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February 7, 2012 @ 12 p.m. in The Business Lab by Corina Marie Howell | Corina Marie Photography View Comments
I’m in my pajamas with a takeout coffee cup next to me and Crouton, my cat, is perched on a pillow right next to me intently licking his toes. I’ve sent out hundreds of personalized emails to potential clients and subjected myself to a many a cold call on this fine morning. The nibbles come, and jobs do happen, but great success still evades me. Perhaps I will not change out of my pajamas today.
I’ve fought the good fight for more than a few years now. I’ve had some quality advertising gigs in the entertainment, beauty, and fashion industries, met hundreds of top-level creatives, and done some fabulous editorials for local and national magazines. I am a former magazine photo editor for both Movieline and The Hollywood Reporter and have great connections. Yet here I sit, on this plateau. Oh, and you’re here with me? What’s up?
November 7, 2012 @ 9 a.m. in The Marketing Lab by Louisa Curtis | Chatterbox Enterprises View Comments
I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says, “Change is good as long as I don’t have to do anything different!” But the only thing that is consistent in this life is change. So how does that apply to this question about trends, and whether or not to change your current marketing plan?
The short answer: any way you can. The path to artistic growth is often through personal work. With no rules or deadlines, you have more freedom to explore and evolve. When your work evolves, you open new markets, you stay relevant and you keep working. Personal work is not optional.
Whatever you choose to do to buy time, your challenge is to find a rhythm that leaves you enough energy to make that personal work. This is the key to your evolution, so serve your personal work first. Put it on a pedestal and schedule your other work to fit.
Some experts believe the only way for artists to stay inspired is interacting with other artists. Some say artists must look to other industries for innovative ideas. Wherever individual artists find their motivation, it’s crucial to creativity: Staying inspired is the only way a commercial artist can thrive.
My biggest inspiration comes from looking at other illustrators’ work. Whether it’s contemporary or classic illustration, when I see a piece that really excites me, it inspires me to push myself creatively. While I used to pore over the Communication Arts Illustration Annual and the Society of Illustrators annual each year, I find myself more recently looking at individual illustrators’ work. A lot of artists share their work on blogs and I enjoy seeing the sketches and ideas behind each illustration. Allow yourself the time to look around at other work; if you’re constantly looking at your own work, it’s hard to put things in perspective.
Inspiration is a funny thing. Most people think finding inspiration is tapping into a bubbling spring of ideas. Inspiration is actually a magical force that moves us to take action on an idea. It’s a powerful flow of energy that gives you no choice but to surrender and create something. The great thing about inspiration is that in a state of inspiration, everything seems possible. Inspiration can be intoxicating.
Before I made the decision to become a consultant, I worked in the stock photography industry. I had the fortune of working with world-renowned photographers, illustrators and filmmakers through my years at Image Bank, Getty and Photonica. As a creative editor/art director and later director of photography, my job was essentially finding the most marketable images within their collections. Being located in New York City, these artists weren’t just pen pals I corresponded with whenever they sent in a submission. More than not, I had the opportunity to work side-by-side with them in their studios. Studio visits and long editing sessions often turned into heartfelt conversations about creating new images.
It can be tempting during your “free” time between commissioned jobs to take your foot off the gas, but what you do when you’re not working could determine the fate of your illustration business.
Creatively speaking, are you a hip youngster with your finger on the pulse of today's trends - or a forgetful grandfather with tissues tucked up your cardigan sleeve? In this video, creatives and industry experts discuss techniques to freshen up your work, and simple strategies to impress clients with your cultural relevance:
Interesting? To keep yourself interesting to your clients you must show them work that is new. I believe that most creators are interested in many things. Do not be afraid to explore them. The concept of doing one thing and only one thing for an entire career is anathema to creative people. As a creative director, one of my most interesting food assignments came from someone who loved to photograph corporate subjects. He used to prepare delicious home-cooked luncheons for clients and crew at this studio. I knew he loved food, so I suggested that he stretch and get out of his comfort zone. He photographed a cookbook. Through diversity we get better and more imaginative at whatever we do.
When I reached out to two art producer friends for their take on this subject, I got two unique replies. They both work for award winning agencies, one in the South and the other in a big Midwestern ad town.
The Southern agency saw three trends in photography: being able to shoot still and motion, the end of big production shoots and photographers adding value to a shoot. Based on the latter, my advice is that photographers need to shoot beyond layout, shoot a lot more and add their signature to the shoot. I have seen photographers actually making more than the estimate because clients wanted more usage on more images once they saw the results. Note: make sure you state in your estimate what is being licensed so you have the ability to charge more.
The perfect resource for the working artist, The Lab is our monthly newsletter that answers your burning questions on marketing, business and creativity.
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