Ah… there once was a time when you had a steady stream of client work coming in like clock work. Sure, there was the occasional dry spell, but you kind of looked forward to it. It was your breather between the avalanches of work that would come surging in. The phrase “when it rains it pours” comes to mind. Life was good.
For many working illustrators today, those good old days seem to be long gone. The markets and clients that used to have you busy churning out work on a consistent basis have all but dried up. Competition for a smaller piece of the pie seems more fierce than ever, while the money clients are willing to pay for quality work would be considered laughable if it didn’t have you on the verge of crying and looking for a real 9-5 job to make ends meet.
It’ s an all too common problem among my fellow artists and illustrators.
What to do about it?
There is no easy, one size fits all solution. However, from my own experience, here are three areas you can start with.
1) Define Your Purpose – Why do you do what you do? Can you create a business with a cause or mission that people will want to be a part of, rally behind and support?
2) Who is your ideal client or market? Where can your work have the biggest impact for clients, add the most value or help solve the most pressing problems?
3) What added value do you offer? Identify additional strengths, experience or knowledge that you are not currently leveraging that can add value to the work you provide. Are there other areas of expertise you are willing to develop and learn?
Now, I can practically hear some of you right now saying to yourselves, “This is bull****! I never had to do any of this crap before!” And you may be right.
But times have changed my friend. Ignoring what’s working now in this new economic environment in favor of the old business as usual approach that no longer is getting you the intended results is insane and career suicide.
Watch this week’s hangout for the full scoop.
As a creative community, we are only as strong as our weakest link. Let’s help each other improve our businesses and increase the value of our ideas and creative endeavours.
Leave your comments and let us know what you think. And if you find it a useful discussion please share it with others.