Guest Blog - Kelly McKernan: One Fantastic Weekend
This article originally appeared over on Kelly's blog - www.kellymckernan.com
I have the great pleasure of joining the instructor lineup of the upcoming One Fantastic Weekend workshop! It takes place November 5-8, 2015.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, here’s the gist: One Fantastic Weekend is a four day on-site workshop for art entrepreneurs brought to you by the guys behind One Fantastic Week, a live, weekly webcast hosted by Pete Mohrbacher and Sam Flegal, who interview movers and shakers in the illustration industry. In addition to myself, Sam, and Pete, the other instructors are Annie Stegg Gerard, Justin Gerard, and Sean Andrew Murray. Each of us are bringing years of experience in managing our businesses as artists and illustrators, and we’re on hand to share all of our secrets with you on how to actually make money from your art.
I will be available all four days, here in Nashville, Tennessee, for personal critiques, demos, guidance, and general banter. I will also be providing lectures on two topics: Social Media Marketing and Entering the Gallery World. Here’s what you can expect from both:
Social Media Marketing
I have been engaging my artwork with the internet since 2003, beginning with DeviantART and Livejournal. In 2008 and 2009, with a portfolio of focused artwork, I created a website, joined BigCartel to sell prints and originals, and I launched my Facebook business page. Today, I have over 42,000 followers on Facebook and 36,000 followers on Instagram.
Social media platforms come and go, but the key is recognizing which are most relevant to what you want to share and promote and engaging with other users properly to get your content seen, shared, and to gain loyal followers, some of which will support you monetarily.
During my lecture at OFW, I will be focusing mainly on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and a handful of other sites and platforms, some of which are very new. While you can typically post the same content across each platform, they usually perform differently based on the purpose of that platform. For example, Instagram is image-driven and allows for some text and the use of hashtags, and your followers will see what you post, every time. Facebook allows for a range of media, but you will be competing with other posts on a user’s feed to show up. Tumblr thrives on reblogging and some use of hashtags, but it’s not necessarily a platform you need to be engaged in heavily – most will do the heavy lifting for you… sometimes without due credit to your work. Twitter is centered on text containing up to 140 characters and allows for images to be posted, but it is best utilized for short interactions and networking.
With my experience and a bit of research, I will discuss:
- a break-down of how best to approach these sites and platforms
- the best times to post your content
- the most relevant content per site
- how best to engage with your followers
- how to encourage sharing of your work
- how to gain new followers and how to keep them
- how to run contests and giveaways
- how to interact with your followers
- when to buy adspace and how to make the most of it
Entering the Gallery World:
I’ve noticed a very common topic of interest between my illustrator colleagues in the last couple years – how do you enter the gallery world? This is a topic I consider myself very well versed in. I have been a gallery artist since 2008, long before I ever considered pursuing illustration. I understand that working with galleries is incredibly intimidating and I will walk attendees of OFW through every single step involved with working with a gallery. This includes:
- finding galleries that are a good fit for your work
- how to prepare your portfolio with a CV, artist bio, and artist statement
- how to approach and submit to a gallery
- what you can expect when you’re invited to work with a gallery
- we’ll review a sample contract
- how to price your work
- we’ll discuss what is expected of you as a participating artist
- what you should expect from the gallery you’re working with
- I’ll share insider secrets on red flags to look out for
- how to maintain a happy working relationship with a gallery
- tips on landing a solo show
One Fantastic Weekend is not a workshop to miss if you are serious about making a living with your art! There are only a few more weeks to sign up and space is limited. Please visit the site to check out what the other instructors will have to offer as well as more details on the workshop. Hope to see you there!