When working with clients, how do you establish contact?
Well first I need to capture their attention any number of ways- promotional mailers, attending relevant events, sending emails, phone calls, etc. Then always follow up. Once I have a client and they are satisfied with my work, it is less of a challenge to maintain their interest. I try to follow up whenever there is an opportunity, especially if I am comfortable communicating with them. Never underestimate the power of networking.
How often do you work on art and what do you like to do to stay in practice?
Hm, there is my art, and then there is creative practice. I use my creativity daily with design and problem solving at Accent South Media. Staying in practice doesn't always mean I need to be using the tools I'm comfortable with. Ideas for my art could come at any time, even in an average moment while sitting in traffic or drinking tea. As long as you keep your perspective fresh and your mind busy, the artwork will come. My biggest breakthrough was accepting that huge personal progress could only happen if a little bit of failure preceded it.
What is the secret to achieve success out in the real world with working in illustration?
Oh goodness, I have been in your shoes and asked many people the same question. There isn't a 'one key fits all' solution, unfortunately. I am currently doing graphic design, but this advice can apply to any art area. Success requires willpower, initiative, skill, and (yes, it is true) a little bit of good fortune.
What artists inspire you today?
There are many! The artists that consistently inspire me are the ones that I've learned from directly, though. Mark English, Anita Kunz, JAW Cooper, McBess, Gary Kelly, George Pratt... I'm also pretty fond of architects and designers like Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames.
Where do you hope to end up with your career?
I hope to eventually develop my skills enough to become part of a small design team, preferably on the west coast or somewhere in the UK. I do my best work with other creatives sharing the same motivations and workspace.
And lastly, do you have any advice for fresh graduate students trying to find work?