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Re: Illustrator

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Because we are running a graduate program that trains people to be book
artists, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about this question of Making a
Living as a Book Artist.  When people come here to interview for the MFA it's
one of the things they always ask about.  And while it's true that it's a
pretty unothodox way to earn money, I think it is like any other "career" in
the arts:  your ability to prosper in this book and paper thing is a direct
result of your creativity multiplied by your tenacity plus your willingness to
do what it takes.  Because the book arts are an obscure (but growing) part of
the art world, it is somewhat more difficult to connect with galleries, etc.
On the other hand, once you do find your way into the network of dealers,
special collections, libraries, and book collectors you can find an audience
for your work that is deeply apprieciative and often surprised by what you do.
    There are many sub-specialities that provide a decent income for those who
have mastered the skills:  book and paper conservation, marbling, papermaking,
calligraphy, fine binding, gilding, letterpress printing, etching, relief,
silkscreen and lithographic printing, teaching, and last but not least, selling
books.  Some of us have made careers of running institutions dedicated to
exhibiting/teaching/producing book and paper art. In the five years the
Columbia Center for Book and Paper has existed we have been amazed at the
growth and heightened awareness of this field.  Be of good cheer, Audrey

Linda Mullin wrote:

> Hello all,
> As a professional illustrator with over 35 years experience preparing
> artwork for print, I've seem so many of the fields in which I have loved
> and worked literally dry up. Clients and designers seem to be satisfied
> with mediocre artwork, clipart and funky, unintelligible,
> computer-generated type and design tricks.
> Is there any room for skilled craftmanship and draughtsmanship anymore?
> I have been so discouraged about finding enough work in my field to support
> myself, that I have turned to generating my own work and self-publishing.
> I have been following the threads regarding Artists' Books and perhaps I am
> missing something. Can this possibly generate enough work to survive?
> Have you any thoughts on this?
> Linde Mullin
> Linde Mullin
> Mullin Art Publishing
> bob@ultranet.ca

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