Q&A with Lilla

question of the dayWALL

It’s Friday so it must be time for Lilla’s popular Q&A column, with questions from the previous class of Make Art That Sells. You can see what a wide variety of topics are covered – and you might even find the answer to that burning question you have been wanting to ask! We will be sharing a host of questions and answers over the next few Fridays so stay tuned!

Q) When you show the adjusting levels of a final jpg, you are obviously editing it out of vector mode. Will that be frowned upon by a client who wants the file in editable vector format? Would you have to go back to the vector file and rematch it to the final adjusted file in Photoshop (which would be difficult to match exactly)?

Lilla: Great question. I adjust levels in class to show the difference in the work. If you work in vector, then work in the colors you want at that time. I tend to find that vector people don’t need adjusting levels in their work as much as Photoshop people who tend to scan in art. Scanning tends to add a dull grey cast.

Q) When submitting designs, is it OK to send out multiple submissions simultaneously? What if two companies end up wanting the same design? Would they not get upset if you send them a submission and later tell them it is unavailable?

Lilla: Yes, it is OK to submit multiple submissions. If you send a newsletter with new work, it’s obvious that you are sending to lots of people. If you send the work in an email, it’s all in how you phrase it. You can follow up and ask if they are interested, and if not, send it to the next person. You can send to a bunch and see who bites first. Should two people bite, you tell the second one that someone is already interested but you can create new work just for them in that style. But to be honest, it’s rare to get two bites right away, so I wouldn’t worry too much about this.

Q) When adding designs to a website, should they be password protected? Don’t some companies prefer to buy artwork that has not been posted publicly?

Lilla: It’s good to have a mix of art that is on your site so you attract interest and then some that is either password protected or you simply have on your computer that you send in an email, or a Dropbox folder link, etc. Apparel markets tend to care more about work not seen, but other markets don’t care as much. And don’t forget that a lot of the work you’ll get will be for commissions of brand new work.

Q) Is watermarking just a transparent layer in Photoshop over the top of the artwork? Would you advise that we put this on when adding images to Pinterest?

Lilla: This is an ongoing question. I like when the artist puts their name on the art like a signature or a mark, but when it’s a big ugly watermark I don’t like that.

Q) I heard that it is bad form to go to Surtex and similar trade shows as an illustrator without a booth and walk the floors handing out promotional material to Art Directors, etc., as it undermines all the illustrators that have invested time and money in a booth. Is this true?

Lilla: Yes, that’s true. You can go to look at booths to see how they display art, what the art is like, how it works, meet up with fellow illustrators, go to the conferences and trend lectures, hand your business cards to agents if they are not busy, chat with other illustrators in their booth if they are not with a client, etc. Just be sensitive.

Q) How do you create a password protected gallery for your own website, where the images cannot be downloaded?

Lilla: If you don’t know how to do it for the platform you use I would suggest you ask a web developer to help you. But you don’t need to do a password protected gallery if you don’t want to invest just now. You can simply let people know that you have lots more and you can send them work via email or dropbox, etc.

Q) Is it possible to have 2 agents?

Lilla: Generally, no.


Got your own questions for Lilla? Join us for the next round of Make Art That Sells. Class begins March 31.

Book your spot here!

1 Comment

  • You’ve talked about sending out newsletters to show your work to clients that may be interested. How does a brand new artist with no contacts attract buyers to be a able to show them that you have a mailing list for them to sign up for?

    March 22, 2014

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