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30-Minute Illustration School

Hey Kids!
It's back to school day for many of us- students and teachers alike. For those who are in a hurry, to my students and anyone else with a half hour, I offer the Robert Hunt 30 minute illustration school, broken down into 14 easily digested  lessons:
1: Illustration is a subset of the art world. While anyone can say they are an artist, not everyone can say they are an illustrator. You cannot be an amateur illustrator-it is on some level a vocation, and so requires a degree of success to keep going.
2: The financial dimension of this path is inseparable from the creative side. Everything that involves money is driven by economic principles. There is not an exception for art. The most important concept here is “supply and demand”. The more unique your vision is, the more valuable it will be to someone who needs it.  While this may seem crass on the surface, it is actually good news.
3: Strive to adapt your vision to something that could be commercially useful-or find a commercial application for your vision as it is. Keep your eyes open for potential outlets for your work. Study everything you think you could do-you have to be able to do it better.
4: Think about what you want from life: define your goals. Goals can change, but you should have some. Goals are not necessarily on a timetable. This is not a race.
5: Do not be a victim or martyr-it’s a waste of time.  Being creative is not enough. You need a base of technical knowledge about the area you want to work in-print reproduction, animation, etc. You also need some business skills to be self –employed. Artists are often loathe to think of themselves as businesspeople, but are often happy to see themselves as victims.  Being a victim is a waste of time. Get a grip on the value of your time and the opportunity cost of your decisions.
6: There is no finish line in sight. You will need to continuously develop your work. You should work for yourself, even when you don’t have an assignment.  Do not expect to pass through a portal and enter a new world.
7: Self promotion is vastly overemphasized. What is being promoted is what counts.
8: Be objective about everything. Never be defensive. It never helps.
9: Adapt your vision to something that could be commercially useful. Learn to accept that making something “commercially useful” has a broad definition and includes things that are good. 
10: Study everything you think you could do, and see how you could do it better.
11: Technique is a gateway, not a barrier or an end to its self.
12: Be reliable, and be responsible. Follow thru to the end on everything you start. Be honest.
13: Make decisions based on creative opportunity, not$.  Money will follow if you make the right decisions early on.
14 : Listen to your teachers, but take everything we say with a grain of salt (including this). Your experiences will be different that those of your teachers, so listen for universal principles.
Be strong.
©robert hunt 2012