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Ah … the life of a freelancer. It’s not enough that you’re creative and technically savvy. No, you have to be a clever businessperson as well. No matter how talented you are, when starting out you probably won’t get clients unless you pound the pavement for them.
But you likely don’t have the time or money to engage in any sophisticated advertising campaign. Fortunately, these days there are plenty of ways to market your business for little to no cash.
Once you set up your account, search for your favorite designers and studios as well as friends, businesses you frequent and companies you’d like to hire you. This alerts potential customers to your existence – they might in turn follow you and seek you out for future jobs. Tweet your blog, news about your business, a fun project you’re working on, artwork you find inspirational, a handy tutorial – keep your tweets short and informal. Twitter is not the place for heavy copywriting, though it IS a great place to offer exclusive deals. ...read entire article
I'm happy to report that there were plenty of great greeting card and stationery companies exhibiting at the recent New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF), held August 14-19 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Piers 92 & 94 in New York City. In fact, there seemed to be more stationery-related exhibitors there than in recent years past, with cards and other paper products appearing throughout various sections of the show, including Accent on Design, Studio, General Gift, Handmade, Museum Source and New York's Newest.
A new, "concentrated presentation" of stationery and book publishers was located in Aisle 7500 on the lower level of the Javits Center, where card companies such as Notes & Queries said they were pleased with both the traffic and the number of new accounts they opened. Show producer George Little Management is hoping to grow this stationery-focused section at the NYIGF, but several card companies with whom I spoke said they preferred to stay in their current location at the show.
As I walked the aisles, it was apparent that certain themes such as cupcakes, robots and monkeys continue to be a popular presence on a variety of stationery merchandise. Yoga is also proving to be both a big lifestyle and product trend, as evidenced by its appearance on card lines such as the "Cardiology" blank notecard collection from Flavour Design Studio.
Also popping up at several booths were stationery items bearing the message "Keep Calm and Carry On" -- from an iconic poster originally produced in 1939 by the British government to raise morale at the start of World War II. Although never used, the poster was rediscovered in 2000 and is now being used on products such as notecards and journals from Peter Pauper Press and 2011 weekly planners from Cavallini & Co.
The DIY trend also continues to influence the stationery market and has spurred fun items such as the "Stitchable Journals" shown at AMH Design, LLC. This mashup of stationery product and craft project includes everything needed to create a needlepoint monogram accent on the journal's laser-cut cover.
Also merging two categories are "Flat Flowers" greetings distributed by OOTS!, which are 6" x 6" blank notecards featuring a floral-themed static window sticker attached to the card's cover. The presence of such innovative stationery products helped to make this summer's NYIGF fresh and exciting.
Kathy Krassner, former editor-in-chief of Greetings etc. magazine, is the owner of Krassner Communications, a writing-services firm specializing in the stationery and gift industries, based in Ringoes, NJ.
Services provided for clients have included writing print articles, website articles, e-newsletters, greeting cards, trend reports, blogs, catalogs, brochures, marketing materials, book proposals, packaging copy, and more; providing public-relations support; and conducting seminars.
Current clients include Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine, the Invitation & Stationery Alliance, and NobleWorks Inc. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here then are some things that all fall under the area of art marketing that you can begin to do to self-promote your art and your career:
Comment on designer's or galleries blogs, or other important folks who can influence your careeer. Making nice with other artists and commenting on their blog and Facebook is great for your ego, but it is not nearly as important as making nice with people who can buy your work or help your career. Find influential people and comment on their blogs or write them personal notes congratulating them or offering meaningful tips, insights or ideas. Lather, rinse and repeat.
Do something outrageous that you would never do. A great brainstorming technique is to take a large piece of paper and write as many ideas as you and your family and friends can think of to do. I guarantee you will come up with some good ideas to promote yourself.
Start an art event for charity. It does not have to be elaborate. It can be in your living room, or at a local coffee shop. All you need is an idea, a few fliers and a little gumption.
Print your art large on some unusual substrate such as metal or wood, clothing. Make it twice as large or twice as small as you have ever made. Then challenge yourself to find a way to promote what you have done.
Seek help in high places. I wrote a post titled Six Degrees of You. Think about someone who, if they took an interest, could seriously help your art career. A museum curator, a top interior designer, a magazine editor, the head of your state cultural organization. If you can’t think of someone like this, especially after getting clues offered, then question yourself about how much being successful really means to you.
Collaborate with another artist. Lori and I collaborated on this blog post series. Yes, we know many of the same folks, but there were many others who came to know more about us by doing the series. There is no reason you can’t do the same with other visual artists, or performing artists, poets or musicians. Learn to be inspired by someone and do likewise and look for ways to explore how to channel that inspiration to new work and new vistas for your art marketing efforts.
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Also check out the tutorial here: http://www.freshdesigner.com/how-to-use-photoshop-brush-settings/