where are you from and how long have you been illustrating?
I was born in the Philippines in Quezon City, then hopped around alot, but most of my life I was raised in Toronto Canada. I recently graduated 3 weeks ago so I guess you can say I've been "professionally illustrating" for three weeks.

so, are you freaked out?
Of course, everyone gets a little freaked out after they graduate. A lot of questions are raised and a lot of wallets are very empty. I always hear the scary stories about what it feels like after graduating. So during school I tried my best to use the momentum I had after I graduated to keep myself busy and positive about the future. Even though its only been threeish weeks and I have those scary feelings that I'm not in school anymore, I'm excited at the prospect on what I can accomplish in the future.
how was your school experience?
It was amazing, I practically lived in school and I loved it. What I'm going to miss most is having that sense of an artist community around you all the time. Everyone in my class did such great work that it was hard not to be inspired and motivated. The profs were wonderful and truly helped me find my path as an illustrator. It was also nice to learn different things each week. I think that's also important when your out of school, to keep learning and never stop. But what I'm going to miss most is room A128 (Shoutout!!) and Vietnamese Pho trips we took like everyday haha....damnit I wanna go back to school now!!

what are you anticipating in the next year?

Well I don't wanna jinx anything! but I'm anticipating and hoping for myself to be busy with illustration. Even if its just still promoting my work or trying to get my book published or even doing illustration work. I feel that if I try to keep myself in a rhythm and work hard ultimately I will see results, no matter what form it takes.

if I'm an AD why should i hire you as apposed to someone more established?
Ooh, hard hitting question!! Well, every illustrator has something different they bring to the table and that's their personality in their work. I feel that my work speaks honestly to myself as well as the ideas that I portray. The images I make are colorful, bold and in your face but are held together with an idea. I think it doesn't matter if you're established or just graduating. If I can make images that speak to the message and to an audience (and have them in on time) then I think I'm just as effective as an established illustrator. Even though I just graduated I consider myself professional and I am pretty confident in what I do, and I hope AD's see that as well. However I know I'm still really fresh on the scene and there's a lot you can learn from experience, and I'm really excited to experience and learn more.
how are you gonna blow some minds promotion wise?
I try to keep in contact with different illustrators to see what works best when promoting themselves. The unanimous answer is always to keep sending promotion at least 3 times a year and to A LOT of clients. The aim promotion wise for me now is to be unique and not just show my best pieces, but be creative and make it stand out.

what / who are some major inspirations?
During my first 2 years in School, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I also didn't really have any artists that I admired. So one of the things I did was buy books of artist's that spoke to me. It's one of the best choices I have ever made, artists like: Ralph Steadman, Joseph Clement Coll, Gerald Scarfe, Franklin Booth, David Levine etc. Their images opened my eyes to the possibilities that someone can achieve with illustration. Also they pretty much taught me that anything and everything can be done with ink. I recently interned with Kagan McLeod in the summer and he has been a huge inspiration for me as well.
list your top 5 - just graduated - dream clients!
Well in no particular order: 1. New Yorker 2. Sports Illustrated 3. Rolling Stone 4. Complex 5. Wired

advice for fellow grads / new illustrators?
My girlfriend got me an autographed copy of "Drawing Blood" by Gerald Scarfe for Christmas and he wrote inside. "To be a successful illustrator, you need hard work, talent and determination" its straight forward, true and hopefully written by him!

advice for old / established ones?
Keep making inspiring beautiful work so that I may be jealous and work harder.
All images copyright Juan Solon
thanks Juan, looking forward to seeing where your work will go
see for yourself: http://juansolon.com

1 comment:

  1. wish you a long and successful illustration career Juon .... your work is amazing!