I’m halfway though updating the post structure and submission process on the LCS, a couple more days work and it should be ready to go. Then I can see how it plays out and stands up to usage and start working on an iOS app. Also planning to write a post on effect Facebook and other social networks have had on the humble blog, which includes the LCS. You may have noticed a few visual changes on the LCS already if you’re a regular visitor.
Mail Me Art is going well, still lots of work and general marketing to do, but I think the exhibition is going to be excellent! I’m going to be getting some work done on the LCS in the next few day… Expanding the site as a hub for illustration related objects and hopefully sorting out a little nifty iOS app. The little chimp on your phone, how cool would that be!
Last year I spent a day in London checking out galleries in preparation for the current Mail Me Art project. I decided it was best to do London on foot, as you never know what you’re missing if you hop from place to place on the tube. I must have checked out over 30 galleries, some of them were amazing and some not so much… I even got shooed out of one or two. It was a very tiring day! But I did get to stop for a very nice lunch with the talented Rod Hunt.
I’ve meet up with Rod a couple times now and it’s always a pleasure. I even did an LCS interview with him a while ago. He’s been helping plan ICON8 and it looks like they’ve finally settled on an amazing location (Portland) for it, after what I assume were a number of very lengthy meetings. I’m hoping I can go, but it’s a long way to travel from little old Britain, although I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Closer to home we’re hoping to be able to make it to OFFSET 2013 in Dublin during April. The last one we went to was 2011, plus I have family in Ireland.
Getting back to my London visit, it was well worth the effort! I would have never have found the gallery I did if I hadn’t been there in person. London is so dense, it’s always so tempting to skip bits and just check out the landmarks. You really need to take your time and take it all in while you’re there as you never know what’s round the next corner, plus stopping every five minutes for a coffee helps too. While I was there I meet some lovely people, had some nice food and finally settled on The Framers Gallery in Windmill Street as my gallery of choice. It ticked all of the boxes and then some. So that’s where Mail Me Art is going be this year!
How do you decide what to spend your money on? I don’t mean your wants and day-to-day living. No, I’m asking about how you decide on what to invest in and how you know which of those investments are going to make you money. A problem arises in that most people don’t realise that their own time is actually an investment too, and it’s the same as spending money. The next problem arises when it’s not as cost-effective to be spending time instead of money. For example if you’re an illustrator, who gets paid more: you or your accountant? If your accountant is going to charge you £500 to fill in a few forms and look over your books, fair enough. It might only take them an hour to do it and that’s not bad for an hours work. But what if you decide to do your tax return and books yourself… It might take you 2-3 hours to do and there’s also the risk of making a mistake or forgetting something. Although that’s not the point, if you take that time and use it to do 2 quick spot editorial jobs @ £300 each instead, you’ve actually been paid more than your accountant for the time it would have taken you to do their job. By letting them work on your behalf, you’re £100 up and you’ve increased your assets. Those two editorial spots could also be re-licensed and bring you in additional income at a later date. So it’s win-win.
Now moving on to how this applies to me. I promote, market, design and optimise for people and I’ve been doing it for a long time now. I try not to do jobs that I know other people can do better and in a more cost-effective way than me. So I have an accountant and if I need an illustrator I’ll hire one. Looking at illustrators in general though, I don’t understand why so many of them insist on creating their own website and marketing themselves. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are really good at it, but I think there’s a bit of confusion… Your own time isn’t free, especially when you have a valued talent, like being an illustrator. So essentially you’re not saving money by doing your own promotion via various free Social Networks as it’s costing you a tidy penny in time. That time could be better spent investing in new work for your portfolio. You need to remember being an illustrator is like running any other business and you need to be smart with regards to what you invest your time and money in. Free isn’t free when it means you don’t have time left to do what makes you money and no one wants to be making less than they can. Do what you do best and the income will follow.
It’s been a long week and just because its the weekend that doesn’t mean I stop working, if anything it gets even busier as we approach Monday. I’ve been doing a lot of work on optimising Mail Me Art’s online presences and it seems to be going to plan. Can you believe it’s been six years since I started the project!? Where’s the interrobang when you need it.
Mail Me Art 3 is slowly ramping up, I’ll be doing a post on the LCS soon with a final call for… announcement. Then it will be time to send the invites out. This time round MMA is going to be bigger and better than ever before with lots of amazing artists already involved. I can’t waiting to start receiving the mail art and posting about it. I best dust of the camera and give the scanner a clean. Leave a comment if you have any questions about the project at the moment or visit Mail Me Art.
Going to start working on the LCS merchandise range in the next day or so. Get in contact if you would like to get involved in some way and think you have something to contribute. Leave a comment if you don’t know how to contact me.
2012 was fun, 2013 is going to be insane. So much to do and so much to prepare for… I best get on with it then.
It’s alive and growing!!! The illustration postcard archive.