Artist Interview Series: Design By Goats
For this week's artist interview, CAN artist team Design By Goats shared their thoughts on networking, building community, and the importance of finding balance between life and career. Please join us here each week for perspectives on how our artists promote themselves and market their art. Happy reading!
Q: What marketing approaches have worked best for you and why?
A: We get most of our work from referrals and word of mouth. That being said, having a healthy and easily accessible online presence is a key part in attracting those folks and proving a trustworthiness. We focus on our website and our instagram account (designbygoats.com / @designbygoats). We’ve also had some random luck putting ourselves on local creative business lists.
Q: Does marketing yourself and your work make you feel uncomfortable?
A: Self-promotion is always a prickly dance.
Q: How do you get past that discomfort (if you do)?
A: We just keep going! Keep doing work. Keep showing work. If you do it right, the quality and consistency should shine through.
Q: How do you make money from your art (full-time job, freelance work, selling things online, in what balance, etc)?
A: We operate as a “boutique” creative agency. People pay us for branding, illustrations, digital / print design, and things of that nature. We do have an online shop with shirts, posters, swag, etc., but those ventures are usually more for fun than as money-making endeavors. Early on we found that client work was our bread and butter, which is a very different business model than making art for sale.
Q: How important is making money from your art?
A: Our livelihood depends on it!
Q: How often do you share your work and on what channels?
A: We probably post on instagram a couple of times per week. We used to attempt Facebook AND Instagram AND Twitter AND LinkedIn but that was a mistake and a formidable time suck. We think it’s best to choose one (or two if you must) channels and really focus on doing that well. Make time and dive deep! Something we still struggle with, to be honest.
But also - and this is kinda big - get out and make real relationships with real people! We’re not necessarily talking about “networking” events (barf), but social groups, professional groups, or hobbyist groups. Just find something that is your speed with people you relate with. We’re pretty active in our community which is why our professional network has grown more by doing real-life things and making friends than doing anything online. This is primarily why so much of our work comes from word of mouth and referrals. These situations are also ideal because you don’t necessarily have to sell yourself, you just have to let people know who you are and what you do. If you develop any sort of real connection with folks they will often seek you out at need.
Q: Do you share in process/finished work vs more salesy promotional content?
A: A little bit of both, really. A wise man once said, “next to love, balance is the most important thing.” It is important to us to find a balance between a genuine friendly attitude while also presenting the good shit. Social media is an opportunity to be real, even if it’s less formal. Sometimes that means showing us drawing with crayons while waiting for food at a restaurant, or sharing a stupid illustration of an ostrich that looks like Jack Nicholson. Maybe this approach isn’t for everyone, but it’s just who we are and we’re all about real connections and friendship!
Learn more about Creative Action Network artist team Design By Goats and check out all of their CAN work.
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