He spoke for a bit about working as a freelance illustrator with an agent and when I asked if it was worth having an agent he said that, for him, he would make about the same either way so it is just whether you want to put in that extra bit of effort yourself to get work or whether you just want to concentrate on the art and have the jobs come to you.
He also told us that it is often the simplest of things that are the hardest to do. Taking a photo of a dog for example, because a lot of people wouldn't want you taking a photo of their pet.
Andy was a great help when it came to working on the calender brief. I had the challenge of producing an image for January with no wind and you wouldn't believe how hard it is to show no wind. Andy was god though and he showed me how he would brainstorm and come up with lots and lots of ideas and then move them on into the image stage. My final piece came out well with his help.
What I gathered from Andy's visit is that being an illustrator can be hard work, it can be stressful and frustrating sometimes because you are always aware that you do not have a definite fixed income but at the end of the day you are doing something you enjoy so enjoy it.
Andy has done well for himself and although I personally find his work a bit basic and too 'clip art' for me, I understand his processes and why he chooses to work this way. Plus especially in the work he does, editorials mainly with a quick turn around time, simple images are often the punchiest and the fastest to produce. So although I wouldn't have his work on my walls, that doesn't mean I don't respect what he does.