Name: Lori McElrath-Eslick
Field of Study: Illustration
Year of Graduation: 1999
Current Position: Children's Book Illustrator, North Muskegon, Mich.
What was the most important thing you learned about your field while at Kendall?
The importance of drawing to our field. And being an "idea" person and being able to work through many ideas.
What was your most shocking realization about your field after graduation?
That sexism and racism do exist. As we are artists, we should be able to see beyond that.
Give us your best interview tip.
Only show your best work, as the interviewer will remember your weakest piece.
List three ways you network in your field.
- I belong to a society of writers and illustrators.
- I submit to exhibitions, national and local.
- I belong to several art museums.
What was the worst interview moment you've experienced?
An editor gathered her staff to meet me. After looking at my work, she asked a few pointed questions that put me on the chopping block. One was why do I use both my maiden and married names, as together the combination is too long to print on a book spine. (Everyone else in the room was used to her goofy questions. I wasn't.)
List three résumé "don'ts."
- Don't list people who might not give you a good reference, even if it was the best job you'd had.
- Don't list relatives.
- Don't list pets, even though they can be inspiring.
List three résumé "do's."
- Do list the best jobs you are most proud of.
- Do list your volunteer work, as this is telling of your character.
- Do volunteer for the arts! I donate a lot of paintings, as I feel it makes our world a better place.
Name the most essential skill, tool or software program relative to your field.
Reading about the world around you, as we need artists who are willing to make a difference and who are well-read. I have become a better-educated person by being more aware of what is going on in the world–and not just the art world. And visit art museums to gain knowledge, as art history is essential to our work as illustrators and artists.
How did you make the first connection that led to a job in your field?
Kendall. At that time, a couple of instructors recommended me for a freelance job illustrating a children's book. Other students were selected to be interviewed as well. I got the job, which helped me gain some experience prior to my first in-house job at Hallmark Cards. Literally, it pays to be kind.