3. Q&A: Do you have any words of advice to give to kids and young adults who want to pursue a career in the arts?

A: Yes, I have a few words of advice and this list could continue to grow.

"Whimsical Style" - even I continue to experiment with new
styles in my portfolio.
1. Be prepared to work hard! This is not just a reference to your artwork but on being able to schedule time to support yourself mentally, emotionally, and financially. It will take a lot time to develop a rhythm and style on how you approach and make your work. Attend local art classes and exhibits. Never stop practicing and learning new tips to help along with building your process and portfolio. 

2. If you are determined to pursue a career in the arts, then take what you do seriously.  What you do is not a hobby, but like I stated before, you need to work hard on all aspects of your life - your art, mental and emotional well being, and being able to financially support yourself.  Attend conferences to be around your peers and feel a sense of unity in what you do for a living.

3. Be prepared to take criticism from your professional peers.  You do not have to take and act on all the advice that is given to you but you should be able to open yourself to receive possible new ideas. At criticism's worst, apply it as motivation and a chance to explore what your critics might be referring to and see if you see any improvements in your work.

4. Be prepared to face rejection. It happens to even some of the best artists at times. Remember everybody has different tastes, so the most important person to love your work is YOU and to love and what you do!  The world is full of negative people who will scrutinize your work and not respect what you do for a living, but it is crucial that you keep your head afloat from all the negativity, work hard and believe in what you do is important.

5. The web and library are great resources to read up on how other artists are able to make successful careers as children's book illustrators, graphic designers, editorial illustrators, comic book artists, gallery painters, sculptors, medical illustrators etc!  Check out my resources page and your local library or bookstore for more information!

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