Students get the 101 on life as an artist

Posted on Nov 4 2013 - 10:03am by Guest Writer

By Una Haave, Guest Writer

Curious to find out how to make it in the art industry, sophomore Emily Guldahl attended last week’s lecture on how to make a living as an artist. The lecture took place in Ingram Hall with cartoon artists Mark Monlux and Steve Lieber presenting.

“I wanted to get some advice on how to make it, because I have a lot of support from friends and family,” Guldahl said. “But I also have some doubts from my family of how I’m going to make money if I choose to major in arts.”

Cartoon artists Monlux and Lieber have been in the art industry for a long time, and have made it big.

Monlux is a successful freelance artist, having worked with major companies such as Microsoft and Kimberly-Clark.

Lieber is an illustrator for Marvel, one of the leading publishers of comic books and related media in the world today.

“Every year, 10,000 students graduate from art school, looking to make good money as a career professional,” Monlux said, kicking off the lecture. “But after 10 years, only four out of the 10,000 are still in the industry.”

He continued to explain there are many reasons why art school graduates choose to leave the industry, the main two reasons being most do not know how to do good business, nor do they know how to manage their time.

“Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone,” Monlux said. Both Monlux and Lieber agreed that, in order to make it as an artist, it is crucial to make business connections as well as personal connections.

“An important way of getting work is through referrals,” Lieber said.

It is also important to have a contract with a statement of intended work and expected pay.

“Don’t draw a line before the contract is signed and you have received an advance check,” Monlux said, making sure to include that you should never sell the rights to your work.

When it comes to time management, both said it is important to stick to a schedule, because with the freedoms that comes with being a freelance artist, it can be a challenge to stick to an intended schedule.

Monlux therefore suggested keeping a double entry form, which is a a form where you write what you intend to do at the beginning of the day, and write what you actually did at the end of the day. This makes it easier for artists to work effectively and be successful at what they do.

Monlux and Lieber finished up the lecture reminding students to always appear professional, both when it comes to attire and attitude, because it will get you far in art.