Personal work can be the driving influence for commercial projects; how do you maintain the correct balance that best suits you?
HH - My personal work and commercial work are often close together. I get asked for commissions because of what I do with my free work and I can only do commercial jobs if they relate to my free work. Usually clients are after something kind of dark, funny and different when they commission me. This means I don't have to worry about a balance most of the time. The commercial work usually feels like the same thing as my free work.
Does your working method alter depending on the type of project, personal or commercial, that you are working on?
HH - No. I do what I do and I think that's one of the main reasons people ask me. It is definitely one of my demands when taking on a commercial job. I need to have the freedom to do things my way. Of course I listen to a client's needs and I try to give them what they want, but it should all stay within the range of the kind of thing I do,
What themes and ideas do you explore in your own work that translate to commercial projects?
HH - I try to communicate uncertain feelings with my work. Although my work is usually black and white, the ideas behind the work are grey. If I make an animation with a smoking character it shouldn't be clear if I'm against smoking or pro smoking. There should be a little of both in it. I try to leave room for the viewer to find their own personal interpretation. In the end, its meaning is decided by the viewer. Commercial work usually needs clear communication, but I always try to insert some Of my greyness in it. At first the message might be clear, but on a closer look you might see something less clear.
Please give a brief outline of your intentions when making illustrations for this sector of the industry?
HH - Making money is my prime intention, if I could make enough money with my own work I probably wouldn't do commercial stuff. On the other hand it's nice to do something else every once in a while. Working on your own stuff all the time can make you blind. Commercial jobs can create a healthy distance between me and my work, and give me a better perspective on what I do - but (hen again, if it didn't make me money, I wouldn't do it.
"1 try to communicate uncertain feelings with my work I try to leave room for the viewer to find their own personal interpretation."
1-3. Film festival promo HAFF Leader Holland Animation Film Festival Han Hoogerbrugge, 2004
Han Hoogerbrugge, based in Holland, creates self-initiated and challenging, yet often controversial animations that he releases on-line through his own website. Putting himself at the centre of his work, Hoogerbrugge uses digital photographic self-portraits that he utilises as a trace-guide for his Flash-animated drawings.
Unlike graphic design, there is not a clearly visible, tried-and-tested path into working as a freelance illustrator. Forging a career can take equal amounts of patience, skill and luck. Understanding how to market one's work, maintain client interest and build a professional reputation can be a painstaking experience.
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