Finding Work Online as an Illustrator is Hard. But you don't need me to tell you that, do you? There are a few things I have learned along the way that have helped me earn my modest living. And while I am always looking for better methods, I want to take a minute to help my brothers and sisters get a hand up! So let's take a look at some of the things I have learned to be important…Read More
Portfolio reviews never seem to be as useful as they feel like they should be. In reality, most of the advice in the totality of portfolio reviews can be boiled down into a single tweet. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Noah Bradley write that tweet.Read More
It’s a simple question with a plethora of answers. Is it a corner in your apartment? The dining room table? Outside with nature? A spare room of your house? Or as in my case...a walk-in closet.
Wherever this magical spot is, it is in fact magic cause we’re all Wizards, its main purpose has always been the same: it’s your secret place (studio) for making amazing art.Read More
I was recently a guest on One Fantastic Week and briefly spoke about Floating. We later decided that it deserved its own article for those of you who want to try it for yourself. Although increased creativity is touted as a benefit of Floating, I see few artists writing about how or why that is. After giving my lecture about Floating for Light Grey Art Lab’s Iceland Residency, I discovered there’s a lot of interest among artists in this community and I wanted to help other creatives get the most out of their experiments in the tank, and to continue my own explorations.Read More
For the past 5 years I have been exhibiting as an artist at shows big and small, and I have found that one of the most common questions I get asked from fellow artists is “How do I know when I’m ready for an exhibitor booth?”
While each artist’s situation and every show is different, there are some things I consider when deciding what to book. Here are some of my thoughts and what I take into consideration when thinking of upgrading on a show-to-show basis.Read More
Still wiping the sleep from my eyes after a long greyhound bus ride, I stumbled into the city of Atlanta early Thursday night. It was Dragon Con and the city had sprung to life with heroes, villains, celebrities, and artists of all kinds. Everywhere I looked there were bodies rushing from place to place, eager to celebrate in the overflow of geek culture and festivities. I was excited to finally be a part of it all, in my own small way.Read More
When showing at your first convention, or your 20th, grabbing your audience's attention and making sales in the moment is usually the #1 goal for any artist. But once you have them, taking that captive audience online with you for the longer journey is key to growing a sustainable business.
Inviting your audience to join you online can happen in many forms. It can be as easy as giving out a business card or mentioning the fact that you have a website or Instagram account. Here are some ways I make it easy for fans to maintain the connection past our in-person experience at the convention.Read More
I’ve recently started collecting art & I thought I’d share with you some of the challenges I’ve run into in hopes that my experiences will help those of you who sell your personal art. You’ll notice that all of these issues are PRE-BUY. I was trying desperately to buy art for two weeks and kept running into the same issues.
As a buyer, I’m not so concerned about shipping, which artists have no control over or even about things like broken glass, etc. (I had one item damaged in shipment). As long as the artist makes me feel like they still care about their item and about me as a customer after I’ve bought from them, then I’ll not only still feel good about them, but I’ll actually feel better knowing they’ll take care of me should something go wrong.Read More
Artists are often thought to be introverts, working long hours in quiet reflection, keeping to themselves, and gaining energy and creative ideas from their time alone. Though artists’ personalities may lean more toward introversion, personality traits are often thought to exist on a continuum; they are not all-or-nothing traits. Instead of being introverted all the time or extraverted all the time, artists often bounce between the two. We have to. It is the nature of our business.Read More
Growing up, we traveled and moved a lot as a family, packing our lives up into a handful of trunks to move between countries. This constant packing and unpacking has made me efficient at squeezing my life into a suitcase.
One of my early experiences traveling to a show was for an event while I was still living in Japan. At the time we didn't own a car, and my only option for getting there was public transportation. I packed up everything I would need for my small 4ft by 3ft space at Design Festa, including a folding table, and with the help of my mom, carried everything on the train over an hour into downtown Tokyo. That was the longest I have ever walked carrying my convention setup, and every show since then has been a breeze by comparison.Read More
You may have heard that your portfolio is everything, and that to attract “the right kind of interest”, you need to focus on a beautiful portfolio above all else. But what if your goal, your business model, is not to attract art directors or freelance clients? What if, instead, your aim is “simply” to delight your audience and to invite your collectors into the world behind the scenes?
I recently found myself firmly in the latter camp; what follows is my experience working with a photographer, along with a few tips on what to think about if you’re considering hiring one yourself.
Last year, my website was ready for a major overhaul. My vision for a new online home included more backstage images of me in the studio, as I wanted my brand to revolve around the artist in her natural habitat. The end goal was not just a place to show off my art, but a glimpse into my life that could foster a deeper relationship with my collectors. I wanted to draw people into the whole story, not just the painting on the cover.Read More
You all know that social media is extremely important for doing business. The more people see your work, the more opportunities open up as a result: sales, freelance jobs, collaborations and whatever else you might be looking for.Read More
It was recently brought to my attention that there were some little things I missed in previous convention articles. As someone who does a lot of conventions, certain things become obvious and therefore get taken for granted. At Gen Con this year I got to spend some time with several folks who were setting up at their first convention. This helped me see the convention atmosphere with fresh eyes.Read More
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.Read More
Many artists share the same dream. We want to create imaginative images and share them with other people. Whether that’s by recreating our favorite characters from pop-culture or by creating new worlds from whole cloth, our ambitions are very similar. The one common barrier that we all share is sadly practical. We need money to pay our bills and take care of our families. The way we overcome that barrier is often what defines our career. Some of us find work in studios, while others work from home as freelancers. I have found much more happiness and success as an independent artist. Being an independent artist is not a label that defines the sorts of art you make, but how you choose to make a living off of it. It means making the majority of your income directly from your fan base without working through an intermediary like a publisher or studio.Read More