Illustration Apprenticeship 2017

Nashville, Tennessee. Travis Foster Reps Illustration Agency is accepting applications for the 2017 Apprenticeship program. We are looking to fill ten positions. Initially, these are non-paid positions we are seeking to fill.

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An ideal candidate would like to learn how to thrive as a freelance illustrator. They also can see themselves managing their own business. Candidates currently have an artistic aptitude and talent but for whatever reasons have not been able to earn a living wage as an artist. Some small levels of income may have been achieved, however, not a sustainable living wage and would like to learn how to improve and grow as an artist.

Illustration: Travis Foster

Apprentices work from their home studios and do not necessarily commute into the Nashville Studio. Freelancers, in most cases, have the freedom and the ability to work from their own space and we have set the program up to emulate a working artist.

The commitment to the apprenticeship is week to week, no contract, you can participate in the program for as long as you believe you are benefiting from the relationship. It is a five hour week commitment. Broken down into two segments. Three hours working on personal art challenges (optional) and two hours working to help promote the agency (required).

Five Hours a week

Each week you will be given an art challenge to create an illustration, with perimeters. Consider it a mock assignment. The work will not be used in a commercial project, it is simply an exercise to give you experience to a different technique or process to help with the growth of your portfolio strategy. Each art challenge can be produced in three hours or less. If you choose to spend more time than three hours, this is up to you. The weekly art challenge is an elective and you are not required to participate. Travis Foster will act as managing Art Director in providing the art challenge.

Each week you will be given access to relevant articles to build your freelance business. You will be asked to give feedback on things you are learning in these articles and give feedback to the other apprentices participating. This is also an elective and you are not require to participate.

Two hours each week, you will be asked to contribute to working with the agency is various marketing functions. Such as social media feeds, email marketing, client research, to name a few. For each task you will be provided the necessary training and will only work on projects you understand and are equipped. This two hour weekly commitment is required. If you fail to meet this two hour commitment consistently you will be dropped from the apprenticeship.

On occasion, we will have a guest speaker come and speak to our group and the illustrator will have an answer and question time for you to ask questions. We plan on doing this livestream. You do not have to attend. This is an elective.

Apprenticeship Goal

The purpose of the apprenticeship is two fold. I would like to assist younger and aspiring artists to succeed in becoming a working illustrator. In exchange for this training and expertise, the apprentice gives the agency two hours of guaranteed work each week to promote the agency.

I’ve been working as an illustrator, full time, for twenty seven years. I average over $100k a year as an artist. I draw five days a week. Sarah and I have four kids, I now have two sons that are in the Army. I’m in a season of life where I can help younger artists succeed. Consider me an older player that has a desire to coach younger players.

Graduates of the Program

Here are a few links and stories shared from those that have graduated the program. Cameron Monzon, John Haney.

Illustration: Michael Korfhage

“I originally met Travis during my senior year at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in the spring semester of 2010 while he was an adjunct professor teaching the Illustration 3 class. I was fortunate enough to intern in his studio from May 2010 through December 2010. Travis has the heart of a teacher, and his depth of knowledge coupled with his years of experience in this industry makes him an asset to any student looking to bridge the gap from school to a professional career in commercial art. Seeing the day to day operations of a successful illustrator running a small business gave me the confidence to pursue a freelance illustration career for myself. Any student willing to come in with an open mind and an eagerness to work on their craft would be well served to take this opportunity. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” Michael Korfhage

No guarantees or promises

This apprenticeship is not a guarantee that you will succeed as an illustrator. You are one hundred precent responsible for your own artistic career. The apprenticeship does not imply that you have an opportunity to be represented by our agency. Please do not misunderstand the opportunity presented. I’m simply a seasoned illustrator with experience, that happens to be an agent, who also happens to enjoy helping younger artists find their way in the market place. Building a strong marketable portfolio is key. Knowing what to do with a strong portfolio is another step I can shed some light on. Contracts and negotiations are another area I have experience.

Travis Foster is a freelance illustrator, illustration agent, cartoonist, husband and dad to four. Travis Foster Reps and Cartoon Zoo are both based in Nashville.