I didn’t know much of Jacky Flemings work, but what i had seen really intrigued me and i found it amusing so was really eager to go to her talk and I’m so glad i did.

I found that it was really quite informative as i intend to follow a similar path and go freelance. Though she expressed she no intentions to become a cartoonist she said she just kind of fell into the role. She hadn’t thought of a career she just drew all the time, and noted that she didn’t think she even drew particularly well. Her cartoons have since featured in The Guardian, Big Issue, New Statesman & Society and Independent on Sunday amongst other publications, books of her cartoons have also been published by Penguin and her work is exhibited far and wide. She made it quite clear that some people found her work controversial, but that was also what made them so successful, because they said things people weren’t always willing to hear. They confront a range of issues within society, and i particularly admire the fact that she doesn’t care what people think of her for expressing her points of view and thoughts on issues. I also strongly admire the fact she wasn’t afraid to turn down a job if it was for someone she didn’t really like or an organisation she didn’t want to represent, just because the offer of some work came along she didn’t drop what she was about and her style to get some work, she stuck with what she was passionate about and in the end that really paid off for her. I think that in itself is a great lesson i can learn. That just because I’ve been offered a brief doesn’t mean i have to take it if it contradicts what i represent. If you do that then you’re more likely to discredit yourself and douse your reputation.

She mentioned her process of working, that she often draws and creates a big pile of different drawings statement and ideas that later she will work through to find the hidden gems. I found this quite reassuring as im always doing rough sketches or starting a drawing and having another idea and i end up with so many unfinished illustrations or ideas. some of which i do end up going back to.
I also loved the fact that she networked herself by sending out loads of postcards to publishers like penguin and others that she’s worked with. I thought this was a really good way of communicating your practice and being able to send a sample of work at the same time. Everyone always says you need to know someone in the business to get in on it. But it kind of gives me hope that actually, you can sell yourself through different means. She also expressed that they’re a really good way of getting your work out globally, after all postcards travel fair distances.

She also discussed her transition between university and being a cartoonist, stating that she had done fine art, and lots of life drawing before moving on to become a cartoonist. She made it clear that its not the easiest of transitions from university to going freelance. That there were times in between where she struggled to make an earning, but expressed the importance of working despite that, to keep drawing and producing things because you don’t know what might be around the corner. In a way i had wanted to hear that it was a nice easy simple transition but i knew that wouldn’t be the case. It was however somewhat reassuring to find that someone as successful as her faced the exact same struggles that I’m most likely to encounter trying to make it in a dog eat dog world.

I found this particularly useful for my research into live project and PPP as they were both informed by this talk, considering professionalism, marketing myself and what kind of things to expect from going freelance.

horseplay
She was a very nice lady she even gave us all postcards which was lovely of her. This is the post card i got!

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