Illustrator for hire!
When did you start out on your own?
I started Knight Time Creations as an illustration studio back in 2010 in the months leading up to becoming a dad. Prior to that I’d been flexing my creativity through makeup as I was a makeup artist who travelled around the country to film sets and photo shoots.
Did you jump in feet first into self employment or did you keep a part/full time job for security?
I’ve kept a part time job for security, working for the tourism industry in the heritage sector. It kept things interesting but I’ve always worked on a casual basis and have been gradually scaling back the part time work as the illustration business grows.
What difficulties did you have?
Keeping track of the “customer pipeline”. With leads, follow up leads, prospective clients, clients and former clients all needing different things at different times and trying to make sure no body gets forgotten or over looked. You’ve also got to be out there looking for new clients whilst simultaneously working on ongoing commissions, book-keeping and self promotion. Organisation and planning is super important.
Looking back what do you wish you could have known when starting out?
Print and radio advertising was a total waste of money, I wish I’d have known that before I wasted my money on it! There really is no replacement for the effectiveness of getting out there and actually meeting people. When people get to know you then you can find the genuine customers. I’ve learned that valuing your own skills and believing in yourself really are important and they’re not just buzz words on a motivational poster. I’ve also learned that making notes and writing stuff down is important too. Don’t assume that you’ll remember everything from a networking event and who you met. Take the time to input the data from their business cards into a customer relationship management tool of some kind.
What was the first time that you felt like ‘I’ve done it”?
I think it was when I started getting commissions from larger companies like Colson Moors, Protect Your Bubble and Appliances Online. I’ve done some great artwork for them. I think Protect Your Bubble was my favourite. I was also a finalist for the Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs) two years in a row, and in the third year I was one of the judges!
What has been your proudest moment?
I once had the opportunity to talk to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II about my cartoons and told her I’d created a cartoon in that week’s edition of the Lancaster Guardian about her great-great-grandmother (Queen Victoria) in honour of her visit, which she liked.
Then there was the time I was at a big business event and chatting to some people I’d never met before, I told them my name was Jack and I was an illustrator and there was this instant recognition and one lady said “Oh you’re THE Jack Knight?!”
Any tips or advice?
Find a theme song that really motivates you and play it when you need to get some fire in your rockets. Keep mining away at the cliff face, there’s gold in there.
As you will see from our site here we have some amazing cartoon images all based on members of the team. These of course were designed by Jack Knight. Yes that Jack Knight! I cannot recommend Jack highly enough and urge you to check out his other portfolio on his Facebook Page and his Twitter Page!
Need a Logo for your new business or some original website graphics give him a shout! You wont regret it.