1. I have a new website! Designed by Luke Williams and built by Stefan Draht. Man, those guys did a great job.

There’s some new(ish) stuff up there, too. Click through to check it out!

    I have a new website! Designed by Luke Williams and built by Stefan Draht. Man, those guys did a great job.

    There’s some new(ish) stuff up there, too. Click through to check it out!

  2. I’m a freelance illustrator, which means I kinda float from job to job, taking on different opportunities to make money. It means that I have less stability than someone who works in-house for a company, though it also means I can keep my own schedule and generally be a little more flexible with my time. It’s what I prefer, but it’s not for everyone. 

When I got out of school in 2009, I was working as an assistant to a comic book colorist, doing fairly menial work while I tried to scrounge up some freelance clients. I got that job because he was one of my instructors and I finished assignments early and so I had some extra time and showed that I could finish things professionally and on time. After a couple years, I was getting enough freelance editorial work (small illustrations for magazines, mostly), that I was able to quit my regular job and hop into freelance full time. 

For about three years freelance editorial jobs were the bulk, almost the entirety of my pay. Magazines typically don’t have enormous budgets, so you have to do a lot of illustrations to make a decent living. Some illustrators have a natural affinity for this type of work, and are really good at it. I tend to do more narrative work with a fantasy slant, which means that, when working on something like a business or legal magazine, I would have to step outside of my comfort zone to finish the work. Sometimes that worked out well and sometimes it didn’t, but more often than not it wasn’t really taking advantage of my strengths as an artist or as a thinker. I did a couple advertising jobs here and there, which pay a lot more but are generally harder to get and have more stringent art direction. I made a lot of work on my own time and it got some attention online. I sent out postcards and emails to art directors, though the majority of the work I’ve gotten has been because some art director found my work online, or another artist pointed them to me, or something along those lines.

I’m still freelancing now, but I’ve gotten a few more regular clients that are in line with the kind of work that I like to do. I’m working more on books and in the animation industry (doing background drawings for Steven Universe), and I’m generally taking on fewer editorial jobs. Even though I’m not working in-house at Cartoon Network (they’re in Burbank, I’m in Baltimore and soon to be Brooklyn), I’m part of a team, and it’s nice to be involved with a community of artists working on one project. Books typically have longer timelines and larger budgets than editorial images, which means I can labor over drawings for longer - something I love doing. I also taught illustration classes for two years at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the school I attended as a student.

I also make money from making and selling my own products — prints, zines, that sort of thing.

The point is, there are lots of ways to make money with illustration, you just have to be flexible and take opportunities when they pop up, while keeping in mind the kind of work you want to make. At the beginning of your career, being enthusiastic, professional, and flexible are just as important as being good. 

    I’m a freelance illustrator, which means I kinda float from job to job, taking on different opportunities to make money. It means that I have less stability than someone who works in-house for a company, though it also means I can keep my own schedule and generally be a little more flexible with my time. It’s what I prefer, but it’s not for everyone. 

    When I got out of school in 2009, I was working as an assistant to a comic book colorist, doing fairly menial work while I tried to scrounge up some freelance clients. I got that job because he was one of my instructors and I finished assignments early and so I had some extra time and showed that I could finish things professionally and on time. After a couple years, I was getting enough freelance editorial work (small illustrations for magazines, mostly), that I was able to quit my regular job and hop into freelance full time. 

    For about three years freelance editorial jobs were the bulk, almost the entirety of my pay. Magazines typically don’t have enormous budgets, so you have to do a lot of illustrations to make a decent living. Some illustrators have a natural affinity for this type of work, and are really good at it. I tend to do more narrative work with a fantasy slant, which means that, when working on something like a business or legal magazine, I would have to step outside of my comfort zone to finish the work. Sometimes that worked out well and sometimes it didn’t, but more often than not it wasn’t really taking advantage of my strengths as an artist or as a thinker. I did a couple advertising jobs here and there, which pay a lot more but are generally harder to get and have more stringent art direction. I made a lot of work on my own time and it got some attention online. I sent out postcards and emails to art directors, though the majority of the work I’ve gotten has been because some art director found my work online, or another artist pointed them to me, or something along those lines.

    I’m still freelancing now, but I’ve gotten a few more regular clients that are in line with the kind of work that I like to do. I’m working more on books and in the animation industry (doing background drawings for Steven Universe), and I’m generally taking on fewer editorial jobs. Even though I’m not working in-house at Cartoon Network (they’re in Burbank, I’m in Baltimore and soon to be Brooklyn), I’m part of a team, and it’s nice to be involved with a community of artists working on one project. Books typically have longer timelines and larger budgets than editorial images, which means I can labor over drawings for longer - something I love doing. I also taught illustration classes for two years at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the school I attended as a student.

    I also make money from making and selling my own products — prints, zines, that sort of thing.

    The point is, there are lots of ways to make money with illustration, you just have to be flexible and take opportunities when they pop up, while keeping in mind the kind of work you want to make. At the beginning of your career, being enthusiastic, professional, and flexible are just as important as being good. 

  3. A new piece for a very strange story over on Tor.com. The story deals with a world in which all species have evolved beyond humans and have adapted a system of universal cloning for reproduction, rather than sexual coupling. Humans remain the only species left with their natural urges, and are kept as pets by sophisticated animal masters. The main character is a slime-mold named Tim who works as a stock boy at Walmart. 

    It’s a very weird, very funny, kinda gross story.

    I think the last sketch was my favorite, but we couldn’t get away with that one. Thanks to my terrific AD, Irene Gallo.

    (Source: sbosma)

  4. Little drawing for American Way magazine to go along with a story about a woman learning to play harmonica. 

    Little drawing for American Way magazine to go along with a story about a woman learning to play harmonica. 

  5. Space Paladin Prints
Archival inks on 100% cotton rag paper. Printed with the help of the fine folks from INPRNT.com
-Open edition (4/21-4/28)
-12x18 - $30
-18x24 -$50
http://sbosma.bigcartel.com/

    Space Paladin Prints


    Archival inks on 100% cotton rag paper. Printed with the help of the fine folks from INPRNT.com

    -Open edition (4/21-4/28)

    -12x18 - $30


    -18x24 -$50

    http://sbosma.bigcartel.com/

  6. 'Hierophant,' for Nobrow 8.

Lots of great artists contributed to this issue, including Andrea Kalfas, Dustin Harbin, Luke Pearson, and Dilraj Mann. Preorder the book here: Nobrow.

    'Hierophant,' for Nobrow 8.

    Lots of great artists contributed to this issue, including Andrea Kalfas, Dustin Harbin, Luke Pearson, and Dilraj Mann. Preorder the book here: Nobrow.

  7. Space Paladin and limited color version for the woman warriors zine Abby, Julia, and Roxie are putting together for MoCCA. From the work I’ve seen for it, looks like the zine’s gonna be bonkers. Might do a limited print run of that top one. Inspired by Andrea's space babes and Sailor Moon backgrounds.

  8. I did the poster artwork for Streetlight Manifesto’s next (and final) tour. They wanted something featuring a bunch of warriors at the end of their journey, and obviously, I was very happy to help them out with that. I got to combine some of my favorite tropes of 80’s fantasy (Grace Jones look-alike included) with some Final Fantasy with some D&D. 

    I’ve been really focusing on limiting my pallet lately, since I am becoming more interested in letting my linework show through.

  9. More b&w preview stuff. I dunno when this book comes out, but I’ll obviously post more about it when it gets officially announced.

Pencil, ink, and digital. Pencil line drawing, ink-wash values lightboxed on wc paper over that, additional values added digitally. Easy.

    More b&w preview stuff. I dunno when this book comes out, but I’ll obviously post more about it when it gets officially announced.

    Pencil, ink, and digital. Pencil line drawing, ink-wash values lightboxed on wc paper over that, additional values added digitally. Easy.

  10. I’m drawing a bunch of black and white monsters for a book. This guy’s some kind of devildragon.

    I’m drawing a bunch of black and white monsters for a book. This guy’s some kind of devildragon.

  11. I have a creepy drawing in the Wall Street Journal today. It accompanies a book review of “Snow White Must Die,” by Nele Neuhaus, a new police procedural set in a village outside of Frankfurt. The book is about a series of killings with some Snow White parallels. 
I wanted to keep things menacing but vague, with some fairytale-esque colors. Turns out I do a pretty good job on creepy topics? I seem to get them a lot.
AD Dave Bamundo

    I have a creepy drawing in the Wall Street Journal today. It accompanies a book review of “Snow White Must Die,” by Nele Neuhaus, a new police procedural set in a village outside of Frankfurt. The book is about a series of killings with some Snow White parallels. 

    I wanted to keep things menacing but vague, with some fairytale-esque colors. Turns out I do a pretty good job on creepy topics? I seem to get them a lot.

    AD Dave Bamundo

  12. A panel that I liked from the 10 page section of Spera 3 that I’m working on. It’s overdue, and I don’t know when it’s coming out. Sorry.
Just a couple of bros bonding.

    A panel that I liked from the 10 page section of Spera 3 that I’m working on. It’s overdue, and I don’t know when it’s coming out. Sorry.

    Just a couple of bros bonding.

  13. This is a drawing that Kali and I did for our immensely talented friend Jordie. It was requested by her equally talented beau Declan, who simply asked for something fox-themed.
Kali and I don’t collaborate often (ever), since we are both very particular about our own work, but we split this one up and it turned out nicely. Lines by me, colors by Kali.

The main reference for the pose was a lovely photo by Ryan McGinley. 

    This is a drawing that Kali and I did for our immensely talented friend Jordie. It was requested by her equally talented beau Declan, who simply asked for something fox-themed.

    Kali and I don’t collaborate often (ever), since we are both very particular about our own work, but we split this one up and it turned out nicely. Lines by me, colors by Kali.

    The main reference for the pose was a lovely photo by Ryan McGinley. 

  14. This guy is a psychic jack-o-lantern (kinda) that I made for the Guts for Glory Kickstarter that ran this past autumn. Guts for Glory is a post-apocalyptic card game created and designed by Zach Gage, Jesse Fuchs, and Jess Worby where all of the playable cards are weird edible items.


    All of the regular cards are drawn by the radical Jess Worby, but a few artists were commissioned to create bonus cards specifically for a Kickstarter tier. The other artists are, collectively, incomparable: Lisa Hanawalt, Dustin Harbin, Nate Bulmer, and Domitelle Collardey.


    You can read a little more about the project (and see the other special cards) over at Venus Patrol.

  15. yourdreamsmynightmares:

    Your Dreams My Nightmares Episode 034. An interview with Kali Ciesemier and Sam Bosma. Music by The Mythics via freemusicarchive.org

    You can download the episode here or subscribe to the show via iTunes.


    Music

    Love Me Like You (The Mythics) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

    Kali and I did an interview with our friend Sam last Sunday. We’re about to listen to it and I’m terrified.