Thursday, December 1, 2011

"The Profitable Artist"

A few weeks ago I read this book called "The Profitable Artist" which was just put out by the New York Foundation for the Arts.

I'm trying to do more client work, as well as thinking about more art world stuff like grants and residencies and film festivals ... so it felt very relevant. I really liked the book. The writing is really respectful of the drive that artists have and understanding of the struggles we face. It's stressful trying to make your way in the world as an artist and the book really seemed to empathize with that. It was very nice just for that fact alone.

And it's got a lot of cool ideas about promotion, networking, grant writing, contracts, receipts, pricing, etc. It doesn't have all these prescribed answers, and emphasizes that there aren't any. That you make it up as you go along ... and that managing a business can be as exciting a creative challenge as other art you practice.

I just wanted to share that with you guys since I found it helpful. Anyone else reading this trying to do this? ... work outside a company, freelancing or trying to create their own brand/vision? How's it going?

For my part, this is how I see things. There are a few different focus areas ... at any given time I'm doing more of one or the other (a few months ago it was the first two, right now I'm focused on the last two):

1. Building a storyboard portfolio to get hired by an animation studio, preferably feature film.
2. Work on my own art - creating a short film for film festivals. Applying for art grants, residencies to get funding to do more of that
3. Local business as an animator - doing animation for clients
4. Local business as a comic artist - creating original comics to sell at festivals/online, other products too (t-shirts, prints, books). Also doing fun silly animations for the web.

Do you feel like you're on one of these tracks? How's it going? I'm just want to know i'm not alone!

Oh, and I'm also interested in doing more education stuff. I teach Flash at a school locally, and I'm thinking of teaching more classes (like on dynamic drawing, storyboarding, digital painting, animation principles, etc) ... and those lesson plans I hope to put online too.


  1. I wish i lived where you teach. would love to take a class on Flash by you. You've a very nice style. the pages look great.

  2. I know what you mean! Although I am just a highschool student right now, I am determined to become a DreamWorks animator, and your workk inspires me to do just that!

  3. I worked a lot on my commercial portfolio in the past, to show clients I could do the stuff they wanted. Until I found out that I didn't like the things my clients liked, and became an animation producer. Now my quest is for investors who can see the value in what I produce under my own direction, having a financial participacion of future profits in exchange.