Angelarium x Nima - Cross Promotion in Action
Over the last 2 years, I’ve only ever made artwork for Angelarium. No fan art, no commissions, no freelance. It’s been great but I'm developing an itch.
The success of the project has had the wonderful side effect as well. By voting with their money, the fans of Angelarium have completely priced me out of the freelance market. There is no client I’ve encountered that can come close to matching the value that my fans put on my work. Getting to tell a bunch of low ball commissioners ‘no’ has been a pleasure but I’m starting to wonder if I’m building too high a wall around myself. I really do want to work on other projects sometimes, but it’s hard to justify when the pay is so much lower.
Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to reach out to other creators with similar sized audiences to cross-promote between our projects. As a means of advertising, this is probably effective but so far it’s been a dead end. As soon as I mention that I want them to advertise for me, the door gets slammed shut. I can’t blame them. A total stranger cold calling me and asking for access to my mailing list would likely get the same response.
The solution to both these problem might lay in collaboration. I want to start working more collaboratively with other indie artists, musicians and game developers. My first foray into this sort of collaboration is with Ross Tran, who is currently Kickstarting his first artbook. Ross already has a huge audience, which is part of why it’s tempting to get involved but I also wanted to work with him because I feel it's an opportunity to support an emerging IP.
Instead of trying to structure an advertising exchange, I’ve offered up the my art and my advertising channels without a specific expectation of reward. My hope is that by contributing to help to a fellow creator, that I’ll help build a culture more rich with collaboration in our industry. If I can add significantly to the reach of his project, the experiment will be a success. If it builds towards equal reciprocation, all the better.
Being indie is tough, but I think we can make it easier on each other. I keep imagining a world where independent artists are showing up in each other’s projects all the time. Collectively pooling our audiences together is not a zero sum game. Rather than averaging out the attention each creator gets, sharing and collaborating have the effect of magnifying each other’s efforts without any cost. If this sort of thing becomes normal, I think we can all have a better shot at keeping our pirate ships afloat.