How to Make an Impact With Your Art
Art by Tanner Garlick
Our newest episode just dropped, please click here if you want to listen to it or read the show notes.
"How to do illustration, how to make a living at it, and how to make an impact in the world with your art." If you listen to our podcast frequently that probably sounds very familiar to you. We have focused a lot on the first two points in most of our episodes but today we want to talk more about the third part of our podcast introduction that we don’t talk about as much, which is: How to make an impact in the world with your art. We go over ways in which we have seen our art impact the world and individuals, how it's impacted us, how you can make an impact with your art, and something you shouldn't do if you really want to make an impact. We also will go over some super practical tips for getting started!
hoppershaun last edited by
@Jake-Parker Can’t wait to give it a listen, only found the podcast about a month ago and have spent a lot of time listening to them whilst being at work, makes the day that bit more bearable!
I can see the impact of my art within my house. I once came home to a note from my oldest daughter that said "When you draw you inspire me to draw my own masterpieces to." Needless to say that gave me the feels.
I do have a question from @Jake-Parker's call to action: What should I take away from doing a comic convention and having four sales during the entire weekend? This happened to me last year, and while I felt accomplished in actually signing up, tabling, making a book and having prints, it was a major failure and loss. It was hard to even get a response to my art since so many people just walked on by, OR when they did stop they said it was neat and nice but they didn't buy anything.
Joen Söderholm last edited by
Nice episode as always. I feel like I had the most impact with my art when I had the opportunity to illustrate a children's book about parents with stress burnout/chronic fatigue. Even though I didn't write it, it feels great whenever I hear someone say it has helped their family in some way.
But there are also the smaller things. Like when I worked at a preschool and some kids would just be overwhelmed with happiness whenever you drew something for them (even though I was pretty bad at drawing back then).
Great episode, yet again! Love listening to your podcasts when I cycle to and from work Thanks for making them guys. Super helpful content.
I'm a total beginner so I haven't had any professional work yet. I guess I'm in that Phase 1 Jake talked about where I'm working on learning/improving fundamentals.
But whenever a colleague/friend of mine in work has a tough day, I try to draw something small and fun to cheer them up. Like the other day, my friend and colleague was super stressed, she loves dogs, so I drew her a little dog doodle. She really appreciated it and said it made her feel like I was thinking of her and supporting her in that moment. We're both criminal defence lawyers so I think it helped lighten up the mood a bit
reddprime last edited by
Great episode. Love these, just want more and more from you three.
Just a note, I often hear an echo from Jake and Will's mics, is this me, or does anyone else have this? I often find it distracting, but thankfully does not distract too much from the overall messages.
My goal with all my art is that if it makes at least one person smile, and have a better day, then it has accomplished more than I could hope for.
I was waiting for a feel good episode from you guys. All your episodes are awesome and funny, but give us the moments! Those were great. Sometimes the why we make art gets lost in the business side. The process is fun, but it’s the moments that seem to elevate what we do to a higher, more fulfilling level. And every so often I get a glimpse that I have been part of a divine plan to make an image that sends a message of love from someone great than I am.
But like you guys said, in not these exact words, you can’t change anything if you aren’t creating! So get to work!
ArtofAleksey last edited by
This episode is great and made me think a lot about who I’m making art for. A big part of it is for myself I think. The Lemony Snicket “A series of unfortunate events” books resonated with me so well cause I didn’t have the easiest childhood and I think those are the people I wanna make stories for.
JerrySketchyArt last edited by JerrySketchyArt
@SketchyArtish @reddprime that echo is because will and jake are in different parts of the same room. They have addressed this topic in the past. The audio is very much improved.
@burvantill is correct. It is from being in the same room and it's almost impossible to eliminate. We think we have it figured out, but we are still working on it. Thanks for your patience with it. The tech side of this stuff is so tough to figure out.
@Lee-White I guess you're just going to have to make Will and Jake share a headset.
@SketchyArtish that's a good idea! Jake is moving so it's gonna be taken care of anyway. But maybe we can try that way. Not sure how well it would work with a conversation that is bouncing between us.
@Lee-White It works perfectly well when everyone is talking. The only difference is it's muted when you're not talking. Eliminates a lot of background noise and accidental interruptions like phones going off. The only negative effect might be @Will-Terry having a sore finger from holding down the button on a long story.
(P.S. Love the long stories Will; never change. Your YouTube brought me here.)
Julia last edited by Julia
First, I want to say that I love the way the podcast is done : on the top of having an insight on the illustration industry, it is very refreshing and inclusive : one feels among friends! Thank you for making the podcast.
That said, I was surprised by the below comment in the last podcast :
"Will’s author friend, the late Rick Walton, said something along the lines of: “If you set out to teach a moral in your story, you’ll almost always fail. You should set out to tell a really fun or interesting story, and if it teaches a moral then thats a benefit and you can use that moral to market it, but if you set out to teach a moral, almost always your story structure will fail.”"
I have no experience in writing or illustrating children books but when this sentence was quoted, I immediately thought of Jean de Lafontaine. As an instructor, his duty was to teach moral to his pupil... and he did it by writing the foundation of children books! Les fables de Lafontaine (the stories from Lafontaine), although 200 year old, are still taught today to small children. Gustave Doré also shaped the illustration world by drawing the stories (they inspired Walt Disney later).
More recently, one of the most successful best seller in the world, le petit prince "the little prince" by Saint Exupery is also a story built around a moral ("see with your heart").
Hence I think there is no rule here : it all depends how inspired and talented the author is
andersoncarman last edited by
This sounds very similar to my first con experience. I made a book and had prints. I printed 500, yes..... 5 stinking hundred copies of my book. and I sold maybe five of them. The table was $300 and that coupled with all my other upfront costs I was an easy $K in the toilet. But that was just the first of many a con I have attended since. I would have loved for someone to tell me to not buy 500 copies of my book but also the lesson is much stronger in my head since I learned it. Like being told fire is hot versus sticking your hand in. (but seriously don't stick your hand in the fire and order 500 copies of anything without a demand!)
One thing is to try to focus on a connection with people over your art. for example I now have a comic called Fear Hunters and when someone starts to pause at my table I ask them "What is your greatest phobia?" and then we get talking and I have a chance to connect then I pitch them my book and often they like the idea and buy it. Focus on connection more than a sale, obviously, you are there to make a sale, but they know that. just be nice.
It also helps a ton to have free stuff at your table, business cards or simple small prints.
I hope that helps, I'd love to hear more about your experience.
@andersoncarman I had prints (2 sizes) and books (only 100 printed). I think I need more than a “portfolio” book and something with a story. I have plenty of ideas. Just need to execute.
andersoncarman last edited by
@jaepereira I have 8 different Mini-Comics and 7 different sketchbooks that I print on a 15-20 count basis and if they move fast then I make more, if they move slowly then I just don't make more when I run out. I never make them again, but that's okay because I make a new book to replace them.
That's not to brag, it's just to say that the more options you have for at your table for a reader the more chances of you having "That Thing" they are looking for.
Yea, having the ideas and needing to execute is tough. but I believe in you! keep it up and slowly chip away at your stories!