Conversing with a Digital Illustrator Part 1

I cannot tell you how happy I am to have found Eumir.  Initially I saw only the chibi/cartoon work he was posting on an ad on one of the sites and they looked hysterical.  However, I wasn’t looking for chibi/cartoons at the time.  But there was something different in his style compared to all the different drawings I saw, so I decided to look at his fantastic website and blog:  The art on the website blew me away!  I had written to many artists at that point and a few pieces were already on the go, but I decided to ask him to make me a drawing anyways to see how things would work out.

Although there is a twelve hour time difference because I live in Canada and he lives in the Philippines, we still manage to somehow catch each other on facebook and email.  Alarmingly, he seems to like the concept of bearded men as I complain about the red tuff on my Viking husband, but oh well…if you can’t beat ‘em you join ‘em I guess!

east west

Hi Eumir, thank you first of all for having me as a client as a first place.  I feel honored and privileged to be able to use your services.   So can you tell me where you went to do your training and what did you learn from there?

I studied Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Painting in the University of San Carlos in Cebu, Philippines. But most of the things I learned there are basics. The real training was when I was working in Author Solutions Publishing where I did a lot of self study. The majority of the illustrations requested of the publishing company are for children’s books, but drawing kids and cute cartoon animals didn’t really help me apply the new skills I had acquired. I learned more in a span of one year from all the videos on FZD design cinema and CGMA 100 folds compared to the four years of college. And what I believe is the real learning begins when you’re already out of school.

What kind of jobs did you do after school ended and why did you decide to be a freelancer?

First I didn’t know what to do after school. Then my girlfriend at that time was offered a job for furniture design rendering but couldn’t make it and asked me to show up in her place instead. Though I only worked there for a month it made me realize that I can actually make money through drawing. Then the VFX company called me up where a colleague and MTG friend of mine works and I only stayed there for 2 weeks when the Publishing company contacted me. I accepted the job (at the Publishing company) and spent my two years there 2010-2012. So within those two years while doing self study, I felt like the new skills that I have learned would just be wasted if I stayed drawing children’s books. The company I worked for charged clients $145-$300 per illustration (cartoon style $145, realistic paint style $300).  As artists, we did 5-7 per day and our salary was $300/month.  So doing 2 drawings in one day already paid for my 1 month salary!  So I decided to freelance to make good use of my new skills and earn the right amount money for it.

Is it difficult to be a freelancer?  I mean, lots of people dream about being their own boss!  Although most of the time I saw my husband filling creating lots of paperwork (taxes, invoices, etc) when he was freelancing…

Well yes and no. Because first of all you have to be good or cheap. And to get good at what you do you have to spend endless hours on the side. I remember having 2-3 hours of sleep just to squeeze out time to practice. And when you do start getting clients they are technically your boss and you follow what they are asking for. And you are a service provider so you have to comply or you will end up with no clients coming back. You do get to be the boss of your time but you have to manage it well or you won’t get anything done. I don’t know about paperwork but I do manage my files well so there will be no confusion.

What kind of things have you been commissioned to draw?

I have been asked to do Book cover Illustrations, Card Game Illustrations, Concept Art, a whole lot of Chibis, Storyboard for a TV series, Press Kit Illustration and Character Design for a music video

Interview continues on in Part 2