In our world of endless opportunities, it can be very difficult to discover a single passion and turn it into a viable career. Alex Mathers of RedLemonClub.com , is one of those rare individuals that managed to create his dream career, starting from essentially zero.
Back in 2006, Alex decided to actively pursue his interest in art by taking online video tutorials in Adobe Illustrator. After a couple of weeks of learning and practice he started uploading his illustrations to the stock photo site iStockPhoto.com. While the majority of his illustrations were rejected, the process allowed him to further refine his skills, determine what the market was purchasing and hone in on his own unique style.
On top of his successful illustration career, Alex is also extremely popular on social media, is a popular blogger and has published four ebooks. In the interview, he shares how he started his illustration career, offers advice with blogging and shares how he got more than 80,000 Twitter followers.
Enjoy the interview. There are many great takeaways applicable to all online entrepreneurs.
Interview with Alex Mathers
0:21Please introduce yourself. Tell us about your website, what you do and how you earn a living.
1:34 How did you get started in art and how did you learn the skills?
3:09 Did you have artistic skills or were you starting from zero when you decided to become an artist in 2006?
3:49 When you were studying how to illustrate, was it a conscious decision to start a career or was it just a hobby?
4:59 What exactly did you do to gain the illustration skills?
5:43 Were you drawing everyday?
6:30 How many hours a day were you spending on this?
7:15 What was the process for deciding on your particular illustration style?
8:31 Why iStock photo? Have you tried using other sites? Is iStockPhoto.com the best site?
9:10 Are you still adding a lot of new illustrations to iStock?
9:49 Have you gotten private clients because of your iStock work?
10:38 What percentage of your income comes from your iStock illustrations?
11:14 Why get into blogging if illustration is working for you?
12:46 You’ve written four books now, are you moving towards becoming an author?
13:54 Are the ebooks lucrative or are you writing those to generate business for your illustration services?
14:48 You seem to focus very well on illustration. Most people don’t find their one thing. Can you give some advice on finding focus?
16:19 One thing unique about you is that you focused on something that the market wanted in the beginning. Is there a process you went through to decide on what to sell?
17:30 You are very popular in the blogging sphere, is there anything you did or can recommend to other people?
18:45 Have you put a lot of effort into guest posting, networking and social media engagement?
19:55 Do you have any secrets to how you’ve gotten so many Twitter followers?
22:06 What advice would you give to someone who says they’re stuck and are looking for something to do with their life?
24:05 How did you enjoy living in Tokyo for 9 months?
25:28 You can live anywhere in the world, why are you back at home again?
- RedLemonClub.com – Alex Mathers’ blog for creative freelancers.
- ApeOnTheMoon.com – Alex’s site celebrating great contemporary illustrations.
- AlexMathers.net Alex’s illustration work.
- Lynda.com How Alex Mathers learned Adobe Illustrator.
- How I Got to Be an Illustrator at Google, with No Qualifications. Alex’s post outlining the trajectory of his career.
- iStockPhoto.com The site where Alex started selling his illustrations.