Becoming A Professional Artist / Designer – Part 3
This section is more important than being skilled or even interested in art. Networking is extremely important to initial artists to gain a reputation and also very important to established ones to keep that reputation. Technology and social networking has changed the way we connect to people, I know that most who read this will already have a profile on a social network, though there are specific channels you can try to help and push your talents.
1. It’s sometimes helps to create a pseudonym to help make yourself remember-able or to keep your creative career separate from your personal or business side. A pseudonym can be a fake name, a label or designer tag or even just a different spelling of your own name.
2. Show off among your friends. Put photos of your work up on your Facebook, your Twitter or on your favourite forums. (I would not bother with Myspace as it’s a sea of music flyers and self promotion anyway, you’ll just get lost amongst the rest).
3. Join relevant social networks such as Deviant Art, Linked In or 99 Designs.
4. Create a business card for passing out into the real world. Vistaprint is always cheap and provides fast, high-quality cards.
5. Circulate your sample work among the relevant companies. The Writers and Artists Handbook is a great resource for contacts.
6. Always check your local arts councils for commissions and awards.
7. Keep in contact with anyone artistic you meet, Art Teachers, Art Tutors and other artistic peers will always look out for each other.
8. Everyone you converse with could be a future client or a pathway to another job. (I once got design work from buying a sandwich from a sandwich shop, presume that everyone will, at some point, need your talents).
9. Create a Pullfolio and use it to sell yourself.
10. Enter competitions, you never know…