Chris Kasch.Illustration

Jose Castaneda Interview / July 8th, 2010

I was recently contacted by Jose Castaneda who is a student at West Wood College doing a Web Design and Multimedia Program. He had to do an interview with a professional as part of the graduation process. I was happy to answer his questions (below).
1. How, when and why did you choose this career path? I’m not sure I ever really consciously chose to be an illustrator. I went to art college straight from school as it was the only thing I was really good at, as I refined my work I guess I was making little micro decisions that led me to where I am now but never did I have that eureka moment where I knew what I wanted to do.
2. What would you consider is and was you biggest challenge to get where you are at? Getting my first few jobs was the hardest challenge. I’ve mentioned it before but It took me three years to get my first job and there were many moments where I felt like giving up and got downhearted. You develop a thick skin after a while though.
3. What do you feel is a challenge when working with clients? Very often it’s the relationship with say a design studio, their client and you. it’s a matter of working out what the design agency are trying to do with the job, what the client is expecting (most of the time these are people who aren’t particularly visually aware and sometimes don’t really know what they want) and what I want to get out of it. It’s a tricky task that involves compromising when necessary and standing up for yourself when you need to.
4. Describe your working environment and why it works for you. I work from a desk in my bedroom, it’s not ideal at all and the only reason it has worked all of these years is because it has to. I know a lot of fellow illustrators enjoy working in a shared studio but personally I wouldn’t like that. Ideally a nice studio at the end of the garden would be great, I could close the door on it when I’ve finished then.
5. What methods/steps do you take to complete your work? Rough approved with the client, work up the illustration in paint, scan the work into the computer and tidy up the scan on photoshop, send off a low res scan to the client and then send the high res file off upon approval, send off the invoice.