04 Aug Liz DiFiore, Graphic Artists Guild President Elect 2021
My favorite thing about being an illustrator is… People, real-life people, pay me money, real-life money, to draw adorable things ALL THE TIME.
What first got you involved with the Graphic Artists Guild?
I have a long history with trade associations, especially having worked for one for almost a decade, so I deeply understand their benefits. When I took the leap to be a full-time freelancer, the first thing I did was look for relevant associations to join. The Guild fit a niche I felt I wasn’t getting from my other memberships – it’s that business-focused approach that artists rarely get access to.
What would you like to see the Guild accomplish during your term?
With the world in the state it is, I would love to see the Guild’s voice expand to include a greater representation of the United States graphic artist population. That means holding diversity and inclusion training, encouraging more diverse voices into our leadership ranks, and promoting those artists that traditionally get overlooked by society.
What do you think are the things the Guild can do for graphic artists?
One of the greatest, yet most overlooked benefits the Guild offers is a voice in advocacy. The Guild represents graphic artists in areas of legislation that other groups barely touch. Areas that, at first glance, seem too complicated or archaic but are actually really important to how professional creatives function within their businesses.
What piece of advice would you want to pass on to new Guild members, or people new to the industry?
Learn about copyright. I know, I was scared of it too when I first started my practice. It’s dull and complicated and sometimes expensive, but extremely important. It’s one of those areas that budding creative professionals are most likely to overlook, and most likely to be taken advantage of by others.
Liz is a freelance illustrator specializing in children’s picture book illustration, though she also creates middle grade illustration, video and board games, and other commissions. Liz’s favorite stories to work on are personal and emotionally impacting, displaying kids and/or adults dealing with big emotions (like anxiety or empathy) and interpersonal relationships (like kids and their parents, family members, or friends).
Images © Liz DiFiore. Used with permission.