Asking a Forensic Artist
I recently began chatting with forensic artist Lisa Bailey online. She has a super helpful webpage for those interested in careers in forensic art, and even wrote a book filled with career advice. Check out http://www.askaforensicartist.com.
I learned from her site that it's very difficult to get a full time job as a forensic artist. There are only around 30 of these positions in the US! Most forensic artists are actually law enforcement officials who have dual duties. Their most common duty is to create sketches of the living from the memory of witnesses. However, a few fortunate artists get to do facial reconstruction to help identify decedents, known as reapproximation. Lisa Bailey is one of them. This video from the FBI shows Lisa at work. Really neat stuff!
I was thrilled to learn she lives somewhat close to me. We might meet for coffee! I am so excited!
In working on this book, I have met so many interesting people. I confess it was intimidating at first, but I did it anyway. I made a fool of myself at times, but it was part of the process.
In light of this, I want to encourage you to meet your heroes-it's worth the risk! Yes, it can be scary or uncomfortable, but it's important to remember that we are all human. In this, we can find some commonality with everyone we meet. This is what enables me to talk to amazing people(along with a little bit of courage). It's important to remember that well-known experts and people who have done amazing things don't want to be approached as untouchable idols(not the people worth meeting anyway), they want to connect as humans. Another thing that will help enhance your connection, is to add value to their lives. What could you offer someone else to help them?
Learn about people. Study them. Approach them with genuine curiosity, and never expect anything in return. Sometimes you won't get anything, but other times it will open the door to amazing conversation. It's well worth the risk!