Social Question

noodle_poodle's avatar

Is my style too old fashioned and ordinary?

Asked by noodle_poodle (1614 points ) January 12th, 2012

I am currently struggling to find agent/clients for my work as an artist. Do you think its because my work is a little outdated? Or maybe because my website could be better?

you can view my portfolio here at www.ratbasket.co.uk

Any opinions will be gratefully received

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21 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

You might be more specific about what you do. Like looking at that, I have no idea who your clients would be nor what you would do for them.

janbb's avatar

I love the Website and the artwork; think it’s very creative.

noodle_poodle's avatar

Do you mean in my post or in my website? wundayatta

wundayatta's avatar

in your website.

geeky_mama's avatar

Dear @noodle_poodle
I like your style (artistically speaking) so no, I don’t think your work is outdated.
In looking at your website with a critical eye (as a potential employer might) I noticed a few misspellings which might lead one to read between the lines that you lack attention to detail. (In your bio your undergraduate degree must have been from Cleveland College of Art, not Collage, right?)
I think the website is brilliant but could use more content.
Networking and getting your name out there is tough – try reaching out to area Theatre, school and art departments.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I love your work. Your site is creative and inspired.

As for your current state, considering this is a rough economy, it will take a while to find an agent.

noodle_poodle's avatar

@SpatzieLover Thanks I really appreciate it. Yeh its been something I have been hacking away at for ages and been running myself ragged getting involved in so many unpaid projects. I guess sometimes I just think maybe there is something obvious that I am missing.

submariner's avatar

I like your stuff, especially the more finished pieces (Bibliophage, High Seas). It doesn’t seem dated to me at all, but I don’t follow fads in illustration. I would think pictures in that style would be good for a children’s book. What kind of clients are you looking for?

Ayesha's avatar

It’s so cute! I really like it.

noodle_poodle's avatar

@submariner Thankyou!

I was looking to find an agent that does children’s books and greetings cards. I have contacted quite a few but keep getting the same pre written responses about “currently no room for you at the inn” type of thing

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Look to peers that you admire and get promotional clues from them. The artwork is professional, but as @wundayatta suggests, there is little in the way of demonstrating a commercial value.

Another possibility is to not wait on someone to find use for your style. Instead, create your own characters, story book, comic strip… and market it yourself.

One of my clients, Thumbs Up Johnnie started with a cast of characters and a childrens book with a positive message. Over a few years, you can see from the web site that it has become popular enough to support fan club, tours, additional books, merchandising… you get the idea.

noodle_poodle's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies thanks…wow that Thumbs Up Johnnie has a great website! Loads of fun stuff to do on there…I am gonna go play on it now.

Dog's avatar

Bummer. All I get is a blank screen telling me I need to install flash.
Apparently your site is not accessible by tablet or other iDevices. You are closing off a large and growing market by using flash.

I am a licensed artist witn an agent. I will look up your site when I am back at a full computer and can access it.

jazmina88's avatar

I love your work, full of whimsy.

It does say college not collage, some jellies need bifocals…..

stardust's avatar

I really like your work too.

gailcalled's avatar

I find your art charming and appealing.

However, I would rewrite the resumé, using a more legible font (the old-fashioned typewriter font is too overused) and eliminate the whimsey and cutesy language in the text. And find an editor to fix the usage in both the text in the body and in the balloons.

Get rid of unnecessary adjectives such as “grubby,” “granite,” “dirty,” “sticky” and “sort of.”

“Japan” is a proper noun; “jewelry” is the preferred spelling.

Let your art do the talking; it speaks clearly and well.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I like your work. It’s unusual and funky, and some is a liitle disturbing, in a good way.Finding the right agent isn’t going to be easy. Try the non-mainstream ones?

Dog's avatar

I am back and must say your work is great! It is not at all dated and is fun and light.

Do not EVER give up on your whimsical work!

With a couple of tweaks you will be able to self-market much of it until you find an agent and the economy picks up.

Lets briefly chat about the reality of licensing in this market and how you can make the best of the economy.
10 years ago art licensing was a gold mine. The economy was growing and house prices were booming. Consumers were buying buying buying. Huge licensing shows in New York were filled (Surtex) and took up multiple levels of the convention center. When the economy took a dump many of the companies that regularly licensed went under. Those that did not go under would cut back on new production to hedge losses from fewer sales.

By 2011 Surtex had shrunk to roughly ¼ of its former size, and many booths were unoccupied. Three years ago Americasmart in Atlanta began a licensing show. It started off with 11 booths the first year and has slowly expanded to several dozen. I have exhibited at both venues many times.

If you wished to display your art in a booth for possible manufacturer licensing it will cost a few thousand dollars, booth fee, printing etc. It is not a bad route to go but I would wait for a couple more years of slow economic improvement. I would also recommend the Atlanta Americasmart over Surtex. Americasmart is actually a section in a huge wholesale exhibit that spans three high-rise buildings. The licensing directors usually attend the show to overlook the sales so they are present, unlike Surtex which requires travel and show expenses to the company to send their LD.

Okay so now we need to know what you are interested in as far as licensing. I am not sure what exactly you are hoping for in the way of work so I will breeze over a few.

As it is, I think your work fits book illustration. If this is your goal I suggest you consider joining the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

If you are interested in breaking into greeting cards and other giftware, you will need to put a twist on your work. For instance, this mug reminds me a bit of your work. Notice the background pattern and placement of kitties?

Do not be afraid of adding text to your work to finish a story. Use photoshop or another photo editor. As an example look at this mug.

Note that many companies prefer a set of four or more images that go together so that they can make a line of products.

I can see several of your works on greeting cards. Look at any card in the “Far Side” or other comical cards to see how you can make yours funny enough to want to send to someone with just a new caption. :)

So for now why not test your sales on venues such as Greeting Card Universe?

Also consider selling on Zazzle.com. Especially their stamps, which supply me with about $75 in royalties a year.

I have used Cafepress.com in the past and cannot recommend them because their product quality is not consistent.
The same with Finerworks.com printing. The colors can be ghastly.

For prints try ImageKind, I have used them for prints for years as well as my poster displays for exhibits. They are wonderful to work with and reasonable. I believe they now have free galleries for artists too.

* But before you do ANY of this. WATERMARK your images. Every image on your web site should be clearly marked with your name and copyright. I have had my work sold on products without permission and had to fight to prove ownership.
Because of recent attempts to remove implied copyright protection under the “Orphan Works Bill” we have been seeing an increase of bold image theft for profit. So protect yourself! COPYRIGHT MARK IT! That way it is not possible for someone to claim that they could not find you. *

About an agent. First get some products designed and selling. Agents sometimes troll the sites I recommended seeking new talent. I was picked up through a web site, but I had been selling products for quite a while before I signed.

No matter what do not stop creating. Keep plodding forward and expanding your portfolio. You create fantastic characters!

PS: @gailcalled, methinks she is in England, thus the jewelry thing may be the norm. ;)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dog Holy shit. Fluther should post your answer as a testimonial to how helpful some jellies can be. Google Twitter and Facebook would be clamoring to join.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I like the look, nothing jumps out as old fashioned or overdone. The language in your bio though could be changed from hip/fresh to more professional. You’re over 21yrs old, you have a lot of media experience, you want clients and commissions so your bio link could benefit being more polished and professional. Keep the fresh/whimsy talk for some of the other links or descriptions for particular works.

gailcalled's avatar

PS. I will concede that “jewellry” is acceptable in the UK, but correct “buss” to “bus” and “ect”
to “etc.”

The drawings are still very funny and very appealing. Make sure the text is as flawless.

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