Monday, 15 February 2010

Two Year Review

Two years ago, yesterday, I left the job I had as a promotional toy designer. The aim had been to build a new career as a freelance illustrator and move to Cambridge. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure if I could make it work, or whether I'd be happy.
The world economy collapsed almost simultaneously, I couldn't have picked a worse time to try to make a go of a new business...
Later in the year, I realised that I wanted to draw comics, a forgotten dream-job of mine from about the age of 12. Given the state of that industry though, I wasn't making it any easier for myself.


Just over a year ago, I produced the above piece as a warm-up for the Red Dragon strip the fantastic guys at FutureQuake had asked me to do for the 2000AD fanzine Zarjaz. Since then I have done a few more strips for their fanzines and that has led to some VERY interesting opportunities, without which, well, you know the rest!

It's been a very eventful time. I've done quite a few freelance commissions. I have moved to Cambridge. I'm poised to begin my career as a professional Comic book artist too. Although it's been hard work and whilst it would be easier if I had more regular paid work coming in... you know what? I think I am happy!

13 comments:

HI EX said...

Seriously Kev- I don't think you realise how lucky Dave and I felt when we saw your stuff! We had an absolute agenda to throw as much work at you as we could, because it was totally obvious that you'd be pro in no time at all!

(Just noticed I'm signed in on HiEx gmail and not my own!)

Rich

Matt Timson said...

Livin' the dream!

Conor said...

You're also probably your own worst critic, Kev. You're putting the time and effort in, and you have the ability - only a matter of time :)

james corcoran said...

Good to hear it's going so well, I agree with Conor it was only a matter of time. Be sure to let us know where we can find your stuff when it comes out.

qualia said...

soon my new roomie, soon :-)

Emperor said...

Great to hear everything is working out so well and really it was only a matter of time, as a friend once said in a very different context "water finds it own level" (no pun intended) - quality will always win in the end (so does being a self-promoting hack unfortunately, the important thing is you can't let those bastards squeeze you out and you ain't.

I'm glad to hear it was a childhood ambition, as a nipper I never even imagined it'd be possible for someone to break into comics (it all felt so magically distant*) but now I know some!! It all seems very strange. You'll still talk to us when your famous, wontcha??

Kerrin Shaw said...

You're a class artist Kev and I look forward to seeing you in the big leagues (as long as you still do stuff for Rich and Dave of course).

Anonymous said...

Think how far you've come in the last two years and the body of work that you have developed, man, Kev-man, I know I'd be elated!!!...Happy Anniversary by the way #:-) Hooray Henry

jon haward said...

snap!
we have had the same dream i always wanted to draw comics since i was 12

always follow the heart even if it's tough as hell, i've been following your work over the last 2 years and i can say you have been getting better and better with your work editors always look for artists who get better /put the hours in keep the faith and i'm sure that dream job is just a footstep away

all the best
jon

Kevin Levell said...

Thanks for all the kind comments everyone!

Not quite there yet, but I'll keep plugging away!

matt dawson said...

So long as you're happy, that's what this is all about! Every time you touch pen to paper you're that bit closer to your goal. You should look back on your blog with immense pride at all you've achieved under tricky times...ABC lad ABC!
Crackin coalmen your honour... "low temp spades" if every I saw them... just need to add kaftans and bells ;) Catch up soon!

The Picture is not beautiful said...

Well done for doing it, looking forward to seeing more.

colsmi said...

There are few things worse than looking back at "might-have-beens". There are few things better than realising how hard work is paying real rewards. I find it inspiring to drop in on your blog, to see how your work keeps improving, and to note those steady steps forward in your career. The very best of good fortune to you.