Recently I posted something on my facebook on how to "get into the business" and it got a great response. A few people seem to think there is much more to it- and there is, than just having good work. It seems people, once they have done the work, have a hard time thinking what to do with it next. So this next follow up is called "email people and show them your work".
Again, like the revolutionary idea of 'get good at drawing if you want to be a good drawer' idea, this concept is one that you may struggle with but I hope I can help in some way.
So now you have spent 3 years locked in your basement learning how to draw and you have got a portfolio and you have probably already got a facebook- the next step is called "marketing and promotion and 'selling yourself online"...or as I like to call it "emailing the people you want to work with". Catchy title huh?
here is an actual real email I sent to a client to pitch for work when I was starting out:
I have been locked in a basement for a few years learning how to draw and I used up all my crayons. I now have a new set of magic crayons and have been let out of the basement- here is my work- let me know if I can draw a picture for you: (link to website)
See, the thing of it is, if your work isnt up to scratch and your work isnt what they are looking for - no amount of clever wording, marketing or business stratergy will help. If you have a good portfolio- a good company will see they can make money off you and use your work.
Now I wouldn't advise a stupid email every time, I knew this company and I played my cards right. If I was applying to a different company or band I would write a different more serious email; "you dress up your clothes for an interview, you dress up your words also" Stephen Fry. One bad thing I get through my inbox is a poorly spelled email, a grammatically disastrous email, but none of them amount to a rude email. A rude email will come through and be no more than "how much for a design". And that's it. You may be in a rush, you may think that's enough, you may think that's how its done. But it comes across as if you don't care, and if you don't care why should we?
Communication is vital! there is an old saying "first we eat and then we communicate". Its that important. So make sure you think about how you come across, but if you have a good portfolio you don't need to think that much- just be honest, polite and enthusiastic.
If you are struggling to find work- keep practicing. You could also ask a few local bands that are looking for designs. Do them for free if you have to, but dont do them for cheap- there is a great saying I read somewhere "work for free or work for full price but never work for cheap". Get a few designs and a few jobs under your belt and allow your confidence to grow and keep emailing bands and companies- remember always to be polite and well versed- they love that and will remember you. Dont be pushy and dont ask for stuff constantly- these are busy people- they are friendly but manners are a good thing.
Dont copy people styles or ideas at this stage- if you do copy their ideas- try bringing something new to it- something different to make it stand out over other peoples. There is a great artist out there at the moment and all his ideas are the same ideas I have seen a million times over, but he does it in such a new style that it looks amazing and new. If you copy peoples style then you have to ask yourself why anyone would hire you 'a start up artist' when they can hire someone who is already pro at that style and been in the business a long time. You aren't cheating the artists, they'll always get work- you are cheating yourself.
get a tumblr, a twitter, a facebook, a portfolio, a cat and some goggles (last two are optional). Add your heroes, those that inspire you, copy what they do, not their work, but their work ethic, their attitudes, get a pinterest, a instagram, follow all your friends, dont beg for followers either, instead post good content, good work, cool videos you find, not memes, but stuff you find on your own. Post things you love, not what seems to be 'in' or popular, things you love. Im following a bloke who posts only pictures of coffee cups...he has 23989 followers! Love what you do.
I hope that helps and I have probably forgotten a few things and could mention more and am probably wrong about a few bits too- but I am not a lecturer, I am not a self help guru...I am a boring artist.