Pick Me! Pick Me!!!
Posted on 31 August 2011
I had the pleasure of making friends with a member of NAPP who is a rather successful digital artist. She was originally a natural media (oil painting) artist but because of a reaction to the chemicals involved in painting, she had to stop painting. Then when Photoshop and the Wacom tablet were introduced to her, her talent and interest in (digital) painting exploded once again. I’ve seen a great deal of her work and it’s actually quite impressive.
Now, that’s a little of her back story but what happened next is even more interesting to me from a business perspective. She joined NAPP and asked all kinds of questions through the Help Desk and member Forums. And over time she got quite good at using Photoshop and her new Wacom tablet and even started helping other members and teaching in the NAPP member Forums. Around the time she realized she was helping other people and that her skill set was appreciated by more than just her family, she started applying for various jobs she saw posted in forums and listings all over the web. In talking with her, I realized that she had spoken with literally hundreds of potential clients and dozens of people offering jobs work-for-higher style. She went in-person to galleries. She really got “out there.” Ultimately, she was hired to illustrate magazine ads for a major video game company, a 4 foot canvas of one of her works went on display in a gallery in central Florida (and she had never been to Florida), and she was hired to illustrate matte paintings for a feature motion picture.
What was most interesting to me is that many of the people who knew this person through the NAPP member Forums heard about her various successes. While most everyone was happy for her, there was the occasional person who suggested that she was “lucky.” I assure you that luck played a very small role (if any) in her success. It’s more like tenacity was her key. She simply applied for every single work for hire opportunity she thought she could remotely do and a few of them came through. The lesson here is, if you want to be successful and have a decent size client list, you have to get in front of dozens of potential clients for every single client that actually ends up hiring you. It’s a numbers game and if you can’t stand rejection you’ll either need to budget for a salesperson right up front, or find a different line of work. Now, get out there!