The Black Book Conversations
art business practices for professional artists
In the beginning of my art career, I was just a plain artist. I was a person who could draw and I tried to draw everything I could imagine and people would ask me to draw stuff for them. Sometimes those people would pay me for the art.
In the early days I carried my art in a backpack, pencils, paper, markers, pens and a Walkman. Yup, A Cassette Tape Player with Headphones. This was a long time ago.
I carried my art with me wherever I went because I wanted the ability to draw anytime. And that’s how people got to know me, the artist who carried a heavy backpack with art stuff. I’ve been a bragger all my life so naturally I like to brag about my art. I would pull out my art book and a binder with lots of loose pages of art. Some pages were pencil drawings and other drawings were in marker. I would let people thumb thru my stack of art. Then someone would suggest I draw something for them and I would agree to do it, no questions asked.
And then the hassle begins. I would draw the requested artwork and go find the person who asked me for it. That’s when the song and dance would begin. The person would ask for an edit or two, I would ask for some money and we would go back and forth on how much the drawing was worth and how much more editing I would need to do on the art.
The hassle was my fault but I didn’t know better. I didn’t know that some people like to talk about what they want, but are not prepared to pay. I didn’t know that even if people would pay, they didn’t want to pay the price I was asking. I didn’t know that the presentation of my work gave people the impression that I was just drawing for fun and not for profit. I didn’t know that I was holding myself back by not discussing a price and a deposit with people before I started drawing.
Those were some of the lessons early in my career. Today I understand the importance of Presentation, Negotiation and Sales. As an artist who earns a living with my Art, getting paid for my work is VERY IMPORTANT!
But I didn’t know. Now I know.
In my day-to-day art business as a Mentor, Professional Artist and Potential Client (because I do hire other professional artists and designers when my workload is heavy) I come across artists of all levels.
Every now and then a person who claims to be a professional hands me a business card and their card is not professional looking. Every now and then young artists want me to hire them to help me in my business, so I ask to see their portfolio but they give excuses on why they don’t have one to show me. Or that artist hands me a stack of old drawings they drew back in high school.
A potential client will judge the artist not just by their portfolio, but also by the presentation of their portfolio.
There are a couple of types of portfolios and whichever type you wish to show potential clients, the basics of Presentation remain the same. I will share some insight into what makes your portfolio presentable and Professional Presentation
Purpose of Portfolio
When setting up your portfolio, consider who is going to see your portfolio and what you want that person to think about you and your art.
A portfolio’s content should be different if its used for a job interview, school application, art grant or gallery representation.
I have a different portfolio for different situations. I have a portfolio for my Fine Art that I use when I’m painting live at an event. I have a web design portfolio when I’m at a meeting with a potential web design client. I also have a children friendly portfolio when I presenting and speaking in schools, libraries and community events.
Questions to ask yourself: What does the viewer need to see? What is the purpose of your portfolio?
Show off Skills and Range
The best projects show off the best of your skills and the type of work you can produce. Shine. Show off your freshest art.
Focus on showing off your finished work. It’s important to show quality, consistency and commitment in your portfolio. No half done art.
Its ok if the portfolio is filled with sketches, if that’s your area of expertise or the area you want to break into.
Digital or Physical Portfolio
CD, Website, Portfolio Book or Mobile Device. This separates the pros from the amateurs. If you need to leave a copy of your portfolio then a printed copy is good to bring. CD portfolios are rarely used and only when requested are they needed. I apply to lots of art exhibits and calls for art, sometimes they ask that you send them a Disc.
A website or Blog. This is the easiest, painless method to build a portfolio at a low cost. DeviantArt.com, Society6.com, RedBubble.com, even Facebook allows you to set up a business/fan page for your art. A lot of online resources for artsts are free. Find the site that fits your style of art.
I’ve had an iPad, an Android Tablet and now a Windows Tablet. I do not leave the house without one or the other. Guess whats in each one of those devices, you guessed right! My portfolio. I have not changed, I still brag about my skills and I am prepared to take on a job at a moments notice. That’s the business!
It is important to present a professional, clean, and easy to understand portfolio. The method of presentation has to show that you care about your art, you care about your career and that you are doing all you can to impress others.
I hope this little bit gives you some inspiration to start preparing your portfolio in a professional manner. The hardest sell an artist has to make with a potential client is Value. If you presentation is unorganized, uninspiring and confusing, then you cant sell your client on the Value of your work.
Learn your prices, have a smile on your face, learn to write proposals, contracts, estimates. These are part of your business. A Professional Portfolio opens the door; the prepared art professional closes the deal.
Additional Portfolio Resources and Advice
Do you have an art business subject you would like DTM to discuss? Please send in your questions to email@example.com and stay tuned for your subject to be discussed in this column, podcast or video interview with a professional artist.
Till the next drawing!
Daniel Flores - Curator/Mentor
Follow DTM the artist known as dacreativegenius
on twitter and instagram: @deltatangomike
For more info on the workshops, classes and artist mentoring, logon to www.tbbcatl.com we have a website full of resources and tips including video from past conversations.
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The goal is to Educate each artists to succeed in the art business.
DRAWING AND THE BUSINESS OF DRAWING
REGISTER HERE (meetup.com)
Bring your sketchbooks, markers and pencils and collaborate with other teen artists and professional artist, Daniel “DTM” Flores for tips on technique, careers and more.
Central Library, Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System
One Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta 30303
CALL FOR ART INSTALLATIONS
Fill out the form and submit your art installation ideas
Mano A Mano Art Shows is curating two Commercial Buildings in Atlanta for Seasonal Exhibits
The opportunity is there to show off art, install creative/interactive art and possibly sale some art.
These commercial buildings have events related to technology, startups and Venture Capitalists.
I will collect the artwork and put together 3 month exhibits to present to the building managers for approval. Approved Artists must be ready to come and install their art!
Lets show off some badass artwork for bragging rights and sale!
supporting the arts in ATL with events and educational workshops for artists
Born in the 70's raised in the 80's we survived the #dareprogram#reaganomics n the #crack epidemic that still killing our communities. Well done #RonaldReagan well done #GWBush but the #arts still lives!!! #tees available at www.society6.com/dacreativegenius #skins #iphone #laptop #pillows #capitalism#america #gop #republicanparty
PENCIL WARS -PATRIOT DRAWING CONTEST
Deadline June 30
Winner announced July 4th
General Pencil Co
BINDERS Art Supply & Frames Store
3 Strathmore Drawing Pads
1 General Pencil Drawing Set
2nd & 3rd place
one Strathmore Pad & one set of General Pencils
SPECIAL PRIZE BY AFUA RICHARDSON!!!
BLUE PHOENIX 11x17 Glossy Cover stock print signed
BINDERS Art Supply & Frames
Pencil Drawing Only!
Must Use HASHTAG #PencilWars_Patriot
Must have a public profile to view entry
To enter, post or tag in at least one:
On Twitter/Instagram/Google+ use hashtag #pencilwars_patriot
On Facebook- Post on any page listed below
Docta Foos Lab
The Black Book Conversations
OR POST ON THE OFFICIAL FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE BEFORE JUNE 30TH
In Partnership with:
comicbook weekend sponsor Binders Art Supplies and Frames - Atlanta comes thru with markers pencils paper inks for artists n writers to create a comic book in one weekend June 7-9 at BINDERS (3330 piedmont rd ne atlanta ga)
COME SOLO OR GATHER A TEAM TO WORK TOGETHER ON A COMIC BOOK!
more info: www.tbbcatl.com/schedule.html
to register: http://comicbook2013.eventbrite.com/ $25
canson strathmore micron letraset art-alternatives sakura and prismacolor on deck!
Daniel Flores - dacreativegenius
Daniel Flores (DTM)
I thought of this game back in October 2012 while sitting in on a Windows 8 presentation. The first thing I thought of was the main character: Denominator. 7 characters later i realize that i have to draw lots of poses to get the type of fluid movement that makes the art stand out. Its April and I have ways to go!
More on the game: www.visualartwerks.com
http://bit.ly/107Xqoo #Free #copyright #discussion for #artists #creatives and #entrepreneurs at @bindersart @bindersschool tonight 6-8pm w #IpLaw #attorney Deborah Gonzalez #Esq @ip_law_dg
The path of the Artists begins at an early age with the most common tool available to all people: The Pencil. Witness amazing Pencil Art by ATL’s creatives at Hodgepodge Coffeehouse and Gallery during the Month of March 2013
Reception is Thursday March 7th and features Pencil Wars, prizes by BINDERS Art Supplies, Live Model Drawing Session, complimentary appetizers and ArtistsInterviews
Live Models w Dutch and Ash
Pencil Wars contest
and lots of pencil art!
Kevin M Rucker
Stan C Clanton
720 moreland ave ATL
dtm-curator 404.695.5769 firstname.lastname@example.org
special thanks to our sponsor BINDERS ART SUPPLY & FRAMES
Wed Feb 27
Matrix resources ( conference room 3rd floor)
1000 Abernathy Road Northeast
Sandy Springs GA
learn about new Adobe Creative Cloud
AND A RAFFLE TO WIN AN ADOBE CREATIVE CLOUD SUBSCRIPTION!!!
What you’ll learn:
· What’s new in Adobe Creative Cloud: what’s included in membership, how you can create, and answers to your questions.
· Product demos showing workflows made possible with Creative Cloud to create for print, the web, mobile apps, video and photography.
· More information on Creative Cloud offerings for individuals, teams, enterprises, and students.
· Examples of what other creative pros are doing and feedback from other Creative Cloud members.
Ask Adobe evangelists your questions via Twitter: #CreateNow
Food, goodies, fellow professionals, first class speakers AND a Creative Cloud Subscription Raffle !!
Come join us and learn what new and exciting products Adobe has available for us.
*UPDATE* Adobe have announced they will be giving away TWO subscriptions to the Cloud!