Aaron Bailey: My Time As A Graphic Artist
I recently spoke with Aaron Bailey about his career as a graphic artist. His work has taken the internet by storm on several occasions. And his success in the field continues to grow on a daily basis. I asked Aaron for his story and he has provided us with this guest post to help aspiring graphic artists to better understand the profession.
As a kid, I always had a fascination with comic book panels and covers. Especially the composition and artistry that went into them. This led me down a rabbit hole in my teen years of sketching and creating my own characters to use in short stories. The funny part is I can’t draw very well at all! But this has never stopped me from pursuing my passion for art. Fortunately, I found my talent as a graphic artist.
I think it’s important for any artist to have a clear influence like I did. It can really set you up in a style that you can make your own. Movies and TV were also a huge part of putting me where I am today and are something I base my work on heavily, even now.
What Do Graphic Artists Do?
Some would immediately think that the definition of a ‘graphic artist’ is simply drawing an image and sending it out. While the base of that is true it is much more creative and in-depth. On a daily basis, I get requests for logos, short film posters, photography jobs, and various other jobs. That variation is something that, as an artist, really makes the job a lot more fun. You never know what lies around the next corner. I’ve had the opportunity to create work for small businesses all the way to movie productions- it’s that varied.
There Are Challenges To Being A Graphic Artist
As with any career, there are always hurdles to overcome and obstacles that may seem insurmountable at the time. With a new project, I may have very specific outlines that make a job much more intricate or time-consuming. I don’t mind these, however, as any challenge just gives you a new skill you never thought you would have! When you work in a digital format, like me, it gives you the unique ability to correct and change on the fly. Especially when using something like the Photoshop app. Being able to adapt quickly is something I’m incredibly grateful for. It’s also something I massively prefer over physically hand-drawn or manually created mediums.
Digital art also allows me and other digital artists to fully realize what we envision on the screen. My number one priority for a commissioned piece is making sure what the customer wants is represented in the final project. Sometimes that’s much harder than I think it will be, but with time and effort, it’s worth the good word of mouth and promotion.
Where Can Graphic Artists Work?
The reality of a career in Graphic Art is that it’s all up to you and how you want to approach it. I think that’s what made the prospect so daunting for myself and others thinking about breaking into the profession. I started with easy editing jobs with a small payout, this allowed me to have a catalog of work to show the next client and so on. That’s a hugely important step! Having a backlog of work has let me bypass undercutting my price quite a bit because the work speaks for itself.
This is because my field is very much ‘freelance’, I promote myself and don’t work under a company banner or for a business. There are however other options, such as being hired on as a permanent artist for a website or maybe a book company to do covers. The work is as flexible as you want to be and that’s why I love it! In the end, it’s about deciding whether you want to work on your own terms. Or if you’ve rather go for a more traditional approach and have set goals and schedules.
The Demand For A Graphic Artist
Something I have always asked myself about my work is “Is this job market over-saturated?”. I think all artists and creators feel this way sometimes as we naturally question our skills and abilities over others. Comparison is a hard thing to overcome and it has a]n impact on where you set your goals and expectations. The market for graphic art is only increasing. As more media outlets are turning to digital visuals and advertising, there will be an increased need for visuals for all sorts of media. Whether they be for personal projects or more commercial ones.
I’ve had many doubts since I started about where my work would fit in the grand scheme of things, and while I’m certainly not a megastar of the graphic world, I’m happy with where I’m going! The best advice I could give anyone worried about making it is; There will always be a niche you fit into.
Where Do I Want To Go?
Lately, I have been thinking about what’s next in my journey, what do I want out of my work? I think the best thing to do is remember where I started. With no decent software and a slow laptop, I did my first digital art, and guess what; it was not great. For a while that took a toll on my self-esteem as an artist and made me reconsider my passion for it. After a short break, I started again and realized that it’s not about what you use and much more about how you feel about it.
If you have the drive and love of just creating things, that’s all you need. I can thank a lot of creators on YouTube and personal friends for helping me with the technical aspects of the job, something that took some work for sure. But it was a hurdle I was more than glad to overcome.