Workbook Blog: An Interview with Artist Representative David Goldman (3)
novels, comic strips, fine art collections, and....
the list goes on.
Focus, create goals, live your creative bliss and shoot for the stars. There is no "the worst thing that happens!' Attract the creative market to your dream by building it and serving it up on a tray, or let your rep serve it up and shop your ideas for you. For every concern we all have daily, there's a direction around it. Find it, find them!
When you write your memoir someday, "David Goldman, A Rep's Tale," what will be the greatest story about your career you want to leave behind to inspire future generations of reps or illustrators?
I will try to keep this story abridged for the sake of not putting the readers to sleep, but the unabridged story will someday be in that book, that book I will be writing within the next five years. A friend of James Yang's needed my help in a "one off" negotiation and bidding a massive project for a major credit card company. The AD was named Renee, and she told me they were considering several artists worldwide and that my talent had made the final cut. It was down to another artist and him. Renee told me the branding firm really wanted to go with my talent and recommended him to the client. But, the client made their own internal evaluation, and Renee called m me back telling me how sorry she was to have to tell me they selected the other artist. Of course, I was not happy hearing their decision and and dreaded telling the artist. What I haven't yet told you was the scope of the project, which was proposed to be about four years of constant work, with every image being bought on a three year buyout basis, exclusively in perpetuity, totaling over 100 images. The art would never be seen by the public and was intended for biz-to-biz only in the company's intranet worldwide. So, as I sat there thinking about the pass on my talent, I figured I had nothing to lose, and I came up with an idea which I cleared with the artist and presented to Renee. I told her because her firm wanted my >
What are your biggest concerns daily, think of "A Day in The Life of David Goldman Agency"?
My biggest daily concern of course is making sure every ongoing project is running smoothly and clients are feeling great about their choice to hire one of my artists. My next big concern is making sure the artists are always relevant in the marketplace and eliciting calls for commissions.
I obsess over the question, "What more can I be doing to amplify each artist's exposure"? How do I get the word out without pissing off creatives sick of endless e-blasts and in a way that's entertaining? And lastly, the endless concern about guiding someone properly in developing new skills, developing new types of
self initiated projects to move in different directions, and making sure the artist finds ways to deal with all the endless challenges to survive as a freelance illustrator from year-to -year in a quickly changing freelance landscape.
What changes are of concern to you about the state of illustration in our industry, and how can reps and artists adapt in light of them?
This is a great question, and my concerns and reporting about the state of the industry may be a bit depressing. But there are always ways to jujitsu these developments and find the silver lining, but you have to be proactive, insightful and work really hard.
As the world has flattened out considerably since the internet was born, some companies are going over seas to hire illustrators (on a work for hire basis) for a fraction of what were once considered normal fees to supply artwork. I can only shake my head in frustration over this. The last decade saw an increase of major ad agencies hiring in-house illustrators able to ape numerous styles. This has been the case with infographics talent for years. Magazines have cut out sections, cut down on the amount of art they buy and many are moving online only or cutting the number of times they publish
annually. And even though their potential reach
online is way more than in print, for some reason, illustration pricing has either decreased or remained the same. I'm very concerned about artists and/or reps who are clueless when it comes to bidding on projects and have no idea how much to charge for projects, or what terms to protect their talents rights. I'm concerned agencies don't know how to pitch the importance of illustration, the uniqueness it brings to brand and the understanding of how much people love animation, which is very entertaining and succeeds in keeping viewers engaged. Did you know that magazines and newspapers rarely, if ever, have done any focus groups to find out what there readers prefer: copy alone, copy and photo, or copy and illustration? Multi-millions are spent by advertisers, but publishers and editors are clueless about what their readers actually prefer to see for editorial content when it comes to art.
Some creatives are forced to shop for stock art and haven't assigned original art in years. They complain to me about it all the time. So what's the answer? What do you as an artist or a rep do in response to all changes? Change your style? Ramp up your social media posts? Start a blog? Create your first graphic novel and a slew of characters? Sell your art at Saatchi Art? Create a product line at Society 6? Get a new rep? Get your first rep? Leave your current rep because you think the grass is greener elsewhere? (This rarely ever works, by the way.) Start mailing postcards again? Mingle at industry events? Think about adding another revenue stream: fine art galleries, increasing your stock library, teach, lecture, become an art teacher locally? The answer is yes to all of the above and are possible solutions to dividing your career into different pie slices of revenue streams, which in the end will allow you to continue making your living as you intended in
a world where this is becoming more difficult. The great originators of content in any area of the arts are most valued. Beyond being an illustrator, you have the ability to conceive and conceptualize: books, TV show ideas, movie and animation ideas, card lines, fashion lines, graphic