A Simple and effective way to make a living for artists.
Getting work as an artist can seem like a nebulous endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be.
Many art schools also fail to pass down this important facet to aid us in our creative lives. I’ve taken a couple minutes to record some methods that I’ve found very effective for acquiring paying work, and
thus making a living.
It’s scheduled out because as an artist without work, we need to
maintain a regimen in order to keep ourselves focused, otherwise our
free and creative spirits tend to end up painting or drawing all day–
which would be fine if there wasn’t bread to win.
If you stick with this method for 30 days, have a decent portfolio (a
website, 6+ of your best piece, etc…) then you’ll more than likely be
able to find work. If you fail, don’t be discouraged, simply use it to
build your ever-growing tenacity. Let the rejections fuel that roaring
creative flame within, and press on.
Nothing was ever won by giving in. You don’t get better by giving up. If you have to “fail forward” then do so.
Now let me lay it out for you. I recommend altering the days to fit your needs.
Simple Artist Marketing Plan:
Monday: post that you’re available for work at every
board or site you can in the following weeks bump former topics with
new work(s). Monday should be dedicated to unearthing new, relevant,
trafficked sites that will enable you to post your work in some fashion
and let people know you’re available for hire.
Tuesday: Tuesday is direct email day. This is where
you collect and email as many companies as you can using good form. If
your art isn’t a complete match to their style/IP, then offer to do an
art test in your email. Otherwise schedule them in for the following
weeks after you can complete portfolio work that’s more targeted.
Sometimes you can go to company websites and they have a specific
process as to how they hire be sure to play by their rules, otherwise
you’ll likely get skipped over.
Wednesday: Wednesday is local day. Find as many
local studios as you can and email/cold call them. More often than not,
I’ve found that informational interviews are the best way to get your
foot in the door. Then you can ask pertinent questions about the
workplace, how they handle projects in-house, etc…Simple and vested
conversation may lead to an ACTUAL interview.
Thursday: Thursday is Mailer day. This is where you
collect the addresses of companies you wish to work for that aren’t
local. Once you’ve got a couple, make custom postcards and have a local
printing shop run about 25 – 50 of them. The next step is to take those
postcards and write addresses on them the old fashion way. If there’s
an art director at the property you wish to do work for (usually there
is) then make sure that you address it to them by name.
Boom! You’ve just spent 4 days of the week hustling to provide
service. Friday – Sunday is where you burn the midnight oil working on
your art so that you become more and more attractive to potential
clients. Sometimes you spend it all developing one piece, and other
times it’s for studying anatomy, light, painting, drawing, etc…
The point is to ensure you’re taking part in activities that actually
MATTER. Playing games for an hour is fine, or watching a movie while
you sketch, but it’s very important to spend more time doing the MAJOR
things rather then the minor things.
Hope this little guide was helpful! I’ve used just just three of
these methods to make a living as an artist, but now that I’m ready to
step my game up I’ll be using all 4.
Remember, Power Painters…Fortune favors the well-prepared.
One of the most powerful art pieces at burningman this year: the sculpture of two adults fighting, backs to one another.. yet the inner child in them both just wants to connect and love one another. The forgiving, open and free spirit of children IS OUR TRUE NATURE.