Watch Manjit Thapp’s Pep Talk on finding your style as an illustrator
Our latest Pep Talk featured the inspiring illustrator Manjit Thapp, as she answered all of your questions on forging a career in illustration, attracting clients, getting published and finding your style. Find the video of the event below, hosted by the brilliant Steph Fung, along with some key takeaways from the discussion.
The big talking points:
• Whether you need a degree as an illustrator (5:30)
• Starting out and life post-graduation (8:30)
• How Manjit found her illustration style (11:40)
• Manjit’s approach to sharing work on social media (16:40)
• Finding motivation through lockdown (19:17)
• How Manjit found financial stability (22:08)
• Tips for selling your work online (24:00)
• How Manjit came to publish her own book (28:00)
• Advice on starting out as a freelancer (31:52)
• Thoughts on finding clients and reaching out (35:30)
What did I miss?
Soon after an introduction from host Steph Fung, the Q&A session kicked off with Manjit sharing her mini-pep talk; “Don’t worry about style – just make work and let it evolve.” Manjit then explained the thinking behind this sentiment – noting that she never thought she had a defined visual style as an illustrator, until it was pointed out to her. Instead, as she advises, it’s best to let your style grow organically, led by the things that most interest you.
Manjit described how she had kept her own personal work going alongside her studies at Camberwell College of Arts; something she identifies as giving her a good foundation once she graduated. She then goes on to explain her approach to sharing work on social media – a habit that started at an early age, and has helped her amass a following of over 118k followers on Instagram alone.
“Don’t worry about style – just make work and let it evolve.”
Having recently published her first book, Feelings, Manjit gives us insight into how the idea got picked up by Penguin Random House – as well as the process behind the entire project. In addition, Manjit shares a wealth of advice on starting out as a freelancer, and finding motivation through lockdown.
About Manjit Thapp
Based in the UK, Manjit graduated with a BA in illustration from Camberwell College of Arts in 2016. Her work typically features female characters and combines both traditional and digital media. So far, Manjit has worked with a stellar list of clients including Apple, Adobe, ITV and Tate, had her work featured by Instagram, Dazed, Vogue India, and Wonderland Magazine, and has even created one of Google’s coveted Doodle illustrations.
As well as illustrating everything from portraits, zines and fashion shows, she has had her illustrations featured on the clothes themselves, via the likes of Lazy Oaf. Manjit has also illustrated numerous books, and this month will see the release of her first author-illustrated book, Feelings: A Story in Seasons, with Penguin Random House.
In addition to commissions and client projects, Manjit has also had great success with her online shop, where she sells everything from prints to phone cases and stickers.
See more from Manjit via her website and on Instagram.
What is Pep Talk?
Pep Talk is our monthly Instagram Live event to share relatable, easy-to-process tips in conversation with inspiring creatives.
Each session begins with a ‘pep talk’, where a chosen creative gets to share their ultimate advice for anyone who might be feeling a bit stuck, before answering questions submitted by you, our readers.
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