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!

Q) When you were given an assignment that was challenging what did you do to “find your joy”? Are their methods your artists use to work past this kind of block?

Lilla: Here’s how. Be a positive person. Find the joy in many things. Search the assignment to find something that you connect with. This is what I told my kids when they had a paper to write in high school.

Q) What is the typical commission an agent earns for selling at artist’s work?

Lilla: Agents take anywhere from 30 – 50%. They handle all aspects, not just selling art. They promote, market, negotiate, read contracts, invoice, so second invoicing, manage rights of images, support and advise the artists, etc. I also give my artists trend reports that I create, exhibit at two shows, and more. We do everything but the art.

Q) How important is it to show real products made with my art on the websiteeven if I think that my art has evolved recently?

Lilla: I would show whatever kind of work you want to attract. If you don’t like the old work, don’t show it. You can simply list clients on your site.

Q) When submitting card designs, does it make sense to also show a repeat pattern & coordinates alongside them or is it better to incorporate a repeat and coordinate into the actual card designs?

Lilla: Cards are best as a non-repeat. Look at cards in the marketplace and see. Note that you can send a variety of your art to a variety of clients, and it doesn’t always have to be an exact match. For example, you may have a artwork of a bird mailing a letter, say, with a repeat pattern on it at the bottom, and you can certainly send that to a variety of markets, like card companies, bolt fabric companies, wall art, baby apparel, etc. An art director or agent will see the possibilities in the work you send. We love seeing something fresh and delightful, and can extrapolate where we can use that art.

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: That’s perfectly fine. You can’t wait around for a client to respond. They know that you’re showing your work to lots of folks. Think about how an email newsletter shows lots of new work to lots of clients at once. If, by chance, the art has been picked up in the very same market, we show other work to the client, or let them know that they can commission new work by the artist in question. It’s a numbers game. Here’s the equation: Send lots of art to lots of clients, often.


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? Susan Cousineau

Lilla: Yes, that’s true. We like having a mix of work we blog, post, etc., and work that is password protected. You need to get some of your work out there so you are seen, however, and password protected art is not a must. It’s not done in the editorial market, for instance, because all the work is specific, and is commissioned.

Q) I am an “art chameleon”. For about ten years, my knack for producing work

in a lot of different styles and media has served me very well. Should I be pushing myself to narrow my range or would it be a good idea to show a variety of work?

Lilla: I’ll ask you, what excites you the most? How has it been going in class? Do you like narrowing or like to try different things? Some artists do a variety, but to be known as a branded artist, you’ll want to evolve into a style. Now,

that said, the style might have variations in media and some range, as you saw in my illustration career in last week’s video. You’re saying that the variety of styles has served you well, and if you are happy with then, then full steam ahead! Don’t you wish there was a clear cut answer to some of these art things? LOL.


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!

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