A nice outcome

20 08 2013

How many times do we get an email saying “I love this piece, can I use it for *insert reason here*”. I got one of such emails last year around December, and like many times before I rolled my eyes, most especially because it was for promotional and or commercial purposes. I have the habit, however, of not leaving unanswered emails and of incessantly try to educate people, I assume most people are not trying to take advantage of the artist but are under the wrong impression that we will work for free because ah, la boheme! This idea is spread by the popular culture and, sadly, many artists themselves…. As if accepting money was prostitution.

So I promptly and politely explained that art is my livelihood, and having to care for two children I really can’t afford not charging for it. But if they wanted they could commission me to work for them. I was surprised when a mail did follow up, very honestly expressing their disappointment at not being allowed to use the Crow Triskele for free but willing to hear about me working for them. Soon we were going back and forth about possible ideas but there was a lack of enthusiasm from their part, they really loved the original piece as it was.


A much better and professional looking image for them.

After a few emails and a good night sleep it finally occurred to me that if they liked the piece as it was then I could refine it, since the original was little more than an advanced draft and very old. My main concern was that the piece they liked is one I offer as a tattoo for free and it is my most popular piece, which brings me business, therefore I was reluctant to let it go. So we decided that I was going to rework the piece to refine it, and that we were going to share commercial rights while I still could continue to offer it as a free tattoo.

Lessons learned :

Do not disregard possible commercial opportunities. While most of the times these kind of mails lead to nothing, this one time not only I got a commission out of it but also I got to forge a positive and amiable relationship with my client.

Be honest but polite. Explain art is your income, people can understand that. Keep the sarcasm to yourself, it is not professional.  Expect honesty in return and respect it, this is a possible client, respect is fundamental in your relationship.

Be willing to find a creative solution to keep both parties happy. You might find out that a little thinking can solve a conflict where a flat “I’m sorry, but no” seems the only answer at the beginning.

Remember that a happy client is a returning costumer and can refer you to others, do your best to offer the best quality possible.

So busy!

13 08 2013

I keep thinking I want to post about my ongoing projects, however I not only am busy working on those projects and therefore not having time to blog about them, but since they are in progress I cannot show them yet. Nevertheless keep finding myself wanting to share with you guys the stuff I am working on! I want to show you all so much!

I guess I could blog about some past projects, I do have one I want to tell you about, which has been finished soon before Santiago was born and I found it to be a great learning experience from a business point of view, but I guess I will have to wait a bit to tell you about it, since I need to go work on my newest project which is wedding stationery… who would have thought I was going to do anything like that! So off I am now to try to learn about that kind of design…. see you all later!


Old sketch, but fits the wedding theme 🙂

My ART is needed!!

6 08 2013

Hey, I’m in luck! I just received an email!

“Your ART is needed” reads the subject, then it tells me how it is really awesome that I just have to submit my art, no entry fee is required, no work from me is required, their designers will do all the work for me. And it is just so cool, did I mention no entry fee!? But wait… what is that there? oh! I need to buy three copies for the price of $340… oh, I see… ah, and if I want to include more than one piece I have to pay $250 per image. Well, maybe I was not in such luck after all.


That paragraph makes my head hurt.

I always wonder how many people go for this, obviously enough, given the amount of emails I get from these kind of publishers… always assuming they are legit, of course. And I always wonder about the heterogeneity of the volumes, because being totally honest, the mass sent email just goes to about everyone I know. Who (besides the artists submitting, that is) buys this? Because it seems to me that the artwork included is going to be disparate.

Better invest your time and money entering juried competitions, or submitting to books that actually make an attempt to have a theme. And of course, if you ever will spend hundreds in just getting accepted into a book, you better make sure your work will be seen by the people you would like to have paying you, either purchasing your work or hiring you for commissions.




And. Stop. Spamming. Me.

Thank you.