Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Caliban Goes Art-School Confidential!

This is NOT what most publishers expect from minority/POC illustrator-authors

The most popular posts I've done on this blog were the technical critiques of Moebius' Airtight Garage … I suspect that there are young illustrators reading this blog in the hopes of actually learning something of practical use. So I'll skip the usual Snark and talk shop instead … if the public approves, there's plenty more on tap.

There's a lot of talk in North America about the problems of minorities in the publishing/comix business. I'd like to point out something that seems to get lost in the brouhaha: when you think through the business implications, your problem-of-being-a-minority is a distinct advantage.

Minority/POC illustrators and authors: since you are statistically less likely to have gone to the right school or drank at the right watering hole or even slept with the right people, you have only your work and your work habits to sell you to editors, art directors and publishers. You MUST consistently produce conceptually and technically superior work, on deadline and genuinely camera-ready or copy-editor-friendly, you have no other viable career strategy. Yes, publishers will pay you less but that will improve as you progress, assuming that you never relax your standards.

In fact, when you think it through, discrimination creates a distinct advantage for minorities in the Darwinian cesspool we call the publications business. Plus, it's a genuine hoot knowing that the Last Bastion of the Protestant Work Ethic in North America is the Invisible Man!

And here the lesson endeth.