Monday, September 17, 2012

Art Musings: Validation and Effective Pricing

Today I'm starting a new weekly series called Art Musings. This series of posts is all about career development, opinion and marketing as an artist in 2012 and beyond. Of course I will be drawing from my experiences but that's just the starting point. I hope to get more emerging artists to think like entrepreneurs and get out there and market themselves.

This past February I started a freelance job with Globalworks and I was a work for hire for their HughesNet campaign. They were specifically looking for an artist that used Brushes for iPad. Keep in mind that if I hadn't been posting my Brushes playback videos on YouTube and working on my BÄ“hance profile they never would've found me. I used Brushes to create a series of animated commercials for them. They went live on June 30th through YouTube (possibly on network TV as well.) and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. Thousands of people have viewed my hard work thus far.

It's my first big, paying job and my validation as a professional artist and not just an enthusiast. I see my work in a certain way and I'm proud of my accomplishments but I haven't reached a point where the majority of my income is from my art. I saw an interesting piece in The Guardian about being a double jobber. Meaning having a day job to fall back. In this economy I think it's absolutely necessary to have things like health care benefits and a sense of security. Unless you're selling you're paintings for large sums of money and freelancing consistently then you want to have that. More on that later though. This year has been about marketing, social media, improving my craft and getting work.

Using apps like Flipboard and Zite I have been able to stay up to date on trends and marketing strategies. I had to learn how to compose an effective Press Release for my book, Through The Elm to The Big Apple. Speaking of which I would like to talk about pricing. Pricing my work, whether it's a book or a print is always tricky for me but I'm always learning. For example Through The Elm to The Big Apple starts of at $28 for the paperback and $38 for the Hardcover. I have some control over these prices but since I publish through Lulu I have to follow their rules. Still, I think those are competitive prices considering all of the content you get.

For those that have iPads the eBook is only $2.99. I have three price points for the different versions. After beginning the marketing blitz for my title I felt something was missing. There seemed to be room for a third print book. An entry level model if you will. If I could release a version even cheaper than the $28 one I could potentially have more sales. I decided to go through and pick out my favorite paintings and really trim the fat. I'm proud to introduce Through The Elm to The Big Apple: Curated Edition. It features 30 of the book's best paintings for $18. It's available on Lulu now and Amazon at a later date. Please feel free to leave comments and share your art experiences.