Hey, I’m Spencer, an illustrator and art director working out of NYC.
Currently, I’m working on an illustration project with NPR and a couple of tech start-ups like MixMax, Spoke, and more. In addition to this, I launched a project with the digital gallery ‘LOVE WATTS’ and grew my own Instagram following where I sell prints, apparel, etc.
My story is a little different than a typical creative’s. A few years ago, I enrolled in a finance program at a business-focused undergrad college. Why? Well, I’ve always been an artist but thought to pursue it as a career was only a fantasy. During this time my inner artist fought back and I filled more sketchbooks than I could keep up with. This obsession grew to the point where I realized “ok, ok I’m an artist, now what?”
Then I found illustration, and spent every moment of free time for the next couple of years developing my style. As it came together, so too came emails from clients – who have been providing me with a steady flow of work.
To keep up with my work feel free to follow my Instagram.
Hi. I’m Jackson Joyce. I’m a freelance illustrator and painter from Louisiana, currently working in Brooklyn.
I started freelancing straight out of school last summer with limited success. I sent out cold emails to art directors for months, and at the end of the summer I got only one response. Luckily, things picked up when It’s Nice That featured me as one of the Graduates of 2018. I felt lucky to be featured, suddenly art directors were emailing me back saying they read the interview. It really jump-started my career.
My first big illustration gig was a series for SZ Magazine. It was a challenging story about the author’s journey to find the boys who beat up his son. I wanted the illustrations to be sensitive to the author and his family’s experience. It had to be serious but not melodramatic. That series led to a lot of similar assignments illustrating difficult topics for NBC News and Medium. It’s always a challenge, especially when the story is in the first person. But I enjoy being part of the media and telling those stories.
In the year since I’ve graduated, there have been lots of highs and lows in the freelance world. I’ve had to chase down invoices again and again. I’ve had dream clients slip through my fingers. I’ve been asked to work for very little pay, and, at certain not infrequent times, I have been asked to work for free – or worse, for exposure. If I had any advice for recent graduates, it would be: Do not work for free, you cannot pay your rent with exposure.
All that being said, I wouldn’t trade my job for anything. I’m a freelancer for LIFE.