Artist Interview Series: Kyle Parker
Let's hear it for artists! To help kick off June Pride we asked Kyle Parker to share his thoughts on building confidence, marketing his work and staying authentic to himself as an artist. Happy reading and please join us here every week for an interview with a Creative Action Network artist!
Q: What marketing approaches have worked best for you and why?
A: When it comes to marketing, I’ve always thought that being authentic to yourself will attract others to your work. I think having a clear concept of what you want to do helps with that.
Q: Does marketing yourself and your work make you feel uncomfortable?
A: When I was younger, trying to market myself or talk about my art always made me slightly uncomfortable. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tended to become more confident in who I am and what I want to create.
Q: How do you get past that discomfort (if you do)?
A: I think that it’s a natural progression to become more confident in marketing yourself as you become more confident in who you are as a person.
Q: How do you make money from your art (full-time job, freelance work, selling things online, in what balance, etc)?
A: I work two “real” jobs to afford rent and bills. I’m able to sell art on my Etsy or through word of mouth. Recently I’ve gotten work by connecting to people through networking on Instagram, and becoming more involved in the artistic bubble in Chicago.
Q: How important is making money from your art?
A: My goal is never to make money from art, although it’s always just a plus if I do. It’s more important to me to have some sort of impact, whether big or small, when creating art.
Q: How often do you share your work and on what channels?
A: I try and share an illustration once a week on Instagram. Sometimes it’s in a post or within an Instagram story. It sounds like a commercial, but Instagram has been such a blessing when it comes to connecting to other artists and networking.
Q: Do you share in process/finished work vs more salesy promotional content?
A: I try and have a mixture of works in progress and finished work. Usually, I share art that is ready for sale. I never limit what I post to just finished work, though. It’s just usually what I think is going to be complementary to other work I’ve posted.
Learn more about Creative Action Network artist Kyle Parker and check out all of his CAN work.
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We'd love to tell you about Annie Riker, an artist out of Asheville, North Carolina. She's a surface designer and illustrator who over the years has contributed her national park posters and sticker designs to CAN. This spring her Appalachian Trail design inspired two See America product launches, Merrell trail running shoes and Wyeth hats! Annie is a former Creative Director for the NPCA and we're so grateful that her national park expertise, love of nature, creative spirit and illustration skills landed her in our community where her work can do so much good. You can see Annie's designs online at CAN and be sure to check out her Merrell trail running shoes and Wyeth hat project, too, all helping support Earthjustice organization. We know you'll enjoy reading all about Annie!
Know who loves the outdoors and helping good causes as much as we do? Merrell! We enjoyed our first collaboration with them so much we did it again – introducing a new line of trail running shoes inspired by See America posters of our nation's most celebrated through-hikes, the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. One part inspiration and one part commemoration, the new shoe collection helps support Earthjustice organization. Integral to this project are the amazing poster designs from artists Brooke Fischer, Jonathan Scheele and Annie Riker, and we hope you really love reading the story of how this project came to be. Huge thanks to Merrell for always being down to party with us in support of a worthy organization, not once but twice!