In the Creative Arts business where do I show my work?
It’s a fact: Artists need business help sometimes.
In my community, I chatted with a professional creator with over 1,000 illustrations who is still looking for an audience. Here’s what I recommended to help this creative cartoonist start to connect with an audience, show and sell her art!
I’m in the Creative Arts business. Any suggestion on where to show my cartoons? Or to whom? I have over 1000 now, and I’m curious to work with an editor.”
I Love this!
You may know that I’m an illustrator too—or started out as one. Cartoonists and illustrators usually have a certain skill for witicism as well. As an illustrator, do you have a specific theme or subject in your drawings? Would an editor help you to create a message or consistent look or focus to your creative work?
When I help creative people with career development I often see two different and clear personality styles, especially when it comes to sales—and in particular, selling their own art. This puts the artist at a difficult crossroads, and they often get stuck, get decision fatigue, fail to move forward or think it’s impossible.
You might be there now, struggling, starting to believe that you’ve hit a roadblock, etc.
Are you doing what comes naturally to you? Or are you fighting against your own instincts?
What is your personality type: Introverted or shy?
If you shy away from sales and negotiation, there are agents who do that. It’s their business and they are good at it. Often they are not a creator, like you. But they know the business side of art. A reputable agent will take as much as 50%, but ultimately can get you a minimum of 4X and often up to 10X more money for your work. They handle negotiation, contracts, licensing, sometimes even manage your financial reporting, etc.
Extorverted, or a Go-getter!
If you are the type to attack a problem once you see the opportunity, then start publishing your art! A select group of artists fit this group of leader creators. Or you may have a spouse or partner who is that person for you. Select a group or set of your art to work with first, making sure they are in a matched style or audience group. Then you can follow 100 different DIY recipes, and it almost doesn’t matter which one because there are customers behind each successful sale site. You put your art on t-shirts, publish a short collection or book, put them on mugs, wall hangings, make an etsy shop, start a blog and share low res for free with your branding. Then let people give you their email and you will send them the high res to use in their presentation, social media or blog. Your investment is pushing out 10% of your art first. Make sure it’s some of your best, and that you are ready for critical feedback, AND to engage with your audience. Now you have an audience, and you’ve started an email list! After a little while you are ready to publish the next set, but behind a pay wall, or for more money. Or you might reach out to an editor or agent of your choosing and demonstrate that your art already has a viable market and audience for them to tap into.
I realize this is long, but I hope it helps you get your work out there!
Happy to chat in person if you need more clarity on this. Just drop me a note, I’m easy to reach!
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