artofwadedillon asked: Hello Mr. Bendis! Love your tumblr. Very fascinating to read your thoughtful responses to various inquiries. I am planning on being a professional illustrator, full time, with no "real job" to fall back on. My question is, what advice may you have for me, for any artist, who is about to try and make it on his own? Thank you very much!
I did it for many years. a solid decade. So I can tell you it is all about the hustle. you will spend more time getting the job that you will doing the job. so learn to hustle and learn to let rejection roll off your back.
I decided in college that I would make my living as an illustrator and that meant doing everything from caricatures in weddings and bar mitzvahs to magazine illustrations and everything in between.
it taught me things I needed to know. and it made me very appreciative of not having to look for work like I used.
the one trick I learned from my mother who used to work a catalog editor and other people in my life who were working illustrators or freelancers is when the client offers you a job and they ask you how much the job is going to cost you ask them how much they have budgeted for the job.
more times than you think they will tell you… and sometimes it will be a lot more money than you were going to ask for.
that person will tell you this information because it’s not their money they’re spending. act like this amount of money they’re offering is going to be a hardship, don’t act like you just won the lottery :-)
I was very blessed to become friends with Brian Michael Bendis when we were both just starting. I was only 20 yrs old (1993), still in college… and Brian at only 25 or 26 already had a very professional attitude about his career, and I was blessed to hear advice of this sort, (this exact thing he told me very early on) as well as a lot of other professionally advice, not to mention the extreme wealth of creative and story principles that I learned from him at that young formative age. I’m so glad he is sharing this, (professional advice AND creative advice) on his tumblr and in his new book WORDS FOR PICTURES. Which is about both of these very things.