Hi! I love your work! I was wondering if it would be okay to ask you for advice about sort of professional stuff as an illustrator? I made a post so that anyone who might have anything could respond but you're one of the few professional illustrators I know of on here, so would it be ok for me to send it to you or tag you in it? Thank you, have a great day!
Hey. I don’t really give advice on tumblr, but I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you, and I’m worried I was giving that impression. Here’s my thoughts on this post of yours.
1- I’m the wrong person to ask about this. First of all, I’m old. I’m in my 30s. So I don’t have any stuff from my teens floating around online to cringe about. I wish I could scrape some stuff from my early 20s off the internet, but only because it’s young and airheaded, not because it’s offensive or potentially damaging. I came of age at a time when it was mostly considered a Bad Thing to post personal stuff on the internet. Second of all, I don’t hire artists. Art Directors would be able to tell you more about this particular concern.
2- Honestly, I’ve never had an art director go through my personal blogs. Sometimes I wish they would, so they know what to expect from me on a personal level, but. Tbh, they are busy people, and they don’t care what fandoms you are in. In fact, if you leave your portfolio on a blog site where work is harder to find, they’re more likely to write you off and not look through your work at all. They mostly want clear and available portfolios, not backlogs of private thoughts interspersed with art. Despite how anodyne my personal website is, it’s also where employers look first to see if I can do Their Thing. If they do look on tumblr, I’ve seen no evidence of it.
3- Fandom is not a dirty word. My current job, which I’m extremely excited about, I got because I was in the fandom and created work that got noticed by the higher ups. Every working artist under 40 has participated in being excited about stuff online. You don’t need to hide it. I once saw a piece of mine on a Behind the Scenes at the BBC Musketeers video. They printed it out and put it on a cork board of inspiration. Art Directors WANT you to care about stuff. They will not be put off by your interests.
4- If you (not you, @he-said-irene, you are good folks, but if ONE) says something racist, exclusionary, or unkind online, someone will find it and you will probably be dragged for it. That seems to be the direction things are going, and I’m not sorry about it. If you are worried about your past catching up with you, then you probably should be, frankly.
5- So yeah, @he-said-irene, don’t worry too much about it. While I generally advocate for privacy and compartmentalization online, I’m also not ashamed of my fandom past, and I don’t think most people should be. If you think your work is more generally not for sensitive audiences, that’s a good reason to put viewer restrictions on your blog, but lots of very successful industry artists have done erotic or horror or whatever art, and it’s not really seen as a Big Deal in the industry. Your work and your ability to work with people in a kind a professional manner is gonna be the stuff that gets you in the door and keeps you there, not your favorite ship from when you were 18.