When you’re getting started as an artist and you take a look at how many other people are doing the same thing online, it can be daunting to try and be seen through the crowd. Success is within your reach, though – as long as you follow the “Three Ps”.
- Plan ahead.
- Polish your work.
- Promote yourself.
Before you can follow steps 2 and 3, you absolutely must have a plan. That’s where this article comes in!
The Actionable, Ready-to-go Plan
Step 1: Create a killer portfolio
Naturally, to promote your portfolio first you need to have one.
An artist’s portfolio tells potential employers about the following:
- Their skills
- Their style
- Their quality of work
- Their personality
Make sure you only display your absolute best work in your portfolio. Include work done for clients in the past if possible. Creating a sleek portfolio isn’t hard – sites such as DeviantArt and CreativeShake offer portfolio creation for free or for a small monthly fee.
Step 2: Get your name out there.
Join as many art-related websites as you can, and use the same name for all of them. Whether you promote yourself by a screenname or by your actual name, keeping it consistent means that people who know your work on one site may recognize your name on another. This gives the impression that you’re more well-known, to have your name and work out there in many different places.
Sites to join:
There are dozens if not hundreds more – do a search.
Step 3: Keep it together.
Many of the sites you join will offer their own portfolio options, but don’t waste time trying to recreate your killer portfolio on all of them. Instead, put several of your best works in each site’s gallery and then leave a message with a link back to the results of Step 1 telling visitors to go there if they want to see your professional portfolio.
Step 4: Promote, promote, promote.
Getting noticed and well-known is all about who you know and how many people you know. Most of the large art communities online have many members who are professionals, such as Marvel Comics artist and inker Tim Townsend, who has a DeviantArt page. Comment on other people’s art – they’ll get a good impression of you and will be more likely to check yours out.
Step 5: Keep promoting.
Send out more bids than you can actually complete, and keep sending them – you can always refuse too much work, but you can’t easily go and grab a little more if you don’t have enough.
The Fourth and Final P
When you’ve planned, polished and promoted until you think you’re done, think again. Once your plan is in place, the fourth and final P comes into play: Persist. Even the greatest artists have some slow weeks or months of business – always continue to persistently polish and promote your work and you’ll do fine.