tirsdag 8. mars 2011


This weekend I’ve been at Grafill’s “Grilldagene”, a seminar and event for illustrators in Norway. Bring a cuppa, this post is really LONG.


Fig Taylor was the first speaker Saturday, she is an illustrator’s agent from the UK that spoke about having to spesialize to get noticed. And how to build a portfolio that is consistent and proves that you are the best choice for a specific product or campaign. She also spoke about how to describe your illustrative style for a client that doesn’t have a clue about what you do, and try to make them remember you for a certain look or style. And if you have multiple strong styles, create different portfolios for this.

She had a sarcastic English understatement humor that I loved! It’s so good to experience good speakers with a sense of humor.

Then Gorm Kunøe had a turn talking about how to get rich in a jiffy. This talk was actually the main reason why I came, to learn about structure and planning jobs in the future, how to approach new clients and work with old ones. I loved when he spoke about having to change routines and “wake up and smell the coffee”.

I usually get up really early and work best between 8 and 12, and after I discovered my best work hours I’m much more efficient than before. Plus the fact that the people I want to work with usually are early risers as well, and it’s more likely that they’ll sponaniously answer an email recieved early in the morning than when they are loaded with work around 15.30. Then to be put in the “answer this” list soon to be forgotten.

I’m not to keen on the “rich in a jiffy” part, because I really believe that if I focus too much on “what people want” I’ll quickly lose my passion for that kind of illustration. For the moment I see that the kind of drawings that generates income are almost never the ones I’ve thought of as “customer friendly”. But I do believe that you need structure and have to change your routines if things aren’t working out as they are.


The last speaker was Petra Bõrner, an illustrator who has branched out to work with both porcelaine and towards the fashion industry, as well as bookdesign and “normal” illustrative areas. She has clients like Charcarel and Ikea, and shared with us how to process ideas, and how she has been working her ass of to get her work out and about.

All three talks had a very different approach to the world of illustration, the organizers from Grafill had done a really good job finding interesting and strong speakers. Afterwards, I think maybe it was Fig Taylor’s words that really sunk in the most.

In the auditorium I sat with Svein Nyhus and Trond Bredsen, with both I am a huge fan. Trond earlier helped me with some questions about how to approach a situation where I wasn’t getting paid what felt I was supposed to. His help was really valuable and I managed to turn the situation around to something both me and the people involved were happy about. It was good to meet him in person and be able to thank him for the time he took to help me out.

At Svein Nyhus’ blog I once posted something about us having the same iron (yes, it did seem appropriate at the time) and a tip on how to iron collages with baking paper. He was really easy to talk to and had an enthusiasm towards illustration that I now see is reflected in his work. It really felt now like I had colleagues! In Bergen I know many people within design, photo and film, but realized I don’t know anyone that does exactly the same job as me full time.

I was good to have somebody to discuss things about our job with, I met alot of great and welcoming people. I never once felt that we were competitors, not just becuause most of the time we don’t appeal to the same clients anyway, but also because everyone was so friendy and inclusive:)   

We all went for dinner at a boat at bay in the ice in Aker Brygge, where one of the organizers had a spontanious presentation of the different people attending, which made a few laugs:)


I’m happy I went to this seminar, I feel more now that I have a real job than just an extended hobby. Which is strange, because I have been working full time as an illustrator since 2006. I think the notion of having colleagues that are in the same situation as me was something I missed without knowing it:)

More info about Grafill’s Illustration Group on their blog here

2 kommentarer:

  1. Hei Gunvor og takk for sist! Jeg svever fremdeles litt på alle de gode opplevelsene fra helga:) Og synes dette var et veldig godt referat, slik opplevde jeg det også- særlig det du sier om det å ha kollegaer, som i tillegg er veldig hyggelige;)

    Og takk for den fine henvendelsen til bloggen min! Glemte forresten å spørre deg om å bruke bildet av deg når jeg får satt meg ned og blogga om helga..

    Håper vi treffes igjen ved en seinere anledning:)

  2. Ja! Det var kjempekoselig å hilse på deg:) Bruk i vei på bildefronten. Jeg ble litt hektet på de seminarene, jeg vil gå på mer Grafillting. Så da snakkes vi helt sikkert der og:D


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