How do you get a job as a comic artist/creator? Is it like a normal job interview?
One of the best ways to get a job as a comic artist and creator is to
exhibit at conventions. There are a few major conventions that happen each
year, from NYCC to ECCC to Wondercon, and there are bound to be dozens (if not
hundreds) of publishers, small presses, and industry executives scouring the
convention floor for new talent. My recommendation is to share a table
with a friend in Artist Alley and to make sure you have both prints and
sequential artwork to sell. Too many artists fall into the trap of only
showcasing their prints or their pin up art and as a result they are never
considered for sequential work. Self-publish a short 20-30 page story and
get it into as many hands as possible. If you have more time, develop a
webcomic and start building an audience online. I have seen quite a few
artists find mainstream comic work after running a successful Kickstarter to
print their webcomic. Not only is Kickstarter a great way to fund your
project, but it is also a great way to get the word out about you as an artist
and creator. Awareness is key. And of course, you have to have a
professional website with your contact information listed clearly on your
contact page. After putting in all that work, some artists forget to put
their contact information on their websites– don’t forget to do that! Good
Create a website, create a web presence and get to conventions. This is a rare industry where you are able to meet the editors and CEOs of large companies directly. Editors are usually the ones who hire. Go and speak to them! Get to know them. You want to work in a place where you have great relationships. They will keep you in mind when a project comes up. But you HAVE to have a digital home. treat your skills as a creator of a business. You judge a product that you purchase or a service you employ when you visit their website. What does your website say about you?
It’s a bit different than a regular job interview! There also isn’t just one way of doing things within comics. That said, here’s what the start of a book might look like:
-In terms of actually finding work, it’s all about having comics you’ve made already (whether alone or collaboratively), both so that you can spread it around and let people get to know your work, and so that you’ve got samples when you’re introducing your work to potential clients.
-When it comes to the job itself, either they’ve seen my work and contact me, or I see that they’re looking for submissions (often via Twitter!) and contact them – usually by email. Most of my clients or publishers are not near me, and in many cases I never meet them in person, though we may Skype! If you’re lucky enough to be nearby though, you might meet to discuss it (which I’d always prefer – it really helps to put faces to names and get a better sense of each other!).
-If they’re not familiar with my work, I’ll show them further samples, and tell them a bit about myself and my publishing history. This is almost never a full CV, but a list of my most notable publications or jobs, so they can see that I have a track record and will be reliable.
-If we’re interested in working together, there’s a bit of back and forth, so that we can see if it suits us both – what’s their budget, what are their terms, do our schedules work together?
-If we’re both happy (yay!), we’ll get a contract agreed and signed, and get to work!