Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like Dave Roman, because if there is, we’ll knock your lamps out. The Nickelodeon magazine editor and cartoonist is back with a guide to being a freelancer that might just be the best advice you will ever read:

What kind of illustrator are you?
For any one assignment there are thousands of artists that could potentially be hired. Why should an editor or art director hire you? You need to figure out what makes your art unique. Because when there are a thousand artists who would all like the same gig, often just being good isn’t enough. You have to have a distinctive voice. It’s not about whether you can draw a bowl of fruit, it’s about how bad-ass, or realistic, or cute you can draw that fruit and convince people that no one has ever drawn it that way before. This sometimes gets confused with “the hot style,” but really it comes down to making art that lots of people find appealing and want to see more of. Figure out what your strengths are and what adjectives people use to describe the way you draw. Is it elegant, surreal, old-fashioned, cute, edgy, hip, classy, pretty, dynamic, dramatic, soft, hard, or all of the above? You may not want to categorize yourself, but to a certain extent you will need to if you want to focus yourself and find the places that will actually hire you.

Much more sense in the link. Bookmark and print out and learn the rules, like “Don’t be a jerk.”


  1. Jimminy Jillikers – the man talks a vast amount of sense – many thanks for sharing :)

    *needs to practice on the “don’t be a jerk” rule…*

  2. Couldn’t agree more with Dave Roman. As a freelancer, I do hear stories from art directors about other artists who grumble over changes, or don’t finish the storyboards on time.

    Being friendly and reliable goes a long way. A little talent doesn’t hurt, either!