Q&A with Lilla

question of the dayWALL

Over the next few weeks we are bringing back Lilla’s popular Q&A column, this time 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) Is it better to try to follow a trend, or to do something completely different with the hope that it is pre-trend, since by the time your product is out on the market, the trend you are following could well be over?

Lilla: All of the above. But it is even more important to do work that you respect and find clients for that. As for trend, you can’t predict what the company sees as pre-trend. For some, it’ll be over and for some it’s too ahead, so best to make art you love and find companies who are similar to you.

Q) Has the current global economic crisis affected any of the markets we have touched upon in this class and if so how? What do you think the future holds for recovery in each specific market area?

Lilla: Never before has there been such a demand for gorgeous, hip products. This is great for artists. Fewer products are sold during a recession but still billions are, and the best ones will always be in demand. So artists have to up their game and shine. Editorial (magazines) took a hit in the late 2000s, but I was just in NYC and I was discussing with a colleague how people will always love the printed page, and we sense a resurgence. I am seeing some pretty amazing magazines emerge from women publishers. There is always a demand for visuals as we know from Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest, and Instagram. I am very optimistic about editorial and would love to lead the way with an editorial course to help artists make rockin’ great art for this field (stay tuned!) More great art will also help make this market even more exciting and more great art will be bought. It becomes a hot trend.

Q) In your opinion, at what point in their career can an agent-less artist justify exhibiting at a show like Surtex? Could you please give some pointers on how to prepare for such a show?

Lilla: I go over this in detail in my book and in Week 3 of MATS B. Short answer: This course is a great way to prepare. Make lots of great pieces. At Surtex, you can show anything such as loose prints, portfolios, books like iPhoto or Blurb books, ipads, etc. If you want to sell your prints in the apparel markets, those clients are used to viewing prints.

And yes, you certainly can show at Surtex as a agentless artist. I would definitely walk the show first before you invest many thousands of dollars in a booth, airfare, hotel, etc. Get the feel, develop your work, and then you will be ready.

Q) If you don’t hear from a company for a while do you contact them again? If so how long do you wait?

Lilla: The odds are that you won’t hear unless they are interested. Keep sending NEW work in emails, and send newsletters with your newest work to them, too.

Q) How do you decide which designs to sell outright and which to license?

Lilla: That is the million dollar question. Short answer: some clients only buy outright, some only license. When starting out, you might be more open to either. If you sell outright, it’s ideal to sell outright JUST in their market. And sometimes you’ll make more money with a sale than with a royalty.

Q) Are there paper or ink types that are more successful than others for hand lettering?

Lilla: Try smooth (hot press) papers, and try rougher (cold press) papers. Try a variety of pens and inks and brushes. See what you like.

Q) Could you please define for me the difference between wall art and fine art? After all Paul Klee’s work is considered “Fine Art” and hangs in museums today.

Lilla: They are not mutually exclusive. Wall art is the broader term. It means any art that hangs on a wall. It refers to a market. Fine art refers to art that is not craft or commercial art, although I am not a fan of any of these distinctions and these kinds of distinctions are becoming less common. I prefer the distinction of Gallery Art and Wall Art. Galleries sell the original paintings, and Wall Art sells reproductions.


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

  • I’m so excited about MATS A and B. I signed up for both and I can HARDLY WAIT! (Although I am being kept happily busy with MATS Bootcamp.

    February 22, 2014

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