Today I attended a creative industries lecture run by a local illustrator, Andrew Wildman, who is based in Oxfordshire. After studying graphic design he worked in comics, for example drawing Spiderman for Marvel, and has helped to design video games. Wildman has worked with a variety of different people and companies, even being a storyboard artist for popular TV shows such as Doctor Who.
In the lecture, Wildman discussed his career choice and gave recommendations for our Art Foundation group, mentioning things he wishes he had done differently. I found it interesting hearing about his regrets at choosing too narrow a career path, having always been fixed on being a comic illustrator for Marvel from an early age, thus leading him to ignore other opportunities and career paths which he could have experimented with. Wildman urged us to keep an open mind at all times, especially on our foundation course, as it is so easy for us to try out lots of different media and approaches to creating a piece. I personally don’t have a fixed idea of what I want to do with my future anyway, so I’m open to explore different media before I specialise in a particular discipline. However, I understand how it can be limiting to focus only in one area, as it will prevent your technique from improving in different areas, and many areas of Art and Design can be useful and work together in different ways, so I feel as though it is useful to investigate them all.
Although Wildman was initially completely set on being a comic book illustrator (something which he has succeeded at, having worked with Marvel) he has recently been more open to exploring different ways to apply his graphic design skills, and the children’s television programmes which he designs now are very different to his earlier job of illustrating comic books and video games, as they are far more colourful and jolly.
Wildman told us that there are two important things needed for success:
- Have really good work
- Be someone that you would like to work with
By this, he meant that really good artwork is not the only thing that is important in securing a job (although it is undeniably really important), as it is also crucial to be personable and well-liked in order for other people to enjoy spending time with you or for you to be someone who they think of when they need help with designing, etc.
I like the positive mental attitude which Wildman encourages. Despite initially having problems with his self confidence and finding it frustrating being asked to redo drawings, he has found a way of looking at things differently, for example accepting that someone else is more experienced than him and so is probably correct. He told us a Wayne Dyer quote to reinforce this idea.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
– Wayne Dyer
The lecture was very enjoyable, and I found it interesting to learn more about someone who is already in the art industry, especially as illustration is an area of interest to me. His work storyboarding Doctor Who sounded really exciting, and he has been creating his own graphic novel, Horizon, which is more personal to him and touches upon some of his own life experiences and difficulties.
I will take Wildman’s advice from this lecture, and try to engage more with people. I also would like to improve my drawing skills more as feel as though I need to try to develop my drawing style (particularly figurative drawings as this is an area which I usually avoid as I find it difficult).