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  1. #1
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    Contacting Clients

    Hey guys

    So I recently turned 20 and I'm getting into artschool next year. And there are some stuff that have to be financed and all but that's not the main point.
    I actually just wanted to know how do one get in contact with a client...this might sound stupid but really... I don't think the majority just got it over pure reputation, doing nothing but painting and the e-mails just come floating into there mailbox, sure some do but I don't think this is usally the case...so I sent messages to a few artists I admire but the won't answer, I asume they're really busy (thinking positive...)
    But with all honesty is there a smart way to contact a client? like..how do I contact certain firms, directly over e-mail or do I really have to wait until they pick me out of nowhere?
    This is something I've been asking my self for quite a while but behind all the art we have to concider that some of us want to make a living and I'm sure alot of people would be glad if someone would give some tips or suggestion on how they started...
    I really hope Im not breaking any unwritten rules of the secret craft of art ect ect or what ever because after all it's the damn money that gives us the freedom to do what ever the hack we wan't with our skills not to be bound of any limitations
    It's like this...alot of schools have there specific preperation how to get into any buiness, but most of the youngsters who are seriously involved in art have the feeling no one in there educational environment is able to help them when it comes to getting into the business part of art..cuz most of the art teachers ar only art teachers, they haven't worked in the field and therefor can't give you any good advices concerning career n stuff

    now DON'T I emphasise !D-O__N-O-T! come over and say "man you're like just looking on the business side"... I'm just hoping that some professionals take some time and try to rather understand in which situation young (and even expreienced people I guess) are.Not even Pros but people who got in or know how to get in or just want to share expriences...it would also be good to know what we have to look out for

    ....it's a long way to succes, I know..but this is just about how to get it started

    Last edited by Adrian Wilkins; April 22nd, 2009 at 10:26 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Well, what do you want to do? Editorial illos? Portraits? Card games? Videogames? The answer is different for all these fields.

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  5. #3
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    Go around in your local area, meet some people and make some new friends in the art business. Go to some galleries and introduce yourself and start to take a new fascination about artwork that really isn't interesting. (not really but kinda) Make a simple website showing your work. Make business cards for dropping off to the people you talk to in the art business, especially around your local area. Try to build up your name around where you live. Find out what your local area is buying by talking to the galleries and other rich people. See what they are interested in because if you don't then you won't get noticed AS well. Once you have built up your confidence to do so don't forget to practice a lot of art before and during this process because if you are not good or have what they are looking for then you will sometimes go unnoticed. Good luck.

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  7. #4
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    Qitsune: to be honest I'd take anything that's in my field... on the one hand as a person whos new in the field you don't have that much of a choice..on the other hand I'm really interested in alof of different fields since...but in generall (this is only me) I'm interested ich characters and creatures of all kinds (character/creature design) so I could imagine to work as an card game illustrator or in the game industry (conceptual) or as an book cover illustrator, storyboarding (heard of some peope who financed ar university through storyboarding, this guy for example emrah elmasli) ect...besides I heard that it's important to extend your field of clients just to create a basis which is safe and will not hurt you (financially) in case one doesn't need you at some point...I've also seen this by looking through the "resume" or "client list" of professionals...they don't really work only in one field..they work in multiple fields

    I know that I can't ask an traditional landscape painter about how to apply in the game industry as an sci-fi character artist...but maybe he could tell me how he got into the professional field of painting landscapes, hope this makes sense

    Samuel Gray
    Thanks man, sounds like a great Idea! unfortunately here where I live (village in germany (stressed on village)) aren't to much gallery but there are a few, and there are a few companies in the near city...really concidereable idea!! again thanks!

    Last edited by Adrian Wilkins; April 22nd, 2009 at 01:54 PM.
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  8. #5
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    This is specifically aimed for freelance work, but probably not too far off for full time positions either, at least in basic theory:

    the answer is really really simple: show your work to people who could use it. You show your work to them, you don't wait to be noticed. Unless your roommates are friends with a bunch of ADs and art buyers and have a lot of parties at your place, there's no other way you'll get seen if you don't take the initiative.

    I mean, simple as that. You open your eyes and mind up to noticing any company producing a product where your artwork would fit and take note of who that company is. Carry a notepad around to make notes. What you're making notes of depends on what sort of work you're after. For example, if you want to do book covers, head to the bookstore and jot down the names of the companies who print covers that look appropriate to your work. Most companies will have contact info on their websites, sometimes you can even find the name of the art director (and if not, you can always address portfolios to "attn: art director"). And remember that your portfolio says everything about you, so it better be strong and it better fit the needs of the prospective client. Don't send pictures of mechs and wizards to get work doing medical illustrations, and don't send political cartoons to get work doing Magic cards.

    Mail out samples of your work with a brief letter just stating who you are, that you're interested in working for them, and how they should contact you (phone, email, and address). Nothing fancier than that, but be sure to be professional and polite. Send them to everyone that you think may have an interest in you. Emails are ok, but having a physical portfolio in hand is much better and if they hold on to it, you'll have better chances of being remembered later.

    Then do it a few dozen times Seriously, it takes alot of mailings and networking to start getting anything coming in and most of your inquiries (at least for freelance work) will go unanswered. That doesn't even mean that they don't want to hire you, but maybe they just don't have anything right that minute. Send updates every so often (4-6 months they say).

    It's also good to get out and meet people at events (workshops, conventions, etc.) and show your work there. The general idea is that you want to take an active role in getting your work noticed.

    Hope that helps

    "Every little step considered one at a time is not terribly daunting" - Ethan Coen

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  10. #6
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    Dave again some great points you said. Just take the initiative because you know there are others out there everyday trying to do it.

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  12. #7
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    Yeh what Dave said exactly, and read blogs and listen to videos of your best artist or even sometimes other people that are succesful , johny cupcakes has an awesome life story. all artist work to get what they want and they always stay positive even things might be a bit rocky on their side. they don't complain about their problems they just solve it ya know and move on.

    just try to follow their lead until you can make up your own steps

    don't think too hard just work hard at it , nothing beats a trial

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  14. #8
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    Cold calling really seems to be vital to sustaining freelance employment. Not something I relish particularly. I never know whether it's best to send samples and letters out first, and then follow up with calls if/when there is no response, or to call first and try to arrange a meeting to present the portfolio. Anyone got any thoughts on that?

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  17. #10
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    I'm not really sure about what you're trying to do but if you're trying to make some art for people you could post a video on youtube saying your taking request for some money and that you'll mail them there drawings or whatever when it's finished. For them to pay you'll have to make a PayPal account and make them pay you through there. I hope I helped in some way and that this is what you wanted. If not I'm really sorry.

    I mean something like this:
    http://www.monsterbymail.com./
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_Ih0...97DF&index=143

    Last edited by Mabelma; July 20th, 2009 at 08:23 PM.
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  19. #11
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    Get a copy of the 2009 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market. It's only 20 bucks and i think it'll answer all your question. http://www.amazon.com/2009-Artists-G...8135331&sr=8-1

    Check out my sketchbook: Draw or Die

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  21. #12
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    - Identify the clients you'd like to work for.
    - Prepare a portfolio suitable to them.
    - Show it to them.
    - Hope they like it.


    If you get feedback, listen to it. Feedback is worth it's weight in gold! If you get no feedback, then try again in a few months when you have new work to show. Remember that most art directors are very busy. Even if they like your work you might not hear from them very quickly. They still need to have a project available that they feel is suited to your strengths. It's entirely possible that your work slips their mind before that project materializes, so a reminder every few months is always a good idea until you have a regular working relationship with them.

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