Below are a collection of interviews that I have done for various people and publications over the past few years. Feel free to email me at jawcooper(at)gmail(dot)com if you have a specific question not already answered below:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Student Interview

1)      Why did you choose this field?
I intended to pursue a career in zoology and applied to many colleges, some for zoology and some for art. I got into all of them and than had to decide and chose to pursue art as a career and indulge my passion for science and zoology on the side. I suspected that if I was placed in an environment that really pushed me technically and conceptually that I could be very competitive professionally and make a career out of it- and so I chose to go to a 4-year art college.

2)      Why should I?
I don't know you so I can't say wether you should or should not. I will say this- careers in art are extremely competitive and art colleges are very expensive. If you choose to pursue a career in art and/or attend an art college to make that happen go into it critical of your abilities and potential and work your ass off through college and once graduating to pay off loans quickly and build a client base so that you can fulfill your financial obligations. I think if you want to do art as a career you have to treat it like a career and not a hobby- you should hold yourself to professional standards and expect to make a good living doing what you love.

3)      What much traveling have you done for you career?
I did just take a trip abroad to draw at Natural History Museums across Europe and spent about one third of last year out on long camping expeditions which I used as inspiration for gallery work, but that's mostly on my free time/personal art time. I make my "living" working for Print/Motion/Advertising companies in Los Angeles as a freelance illustrator and idea machine which doesn't involve much traveling itself but affords me the freedom and financial flexibility to work 5-10 days a month to pay bills and save, which means I can do what I want and travel where I want with my ample free time.

4)      What kind of benefits are there?
Freedom, the ability to be your own boss, the ability to balance commercial and personal work so that both are strengthened, and the ability to have the time to work on personal projects.

5)      What type of people do you deal with?
All kinds. Generally pretty liberal and creative since all my work is art-related, but that covers all manner of personalities.

6)      What kind of/how much education do you need for this field?
I went to Otis College of Art and Design and received a BFA in Communication Arts/Illustration. I think it is certainly much harder to get into this profession without going to an art college and getting all that instruction, guidance, and most importantly... contacts... but going to an art college is not absolutely necessary if you are extremely talented, motivated, and hard working. Once you graduate no one will ever ask where you went to school- all that matters is the quality of your portfolio and contacts that can testify to your professionalism and temperament.

7)      Where did you go to school? Certificate or degree?
I went to Otis College of Art and Design and received a BFA in Communication Arts/Illustration

8)      Did someone influence you? When?
My father is a biologist/ecologist, my mother is a biologist/scientific illustrator and both of them were big influences both in my art career and overall curiosity toward the world.

9)      When did you start in the field?
I started drawing earnestly around age 6, went to art college at 18, started freelancing at 19, started showing in galleries at 20, graduated at 21, and have been freelancing and showing in galleries ever since.

10)   How did you hear about this job?
I put a note up on my blog years ago saying I was looking to get into art for advertising or animation and a follower forwarded my website to their boss, who is now my boss. So... it was a happy accident enabled by hard work and a willingness to self-promote and ask for help.

11)   How does it affect you?
How does the job concepting on Movie/TV posters freelance for AD companies affect me? Well, it pays all my bills while giving me tons of free time to pursue my own work and it exposes me to new concepts and visual aesthetics and challenges me conceptually all of which benefit my personal work.

12)   What would say the pros and cons are?

Of that particular job? Not many cons. Of the life of a freelancer/gallery artist in general? Well freelance work is not always predictable but it's not a problem if you keep your cost of living low. Making art for a living is so personal and to be competitive you have to be very passionate and dedicated which means that it can be hard to separate yourself from your work for better or for worse.

No comments:

Post a Comment