I have been following Lucinda Rogers’s work for some time, I even have a framed poster of one of her New York drawings on the wall in my studio, so I was really glad to receive an email announcing her new website www.lucindarogers.co.uk.
Her drawings are stunning and really capture the atmosphere of a place, especially her projects about New York and London. She gave a lecture at the Dulwich Picture Gallery a few years ago entitled Drawn From Life; afterwards I was fortunate to be able to ask her a few questions about her location drawing, and about her views on making a career in reportage illustration. Lucinda has been kind enough to review her original answers and update me on what she is up to now.
Do you think there is a market for reportage illustration?
L.R- In theory there is a market but in practice you need to search out this sort of commission to make it happen.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
L.R – Have your portfolio show a body of reportage work covering different sorts of places and scenes. Be aware of how reportage-style illustration is being used in advertising, design and the media.
Who would you advise approaching with a portfolio of work and why?
L.R – Newspapers / magazines are the traditional home for reportage work and you might propose drawing an event that they are likely to cover. Reportage is also used in annual reports and other marketing. The subject-matter you like to draw, such as Anna Cattermole’s Newlyn fishing boats, may be relevant to a particular company or organization whom you could approach and suggest they commission your drawings.
Do you think it is necessary to have an agent?
L.R- It is good to start off on your own and see how the business works but you might want an agent to do the difficult job of negotiating with clients. Don’t expect an agent to find all your work; try to be self-sufficient and have the agent as an added benefit.
Is all your work done on location now, or do you still find yourself answering commercial briefs by drawing from photographs?
L.R – It is done on location as much as possible and I usually turn down jobs that have nothing to do with this way of working.
At the talk you stressed the importance of maintaining your own projects, why do you think this is important?
L.R – It is better to keep personal work going so that you are not steered by commercial jobs alone.
Have you now finished your New York and London drawings or are these projects ongoing?
L.R – They are ongoing along with an interest in other places.
Have you got any other exciting projects in the pipeline that you can tell us about?