3 October 2013

Pressing Play

"It is a happy talent to know how to play"
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Today I drew a picture of a little indigenous boy swimming with a leather back turtle. I guess I was dreaming of my home state Queensland and warmer weather and sunny days to come as the Summer approaches.

This picture also reminds me of the wonder of playing freely - with no gadgets, no money, no extra tools. Just a sense of freedom, adventure and enjoying what's on hand.

I have recently been struggling with the concept of money (or the lack thereof to be exact!) As a student  this year I am the poorest in pocket I think I have ever been. I have had to be resourceful and extra frugal with my budget to pay bills, keep a roof over my head and eat three meals a day. But with this challenge and the inspiration that comes from learning a new skill, I am also the richest in spirit. The currency that enriches my heart this year is the faculty of wonder. Seeing the world differently. Every day I try and keep my eyes open for inspiration for possible drawings. And as I am out and about in the world it's always the children that keep my heart the most happy. Particularly seeing them play. My daily bike ride is always a game of "Look for the Magic". If I cant see it - I look for the children out playing. I guess I am lucky to have the blessing of working (read: playing!) with kids as my casual job as a drama teacher. You don't need much to laugh or to share magic with kids. Just a sense of making do, a good sense of humour and your imagination.




Wednesday, 2 October 2013

DRAWING DRAWING DRAWING

"Luck? I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it... Luck to me is something else: Hard Work - and realising what is opportunity and what isn't."
Lucille Ball.

So here I sit and type this on a typical Melbourne day. It's sunny. And cold. And rainy. And windy. And still. And hot. 

In fact, it's all of the above. Which can make it difficult to decide when to go out for my daily bike ride!


The last few months have been a little like the weather in Melbourne. There's been a bit of everything everyday. But not much time to do my blog. So here I sit smack bang in the middle of my few weeks holiday finally getting back up on the saddle.


It has been a huge learning curve studying graphic design this year and the last three months have been exhilarating, challenging, stressful, inspiring, exhausting yet rejuvenating. I passed all my subjects and got some wonderful compliments from my illustration teacher (yay!) I have been drawing almost everyday and have been happy to see that my hand and eye are moving more in tandem with each other.


Here is just a sample of some of the work I have done over the last few months. A couple of the illustrations were for assignments but a lot of these were done just because I wanted to keep drawing...







I recently joined up to Instagram to share some of my work. This has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with other illustrators and admire and be inspired on a global level with what artists are up to. I have put a lot of pencil sketches onto Instagram in their raw form just to keep my pencil and imagination active. My instagram page


And of course I keep updating my Facebook page with my sketches too....Facebook Page

With just a week left of holidays at my disposal I am doing research to start selling prints of my work. I have had a lot of encouragement and support from family and friends with this idea. So fingers crossed, by the end of next week I will be launching an online store through Etsy.

The end of my course is now not so far away. I am about to embark on my third and final term of my course. Next year I will be launched out into the world looking for work. This is a very exciting (yet terrifying!) thought! I am hoping to find a way to make a living doing what I love to do. My greatest ambition is to be a full time freelance illustrator in the next few years. But in the interim I hope to gain work with a design studio to learn the ropes and be in a supportive and creative team. I feel that I am on the right path - however scary it all may seem going off into the unknown. But any time I get the nervous I just remember this:


I have to keep going forward and trust that the feeling deep in my core to be an illustrator and a designer and have a creative career that I am proud of - and ENJOY - is one that can't be ignored.

I hope that whatever you dream of, whatever your core calls out for you to do... I hope that you walk bravely down your dream path with courage in your heart to give it your best.

LOu