R Prices

please your clients. The changes are often unreasonable and are matters of opinion, but do not grumble, at least aloud. A chronic grumbler is an unpopular fellow, and soon the jobs go to the man who seems to be more cheerful, especially if his work is equally good. Again, enthusiasm and cheerfulness add their own qualities to your work. Robert Henri said, "Every stroke reflects the mood of the artist at the moment." lie is confident or hesitant, happy or somber, certain or peq>lexed. You cannot hide mood in a creative work.

On the subject of prices, it is better in your early years to get your work published and circulated than to quibble over price. The more you get published, the better known you become. The better known you are, the more work you get. The more work you get, the better will be your price. Eventually you find your price level, since you can keep raising your price as long as more people want your work than you can supply. If nobody will pay the price you are asking or if you cannot keep busy at your prices, you'd better come down. It's just plain business.

I admit you are apt to run into a buyer who will take advantage of your youth or your lack of work, but, if you are capable, his very use of your work may boost you clear out of his class. There is no way to place a value on a piece of your work. The chances are that you will get a fair deal from a reputable client. If you do not, it won't be long before you will discover it. You will soon find out if you are asking too much. Posters can go all the way up the ladder from fifty dollars to one thousand. Magazine illustrations range from ten or twenty to five hundred or more a picture. The purpose, the client, the artistic merit—all these influence the price.

Attend an art school if you can, but carefully consider the instructors. If you can get a man to teach you who is active in his field, well and good. Ask for the names of some of his former pupils. If the school can show a convincing list of professional men who were formerly his students, fine. If not, hunt up another school.

Let me make a suggestion or two about the preparation of an artists samples. There is slight possibility of being accepted as a professional artist without a well-executed group of samples. I have urged throughout this book that you retain the best of your practice work for samples. Do not limit yourself to my problems alone. If you want to do figure work, prepare your samples for that purpose. Do not submit nudes, however, since there is no possibility of their being used. The excellence of your figure drawing, however, should be present in your costume drawing. Submit one or two girl subjects, perhaps a man, or a man and a girl. A child subject is always of value. Keep your subjects on the happy side for advertising, and don't forget glamour appeal.

All of the foregoing also holds true for story illustration, although magazines are interested in characterization, action, and drama as well. If you want to do posters, your approach must be different, since here simplicity is of first importance. Do not mix up your presentation, by which I mean that you should not submit a drawing obviously designed for a poster or advertising illustration to a magazine editor of fiction. Try to fit your presentation to your client's needs. Don't submit a great raft of drawings. An art director can see from your first two or three samples what he can expect of you. He is a busy fellow. He will keep looking as long as your subjects, treatments, and mediums arc varied, if they are at all good. If he looks at twenty drawings, he is just being polite. Don't impose on the man.

A very good method of introducing yourself is to make up small packets of photographic copies of your samples. These may be mailed r YOURSELF

to many prospective clients, together with your address and telephone number. Interested people will get in touch with you. I followed this scheme when I set up my own studio after working for several years in various art organizations. I photographed proofs of the work I had done for or through the organizations. The result proved well worth the expense. Many new customers were brought to light.

It is advisable to start a library. There are many good books on art: anatomy, perspective, the work of the old masters, and modern art. Buy all you can afford. Read art magazines. Many valuable suggestions will come to you this way.

Although I have emphasized the figure, part of your time should be devoted to other subjects for drawing. Draw animals, still-life subjects, furniture, interiors, or whatever else is likely to be an accessory to the figure. Outdoor sketching and painting is wonderful for training your eye to color and value as well as form.

Painting will help your drawing, and vice versa. The two are so interrelated that they should not be thought of as distinct and separate. You can paint with a pencil and draw with a brush.

For color practice, use some of the color photography you find in the magazines to render in oil or water color. Pastel is a delightful medium for practice. There are many kinds of color crayons and pencils with which to experiment.

It is a constant challenge of the profession that you never know what you will be called upon to do next. It may be anything from a lemon pie to a Madonna. As long as it has light falling upon it, color, and form, it can be made interesting. I recall an advertising campaign some years ago for so prosaic a subject as enameled kitchenware. But what the artist made of it was exquisite. I recall the Henry Maust water colors that advertised hams and foodstuffs. They

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Pencil Drawing Beginners Guide

Easy Step-By-Step Lessons How Would You Like To Teach Yourself Some Of The Powerful Basic Techniques Of Pencil Drawing With Our Step-by-Step Tutorial. Learn the ABC of Pencil Drawing From the Experts.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment