New Illustrator to the OUaS Family
Here at Once Upon a Sketch, we are delighted to welcome our new contributor, the super talented Macky Pamintuan to the family. Along with multiple picture books, you might be familiar with his work such as the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew and the Flat Stanley series. I had the pleasure of interviewing Macky and he offered some insight into his career and background.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? School?
I’m originally from the Philippines and moved to San Francisco when I turned 21. There, I studied at the Academy of Art University and initially majored in 2D animation but soon switched to Traditional Illustration after realizing that I enjoyed that craft more.
I’m glad I did. I was always that one kid in class who did nothing but draw, but the 5 years learning the proper discipline of approaching an illustration (photo refs! thumbnails! commitment!)really helped me.
Shortly after graduating, I was at a fork on the road career wise. Not sure whether to seek stable employment under an art related company or try to go on my own and freelance. I gave myself 6 months to see if I could do the latter. Luckily, it all panned out and here I am.
How long have you been illustrating?
As a working (translation: starving) art student, I’d pick up freelancing projects like an illustrated poetry book, theater posters, logos and even as a caricaturist for private parties. Around 2004, a few months after signing with my rep, I quit my job as an after school art teacher and began illustrating full time.
I’m still amazed that I’ve been doing this professionally for over decade now.
What do you consider was your big break?
That’s a tough question. I think my opportunities came in increments, most of them unexpected. For example, a small baseball portfolio piece that I did opened doors for me to do a lot of baseball artwork including three picture books (one of them for my beloved SF Giants).
Come to think of it, there was no singular “big break” for me. Slowly building working relationships with publishers and art directors no matter how big or small the project may be helped me get considered for future work.
Sometimes, It’s hard to tell which piece leads you to more projects. One of my earliest picture books, “I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track” (2006), still gets me work inquiries to this day. And sometimes, it’s hard to tell when it will happen. I was backpacking in Europe when I got offered to do the relaunched “Nancy Drew & The Clue Crew” series.
We are both represented by MBArtists, can you tell us how you came to sign with them?
Yes, we are! In 2004, when I resolved to see if I can pursue a career as a freelance illustrator, I contacted a long list of art reps to inquire if they’d be interested in representing me.
After more than a few “No’s,” I found two reps who were interested. A Chicago based advertising rep and Mela Bolinao from MB Artists. The Chicago guy was talking big numbers, but I went with my gut and signed with Mela. I enjoyed the energy she brought and I foresaw a valuable partnership and friendship in the years to come. Easily one of the best decisions I’ve made. Continue reading