I’ve recently seen a lot of similar styles out in the market (especially the mid-century style illustrations that seem to be very popular) and I’m wondering if I should just give in and give people what they want, instead of pushing my cute-sy, female illustrations instead. I’m torn between wanting to earn more money by doing the popular thing (which will eat me up inside) or keep doing the style I love, but doesn’t get me the recognition (and the money) I’m looking for because it’s just not what people want right now. What do I do?
~ Sandra J.
I get this question a lot, and I want to let you know that you’re not alone in thinking about this!
While yes there might be certain styles that are more popular right now (also called trending), it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a market for your style. There’s a lot of reasons why you might not be getting the opportunities that you want. Right now off the top of my head the most glaring reason might just be that you’re introducing yourself (or even showing off your work) to the wrong market.
Going after clients who may only like a particular style will undoubtedly make your work harder. I’d suggest going off the beaten path here – instead of going after a company who might carry a variety of different styles (and unfortunately yours isn’t one of them), you would get better traction by being very specific in who you’re targeting. Instead of sending your resumes and portfolio en masse to every potential clients you come across, really know who their target audience is and make sure that your stuff works for them and helps add to their existing line; because otherwise it’s going to be an uphill climb for you, no matter how great your illustrations are.
Doing something that’s not your style will only crush your spirit in the long run, and that’s not healthy for any artist! You’ll end up jaded and confused, and not to mention lost when another trend comes along. It’s a vicious cycle that will only be doomed to repeat itself. So it’s not something I’d recommend to any artist – especially when your heart tells you that you should be doing something else.
Remember, just because you keep seeing styles that are more popular out there doesn’t mean that there isn’t a demand or room for your style. It might just take a bit more digging to unearth some cool companies that are looking for a someone like you! Sometimes it’s also helpful to put aside your dreams of working with big companies who are clearly not into your style right now too. Just because you’re not picked right now doesn’t mean you’re a failure! Don’t underestimate the pressure that you’ve put on yourself this way. You can always re-visit the idea again when you’ve worked with smaller, niche companies – you’d then have more to show, along with proof that your work sells. Those dream clients might just tune in after that, so don’t give up!
SHARE WITH US:
Have you ever harboured the same thoughts as Sandra – wanting to give in to what’s trending right now instead of just pushing through with what you believe in? I’d love to hear your story and any advice you have to offer for Sandra!
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