How to Professionally Approach Art Buyers & Art Directors with Your Artwork | Kristina Hultkrantz | Skillshare

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How to Professionally Approach Art Buyers & Art Directors with Your Artwork

teacher avatar Kristina Hultkrantz, Illustrator & Surface Pattern Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (1h 9m)
    • 1. Welcome to the Class!

    • 2. What you need to get started

    • 3. Sell Sheets & Lookbooks Part 1

    • 4. Sell Sheets & Lookbooks Part 2

    • 5. Sell Sheets & Lookbooks Part 3

    • 6. Build an Organization System

    • 7. Research New Contacts

    • 8. Write Email Templates

    • 9. Follow up & What's Next

    • 10. Thanks for Watching!

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About This Class



This class is geared towards students who have been working on building their portfolios and now feel they are ready to take the first step towards reaching out to art buyers and art directors with their work. My hope is this course will give you the confidence to do so by sharing as much as I know about the different ways you can professionally start a career in art licensing. This course is geared towards the art licensing business but you can of course use this information to also share your work with companies looking for custom or commission based projects. I do both and actually work more with commissioned based projects.

DON'T MISS MY CLASS OUTLINE WORKSHEET! In addition to watching my videos you can download and print out a Class Outline Worksheet that corresponds with the class. This worksheet goes into even more detail and helps you stay organized with a master checklist and smaller easier to digest checklists at every step of the way. You can find this in the Class Resources in the Class Project Section.



In this class I will be sharing my process of getting ready to send my artwork to art buyers and art directors.

We will cover the following:

  • What your portfolio needs to be ready to start.
  • Websites & Social media
  • Sell Sheets, a general portfolio, & category/themed lookbooks.
  • Building a database or organization system to keep track of all of your artworks, contacts and future deals.
  • Tips on how to research contacts.
  • How to write an introductory email. What to include in the email as well.
  • and how to follow up.


Supplies you will need to create the class project of creating a category lookbook:

  • A portfolio of artwork. 
  • Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator. (Or other favorite design program such as InDesign).
  • Mockup templates and finished mockups with your artworks.
  • Royalty free fonts to use.

An alternative to creating a lookbook for the class project (as I don't cover this technical process in the class) is to share your process of using my Class Outline Worksheet Checklist. Read more in the Class Project section.

I am so excited to share my tips with you and to see what you all come up with in your class projects!

xoxo Kristina

MORE FREE RESOURCES FROM ME I'd like to invite you to join my mailing list with tons of free resources for inspiring and building your creative business. SIGN UP HERE

Follow me and share your work on Instagram @emmakisstina with the hashtag #emmakisstinaxskillshare

You can also find more free video content from me on my YouTube Channel.

Meet Your Teacher

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Kristina Hultkrantz

Illustrator & Surface Pattern Designer

Top Teacher

Hello Everyone!

I'm Kristina Hultkrantz an illustrator and surface pattern designer based in the super quaint small town Mariefred just outside of Stockholm, Sweden. You might also know me as EmmaKisstina on the internet. I've been working with illustration and design since 2007 and have worked full time as a freelance illustrator since 2010 and now a teacher since 2018.

If you'd like to learn more about me or see more of my work or just would like to say hi the best place to find me is in my private Resources for Creatives FB group, EmmaKisstina Insiders or on Instagram! You can also check out my YouTube Channel for free video content or visit my Portfolio Website if you really really want to know all about me :)See full profile

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1. Welcome to the Class!: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another skill share course from me, Christina Hulkions (phonetic). I'm an illustrator and surface pattern designer. I'd been working full-time with illustration and design for the past ten years. I have learned the hard way by trial and error, many things about the business side of illustration. In this class, as you can see from the title, I'm going to be sharing how I professionally approach buyers with my artwork. In other courses, I've been sharing the creative side of pattern sign in illustration for making a portfolio full of work. But once you have all this work, what are you supposed to deal with it? In this course, I'll be sharing my personal way of contacting fires and art directors with my portfolio. I will be going through how I create cell sheets and look books. I will even share my organization system for how I saved all of my new pattern designs, and illustrations, and all that contacts, and the potential deals that I get to that I know they can look back easily and find all of these different things. I will quickly go over how I research who to contact, the we'll be going over how to organize how you're going to be sending out to the different contacts that you have researched, and in what way, are going to be sending cell sheets only, or your general look book, or a categorized look book. That part we are going to go over too. Then I will help you figure out how to write a introduction email to present yourself in a professional way, and then the rest of the work is, of course, up to you to send these emails, follow up, which is the most important part. Then try to make a relationship with these clients who were potential clients or dream kinds. This class is geared towards students who had been working for months, years building up their portfolio with amazing work, but then maybe haven't really, or don't feel comfortable contacting buyers for their artwork, or don't really know how to go about it, or think that it happens in a certain way. You might have your own personal website and social media, but sometimes that doesn't cut it. You can't wait for clients to come to you, you actually have to go out and try to get work yourself. The majority of my work day goes towards a very, I would say, boring administrative things like keeping up with emails, and researching clients, and following up with potential clients and all that stuff. I'm really happy to finally share this part of the design and business side of illustration and pattern design with you guys. Let's get started. 2. What you need to get started: In this class I'm going to be teaching you my way of thinking or my technique for approaching buyers, creative directors, art directors, in a professional way with your work. I think it's easy for people who are just starting out in this career that you think that there's a certain way that things work and you don't want to mess it up or you don't want to embarrass yourself or anything like that. But I think the most important thing to know about any business, but especially a creative business is that every company is different, you're different, and nobody does it the same way. There's no set rules that you have to use. There of course is common decency and common sense, but I think you already have that. If you took the design class last week and you've created one pattern, maybe you're not quite ready to send off your illustration or a pattern design to companies. But if you've been working with pattern design for a while and you've created at least a couple of collections, I think it's a difficult thing to say how many you should have, but I think a good rule of some would be maybe 30-50 patterns or illustrations. These can be built in several ways. If you are very into pattern or fabric designing, your biggest dream is to come up with a fabric collection, may be you should do pretty hefty fabric collections. Maybe 10 designs and maybe do three of those or two of those at least, so that you have a substantial amount of work to show. If you had three collections with 10 designs each, you not only would show that you have three different ways of thinking, you still be your style and all that throughout the whole thing but you can show that you can really think of a collection in its entirety. You could also do mini collections of maybe five illustrations or in pattern designs, they could be mix-up. You could do like one placement print with one huge pattern design and then a couple of complimentary patterns or illustrations and stuff like that. Or you can go even lower and just do maybe collections of three with a main print and then two complimentary things, so you turn an illustration or a complimentary pattern, and then maybe do 10 of those. It's totally up to you. You can do a mix of it, you can do one huge pattern collection for fabric that you think would be good for fabric, say, and you can do mini-collections or we could call them micro-collections, which is three patterns. It's totally up to you and there's no rules there either. But I'd say, to have at least like 30, 40, 50 things to show off, I think you should have stuff to pick and choose from. Anyhow, that's up to you. I think another thing that's good to have before you start contacting companies so that you look legit and you know what you're doing and that you are serious, is to have a portfolio website. This doesn't have to be the most advanced website in the entire world. You need just a landing page at least, that tells who you are, what you do, has a few examples of your work. So the companies when they're researching you or they get your e-mail and they are very interested in the patterns that they saw or maybe they want to see more. Also, it's a good idea to have social media setup. Maybe Instagram is of course very important for the visual creative community. Not only are you contacting buyers but you're making yourself available so people know that they can contact you and find your work and fall in love with it and want to work with you. I think it's funny that people think that majority of my work or my workday is me sitting here drawing, but unfortunately I don't draw most days. The majority of my day is tracking down clients or e-mailing or organizing all of my new files or organizing my contacts or making sure that those are up-to-date, looking for new contacts. What else? Also creating these lookbooks and cell sheets. That's something that takes time as well. Over the top of designing new patterns and stuff like that as well. I think that's a good intro to the business side of illustration and design. I think we should get more into the practical side now. Let's start looking at how we should create cell sheets and what is that. In lookbooks and what are lookbooks and then all the rest of the stuff that we're going to talk about in this class. So let's get started. 3. Sell Sheets & Lookbooks Part 1: Besides a nice website and an Instagram or something like that, I think we should first talk about how to create cell sheets and lookbooks. I think it's a really good compliment to your website. Also if you will be physically showing your work as well sometime at a trade show or if you get a meeting with the company stuff like that. It's nice to have something to show, not just your computer and like randomly find your patterns. If you don't have an organization system, or just prints out of just a pattern may be, it would be nice to show him off in a professional nice way. The first thing I can talk about is a portfolio and you can create a physical portfolio. I've done that before when I went to star kicks and then I would make the same portfolio available digitally. You can have this on your website open for everyone to see if you want to, or you can have it under a password protected page on your website so that maybe not everybody can go in and see everything that you've created or I have it as a issue link that I can send to potential clients and stuff like that, which is also available through my website and in my collectives website. If you didn't know I'm in a collective cause Swedish Creatures and we're six women who are patterned designers and illustrators. We work together to contact buyers and we show our work together and stuff like that. That's another option that you can take if you want to collectively share the workload and send off your work and stuff like that to companies. That's something I do as well. Now, I not only do I contact by myself and I contact through my collective company, so is like I have two opportunities we can say to introduce myself to different companies. I think you understand what a look book is? But mainly it's a just a really professional way of showing off all the things that you've been working on. This is from last year 2017. Just mainly very simply show my patterns and then I show them on mark-ups. The mark-ups are a really great way of showing your work because the company, even though they're professionals and their work with design and creating products is still nice to visualize for real how your pattern would look on a product. You can sell it in a different way, maybe you had envisioned the pattern to be really huge and you show it under betting really large, but maybe they would have thought of it as small. You selling it in different way. You can show it in both ways. As a parent that is really small or really blown up. That's a way that you can link creatively show up your patterns. I will go through how to make mark-ups in this class because it's a class on its own. But there's plenty on skill share that will teach you how to make a mark-up. All my designs and then make sure to write the title of the design so that it's easy for me to remember. If clients are looking through the they can say which ones they like, etc. Then like I said it made this into a digital version as well. In the mail, I got this little lookbook, it is a traditional look book brochure from a Swedish Company called Svanefors. They do textiles and things like that. You have plenty of time and you like sewing and taking photographs. You can go all out with your lookbooks. You can go crazy, or you can keep it simple like I only show my digital files pretty much and a few mark-ups. I don't really take their time and guess to print out my patterns as fabrics and so things but I'm not all. But if you are, you can make a traditional lookbook with different styled images with your patterns either as wild pepper cushions and stuff. You can make it a real life project. Doesn't have to be mark-ups especially if you can't find mark-ups of your own, or you can find mark-ups that you like. You can make your own or you can actually make products and photographed. That's another option. 4. Sell Sheets & Lookbooks Part 2: Then what is a sell sheet? It's a good tool to have if you are say to trade show so you have a letter size or A4 size piece of paper that has your contact information, your logo, and the name of the work. You can either have one illustration or a pattern per page or you can have in a collection show. I can show you what that looks like. We're going to my computer at the same time as we're chattering. Let's see. On my screen I'm sharing with you my examples of sell sheets that I took to [inaudible] with my art collective in 2017. We had four each that we had available printed out physically so that companies could grab them and remember our work and collections. In some of them, as you can see here, I had a collection of two patterns in two color waves and I show them also as a mock-up for bedding. I think this gives you a good idea of what that could look like both mixed. Then I have my name, the title of the work peaches, and wild roses collection, and then my contact information. That's simply that all you need really for a sell sheet. You can build it in a different way. Here is another collection with four patterns. There's four, but two are in different color wave. That the mini garden print I have it in a dark and a light. That's another one. Here's another Christmas collection with three simple patterns. One main print, one secondary print, and then a very simple complimentary print, also with a mock-up of bedding and different ways to show this off in a nice manner. Then here's a more simple without mock-ups with two prints side by side. Also we had a binders full of sell sheets that had just one pattern per sheet. It's also nice to have in your archives on your computer so that you can pull sheets to send to companies. If you see a company is looking for Christmas or Halloween or some kind of very specific item or they're looking for a unicorn prints, you can go through your pattern library and pull out the sell sheet with all of your unicorn designs and then you can send these to the company. It's good that you have your contact information and what the print is called on the sheet so that if the company print it out or I don't know what their process is for selecting artworks, so if they fall in love with your item, they can easily contact you about it. That's simply what a sell sheet is. It's nothing too incredibly advanced, but they're good to have. When you have finished creating a pattern or illustration, it would be nice to just go ahead and right away, create a sell sheet for it and have that available for you to send off. Now, let's lookbooks again. I'll close this one. Here's my latest lookbook that I created for [inaudible] this year 2018, when I was represented by agent this year. She had come with some parameters that she wanted us to use. She asked us to make collections of five. For this lookbook, I had a square format, but of course this is totally up to you, doesn't matter, like my previous one was like a landscape and this one is square. This one I never had printed physically myself, but it was only available through the agent's website on a password protected site. My cover image, this is the part where you can do whatever you want. Design wise just make it you and try to show up your style. I say, keep it simple so that it's not too much text or too crazy with too many illustrations on all the pages. I think it's nice to keep it clean so that people can really see your work. I think it's also nice to have a short profile of you. If people are interested in the artist, it would be nice for them to learn a little bit more about you, don't write an insane essay, but something quick and sweet with more information about where they can find more information value such as Instagram or your website, et cetera. This is for a pattern lookbook that I showed examples of my illustrative work as well, just in case they're looking for that too. Realize my lookbook starts off with me showing off my little mini collections of five patterns. This is the Paris for a day collection. I show mock-ups, and then I show the patterns as just like digital files as well with their names easily written. Then that goes through the rest of the lookbook. I have mock-ups and then collections of the patterns. I can just go through really quick, show you what that looks like. [inaudible] this too close. These mock-ups were supplied by the agent that I worked with this year. I don't work with them anymore. It was just a test that gives you an idea of how I think when I'm creating a general lookbook, and this is with all of your pattern work, all of your illustrations. That's nice to have. It's nice to have sell sheets of all of your illustrations that you can pull if needed, if a company, that you get in contact with they like, I love your work, do you have any unicorns or lamas or cactus or geometric or florals. Then you can simply and quickly go through and find those. You can also, of course, wait until they ask for that and have a template of a sell sheet ready to go and throw in your little design and then send that off. That's also a way to save time if you don't think that every single one of your patterns needs to have a sell sheet right away. That is honestly what I've done now lately, because I don't want to waste time creating sell sheets for patterns that I might not be using or selling right away or selling individually. English is so hard. 5. Sell Sheets & Lookbooks Part 3: But then I have another idea that's great for when you're contacting specific companies, or like a category of company and you think it would be nice to have lookbooks for different occasions or different categories, is the simplest way to say. If you are really really interested in making a fabric collection, you should make a lookbook for fabric collection only that's very textile based as mockups of fabric rules and cushions and textile things. If you're really into greeting cards issue make a lookbook that only has carried templates, with lots of handwritten text and illustrations that would be perfect for, stuff like that. I think it's great to have those, and I think those because they are a little bit more specific and they don't have every single thing in every single art piece that you have in your portfolio. You can have them available on issue for anyone to see or your website open and then they're much easier to send to client because they are not so time-consuming to flip through, maybe your general lookbook is 50 pages longer, but you can keep your other category lookbook down to eight pages or ten pages or four pages. There's something really quick that they can go through. Flip through to see if they're interested, they can see that you are professionally, you took time to make all these mockups and make the nice layout of a lookbook and they can see you know what you're doing. Which is good, that they think that. A great way to get inspiration is to go onto issue and look at pattern lookbooks or fabric lookbook or illustration lookbook, and they'll pop up tons of examples, but I thought I'd look at art gallery fabrics I think they do a really nice professional lookbooks. This is one that I think that the company did themselves, by the way there's the designer themselves, often times creates the look book by themself. I think for the most part, most people I see they introduce the artist in some way with a nice introduction. This one even has a video which is very advanced. Then they introduced the collection in a beautiful way, maybe with inspiration pitches that the artist used to design around or just make a beautiful image, I think these are so beautiful. Then they tell the story of the collection If you wanted to do that. I think that's very darling, not necessary. Then show up the collection in a very straightforward way with just the digital files, to show off the actual collection of the different prints, like this one is one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. As I said, its good chunk with the title of the work it's pretty clear. Also show it in different colorways. Sounds into different colorways, but you can have two, three, four, maybe not too many, I think two or three are good. Then it goes into showing it off as quilts, in different items so that you can visualize. Then we jump into the next fabric collection and it continues like this, has the same format for all the collections, but you can see how different they are because they are different designers. But this would be the same if you showed off your different collections, you'd show them the in the same way. But then they would have different feelings, depending on different moods, depending on what the collection is up. Get caught up looking at collections like this all day, but don't get too caught up trying and not look at too much steps that you get influenced and do the same thing or to close, try to do your own thing, like you sure. Once you have all that going, then you can move on to the next step, which is employ buyers and art directors and creative directors, all that just and starting to contact them. 6. Build an Organization System: Okay, in this section, I want to share with you my personal way of organizing all of my pattern work, all my illustrations, all my contacts, deals, all that stuff. My favorite way is using the free online web platform Airtable, and I've been using it for the past few years and I am obsessed. I think it's a little bit easier and more simple to use. There's a couple of different features that are better or easy for me at least, than using Excel sheets. I think the platform looks better, and it's also easy to use and simple and you can categorize things and put things into groups and stuff like that. I don't see myself trying to figure that out in Excel or if you can even do that. Airtable, I love. I have two Airtables because previously I told you I have the art collective, so we have all of our contacts and stuff together and everybody can view and change and add stuff to the database. I have a Swedish creatures database, and I'm also building up my own database with all my own personal contacts. But just to show you my first Swedish creatures real quick. We have all of our contacts sorted here. I won't show you the contact information because this is something that's quite private. This something that we've really, really worked hard for, and to just share all the contacts that I have made with people and companies that have researched myself, or that have contacted me or contacted us and found us at Surtext is very valuable. I don't see any other designers wanting to share their contacts with you either. This is something that you have to do personally. Find yourself and build up you using years. So that's that. But you can see that we have Surtext, 72 Surtex contacts that we made there and we've researched a 154, et cetera. We have Swedish contacts as well. Of course, we haven't built this one up as much because we've been focusing on international market. We have agents and them our designs. We have all of them in here. We have our six designers here. I have the most at the moment but I think that's only because I just recently uploaded or I updated the database with all my newest designs for the year. Any other girl who haven't done that yet. So yeah, that's just a run through of Airtable, what we have in our collective. What's great with having collective is that we all take turns or we all have different jobs. Maybe it sounds pretty crazy to go research 200 plus clients and stuff like that. But when you're six people it doesn't become as much work. The way I've been doing for my own database is that I've been going through the contacts that we've made via Swedish creatures, and I have been picking and choosing the ones that I feel match the best with my company and my work or like my dream companies, or the company's that I just think like have the same vibe as me. Because all of the not necessarily every single contact that we were in contact group interested in me, maybe they were interested in one of the other girls works. I made this a little bit more for myself and I'm still working on it. That's why I felt slightly more comfortable showing you what's going on here. But just to what I have saved here. For my surface pattern design, contacts of different categories such as cards and stationery, scrap booking, children, fabric, Kitchen and homework, fashion, publisher books, wallpaper and an app. If we open up one, I make sure that you have the name of the company, the website to the company so if you forget, what the customer is, who this person is, then you can go in and have a look around their website and remember, oh yeah, they like this kind of style. A contact name is awesome to have so that you know who you are contacting. That's one way that you can seem a little bit more professional because you know who you're contacting. Then of course, the most important thing is their e-mail address. That's simply what I keep on hand. That's what I do. When I get more contacts. I put them in with their e-mail, their website, and then I decide what category they fit into by selecting the category. Then I have all my pattern designs. These ones I can show you. They have the name, I have an attachment with a tiny little thumbnail of the pattern of [inaudible] forget which ones which and then they have written in SKU is just pretty much for my own use if needed or for them, depends who they think is easier to have. A SKU number for identifying a work or a name is sufficient. Then I have the status. Whether it's available, has been sold, or is licensed at the moment. Then I have the deals that correspond and this is a different, or can we call this different section that I linked to the different things. This is something you'd have to learn yourself in Airtable how to figure this out. But you can link to different pages in your database and different cells as they're called or different pattern designs. You can link things together. You can link the contact that you have with a certain artwork. It's just an awesome way to keep everything organized, especially if your business starts, like taking off and you have lot of different licensing deals. You have to have some way of keeping it all organized so you know what's going on. At the moment, I don't have very many licensing deals. I'll show you what's going on here. I've sold two patterns recently and I have two licensing deals and I make sure to link the patterns and stuff that are being used or sold. Note the date when it was sold or when the licensing deals started. Then I have a note also here for the kind of like the gist of what the contract is so I can quickly go in and look at that before I have to go through all my files, and find that contract that I had for them. So I can remember, was it three years, 12 months? Exactly. Then the type, total buyout, category buyout, category license, flat fee license and all that stuff. Payments, nice to remember. I can see the sorts of pricing that I have been receiving from different companies. As you can see here, there's a huge difference between when I was paid for one and the other. That's unfortunately one part of this business that's annoying. It's hard to get fair pay always. For one, I'd received very, very generous fair pay, around 9000 [inaudible] $1000, and then for the other one, I only got about $300 or something. But I was using an agent. They took a percentage and then also, it wasn't a very good deal to begin with, but it was a design that I'd had for many years and I thought I was pretty Okay, which is letting go for $300. But for the most part, I like to have at least $500. I think that's a good safe number, but you can't always. We tried to push for it because if we price down, we're hurting everybody in the entire business of surface pattern design illustration. So yeah, this is just the overview of how this works and looks. It's really fun to play with and organize and figure out and categorize as you like and customize to your business and all that stuff. But think mainly having somewhere that you can have all your information so that you can quickly see what's available if somebody saw your online portfolio and they're like, oh, we love your artichokes print, is it available? You can have even more information link so that you, maybe you have so many designs that you can't remember every detail about it. Is it a design that you absolutely don't want to sell? Like for a total buyout and you only want to license. You can have a little check mark or a sectional category that says that these are only license designs and stuff like that. There's plenty of things that you can add to your database to keep things organized. I've also said some press information like ad agencies and magazine contexts and stuff like that, that's good to have on hand. I have illustration contacts for companies that I've been working on their licensing deals and maybe they've been commissioned and stuff like that. Good to remember. Just remember to update your database. You don't have to update it right away when you've created a pattern, but maybe like book. Update your database every so often every few months when you've been creating a new pattern collection or especially when you've created a general book for the season or the year. Make sure that all that new pattern work is updated in your database so that it's good to go when you start making all your business deals. One thing that was awesome about having this database when we were at Surtex together as a group. We weren't always all six of us in the booth, but we had enough information from all the other artists knowing like, which we had made categories of which artworks we absolutely didn't want to sell, and we could only license and all that stuff. We sounded very professional because we knew what we were talking about, even about other people in our group. I think that's something that was really handy and awesome. 7. Research New Contacts: Now you have a third organization system in place. Now we've got to start filling it with awesome contexts, and there are of course many ways to go about doing this. One way is to attend trade shows and you actually meet people and you get their business cards and you get the person who you need to contact their information directly and that's the best, most awesome way of getting a contact. We also have started like a relationship with them then. They see who you are, what person you are, they see your work in front of them, they see your reaction, you see their reactions and stuff like that. That is of course is the best way of gaining contacts that are super valuable and awesome. It is of course, a huge investment to go to these trade shows, they cost thousands of dollars or at least hundreds of dollars. You can also do research of different buyers, and art directors, and creative directors. I think for a smaller company, you can just contact the company in general as there's usually not very many people working there and they can easily send the email to which person is in charge. Another way that is more professional is to figure out who is the art director, the creative director something like that, and email them directly. To find that information out, you can look on the company's website that you are interested in working with, sometimes they even list the name of the person who is the creative director. Sometimes they even have submission guidelines and then you should definitely use those, which is very handy but not all companies have submission guidelines. You can do LinkedIn stalking. Go on LinkedIn, look for the company, search for creative director, art director, buyer or something, along the lines of that. On LinkedIn, you won't be getting an email to the company, but if somewhere on the website you see how their email is structured like I don't know how their structure is, but for the majority of many companies they have the person's name and last name for the period in between like, [email protected] So you can just test drive different combinations of email addresses until you find one that actually works. That's trial and error. There's no way of actually knowing 100 percent unless you can also call the company and ask for an email address. I am incredibly afraid of the telephone, so I do not do that. I would rather go through the process of testing out like 50 emails, than picking up the phone. But that's just me. Great ways of finding companies that you like to work with is just to go window shopping at your local stationery shops or other shops that you like and picking up products that you are drawn towards and figuring out what the company is and jotting down the company name that manufactured the print and try to contact them. Also, going on to different trade show websites is a great way of gaining contacts. Now, Soltex wouldn't be a good example because that's mainly like other designers trying to contact, trying to get representation, make deals. But other than design shows like the National Stationary Show, if you're interested in creating greeting cards, just go through that entire list and find all those companies and their contact information, and there you have a free whole database of companies that you can contact. Same goes with Quilt market. If you're interested in creating a fabric design, they have tons of different fabric companies that show their collections at that trade shows so just go through that website and research all those different companies that are showing their work there. Those are my tips for finding different people to contact and how to contact them and how to figure out what their email is. The best way still, just emailing a company, I think it's the least pressure on both parties. Most people are so busy and don't want telephone calls anymore. People want to, at their leisure, look at the email and respond when they want to respond, or not respond, which is the majority of the time. I get zero response, which is a bummer but there is the option of cold calling companies on the phone if you are gutsy like that. But I doubt that they would want to chat very long with you because you are an artist and you're trying to show your work over the phone, you can't really show but it shows your initiatives and you would get the correct email address directly. You can also, of course, send things by post. But in my honest opinion, I feel like that is a complete waste of money and a waste of materials that are just going to be ending up in the trash and I think you should save paper and save the planet, just email. Then of course, once you have all of your contacts that you have researched, put them into your database, put them in different categories as well, so you know how many of each you have. I'm not sure what is your biggest interests, but if it's greeting cards and you have 50 companies with greeting cards, that's a great section to start off with. Maybe just focus on that for a little while. Creating a beautiful look book and send it off to just the greeting card companies. Then you can start on the next category or favorite thing. Then you can move on to the next category like fabric, and you maybe you have researched 10 fabric companies. Then big look book for a potential fabric collections and then send that off to those companies. Then maybe also you've randomly found other companies and you can send up a few sell sheets of designs that you think they would like or maybe they asked or a called for submissions for a certain print to a season like Christmas or Halloween or something like that. Then you're going to have somewhere to start off with. You can do things in bulk or in batches so that you're not collecting a contact name and then sending off to them, and then finding another one. You can batch all this together, don't of course send a group email to all of your these new contacts. I mean, just so that you have like a category to work from for a little bit. Then the next week you can work on another category. You just keep it organized so you don't become overwhelmed and you can easily remember how long before you need to follow up and all that stuff. That's a great start to collecting tons of new contacts. You can do this periodically in batches, like have every few months go on a research binge and try to find as many new contacts as you can because there's constantly new companies popping up and companies that you hadn't thought of before that you would be interested in working with now. As your design style develops, and you might be thinking that it'd work for companies that you didn't think that your work would fit with previously. There's always tons and tons of more contacts that can be made and deals that can be made and stuff like that. That's pretty exciting. That's it for this section. 8. Write Email Templates: Let's create a standard email template that we can use to customize letter and send to different companies. This is what I would do, I'm not saying this is the right way. I have no idea if it works or not but this is what I like to do. I tried to come up as professional by being simple also by not writing too much and then just get to the point really. Without being pushy or salesy it's a fine part to emailing. If I was going to be sending a first introductory email I have to make sure that I'm sending from not my personal email but I have Emma Kristina email or the Swedish creatures of them I'm sending on behalf of my I collected. The subject this is hard I feel because I don't like new work from Kristina Hultkrantz but with may fabric collection the cockatoos, peaches and pears a new fabric collection. Then you'd say hello and then hopefully you have a contact name so you put their name here like hello contact name, I think it's nice to have some introduction because maybe they have no idea who you are, you want to be personable so they know that you're not like a computer. Just a quick bio like I'm Kristina Hultkrantz a full time Illustrator and surface pattern designer from Sweden. I think it's nice to be a little bit in love with their company but not go overboard. In this scenario I'm going to pretend that I'm going to be sending out two different fabric with this new fabric collection that I've created. This is so personal so weird I feel so awkward sharing what I would say. There's different ways that I would say depending on the time or how I'm feeling and stuff like that. Also, sorry about the lighting, the sun and clouds I can't control them. I'll say then I've been working with sign, illustration and design for the past 10 years but just recently have become totally obsessed. Now, just recently been putting most focus on pattern making. I'II be silly and say, I think I'm addicted to making patterns. Though I will give a little complement, I admire your company and I feel my work would make a great addition and something like that. Keep it simple, don't be too cheesy, do hokey too silly. Don't give too much information, you don't need to write an entire essay about you and your design process and all that stuff. Then moving on you should mention what you're supplying for them. Find attached a lookbook of my latest collection, cockatoos, peaches and pears you can talk about what the collection is about you can do a little blurb about that. It's a collection inspired by bla, bla, bla but just short sentence but that if you are interested in viewing my entire portfolio please do get in touch or let me know, something like that. Please do get in touch and if I can send you a link to my entire licensing portfolio, feel free to also learn more about me and my work on my website or on Instagram @emmakisstina. You can make your website a link so it's even easier for them, you can also at this point ask, you can either wait until you get a response which might or might not happen or you can ask nicely, I would love to add you to my monthly newsletter. To easily keep you up to date with my latest work. May I add u to my list? There we go. I look forward to a future collaboration, have a great week. That's it, that's honestly all you have to do or a variation of this, keep it short, don't be too cheesy, be a little bit cheesy if that's your thing I don't know. You just have to make the step of actually writing your first email and sending it and see what responses you get if you don't get responses to that sort of email, try a different approach, but I think as long as you're not writing too much stuff, make it clear why you're sending to them, your thoughts and make it clear that you also know what they do, like don't send if it's super girly with tons of flowered type of company that just uses tons of pink. Can you send your grungiest, darkest, the moodiest work there. Most likely they're not going to be interested in that, if you're sending a fabric collection to a greeting card company they're going to be like why are you wasting my time. Showing that you've made an effort both by not only creating a pattern design collection but making it into a lookbook that is really professional-looking and looks beautiful and all that stuff it's amazing first step towards getting an actual answer, which is cool and that's what we're going for here. Yes, then you'd have to remember to attach your lookbook the one that is corresponding or if you're doing cell sheets, say wires, sending certain cell sheets. They're like, " Oh I saw on your website that you're looking for a stories guy designs and here are my submissions." Anything like that. Yeah, this is a great start. Then when you follow up it's even easier. Just say, "Hello again, it's Christine here again, I wondered if you had to time to check out my lookbook or if you'd like to see anything else and I'd be happy to send you wherever you're looking for." Something like that just don't bother them constantly, they're people and they have tons and tons of emails that they receive most likely. This is a great start. 9. Follow up & What's Next: Now you've done all the hard work. I have to do the actual maybe the hardest part and that's clicking send. From what I've heard when I talked to lots of other friends or colleagues and people who are also learning to be pattern designers and illustrators, they don't know if it's the right time to contact someone, they don't want to be bothered. What happens is that if you create all this work and you don't actually take the time to send it to companies and people to view it, what's the point? Then you could just keep this as a hobby. But if you want to make this your job, you're going to have to do scary stuff like sending emails. For the most part, these creative directors and art directors, they are constantly looking for the next beautiful pattern. They want to receive emails. Of course they don't want to receive an email every single day from the same person really, "Have you looked at my stuff here?" But if you're sending them an email once a month, nobody is going to be annoyed by that. I'd say don't keep the fear of annoying someone from contacting them. I think that's silly. I of course feel hesitant as well. I don't want to be a bother but I know that if I send out these batch e-mail to different companies with my new look books for the season a couple of times a year, they're not going to be annoyed by me. They might be too little. They might wish that I was sending more, you never know. What time should you be sending? I don't think there is a perfect time. For some companies, maybe they have a certain season that they're working on, but it's hard to know because every company is different. Some people, if they're working on Christmas designs, they work on that in the summer before or it's a year and a half before the designs actually come out. It's hard to know what every company's schedule it is. I think there are these huge trade shows, maybe you could contact buyers and things around those times too, because that's when they're definitely out looking for new work and you want to be ahead of the game. Before they see all the amazing works at these trade shows, maybe you want to be one of the designers they think about before. Like a month or two before these big, huge trade shows, maybe you sent out look books and your information introductions then. That's another thing that you can think about. Then the fear of rejection, I would say, there's never been a case where I've sent an email and I received an email back saying that they absolutely hate my work, is more like you either get a happy email, which is that one in a million, or you get no response whatsoever. No response doesn't have to mean that the hate your work, it could just mean it's not ready for it right now, they enjoyed it. Maybe they started following you on Instagram or something and you don't even know. They can be watching you, then they'll contact you when they have a project that will fit your work perfectly. I want to keep that also as a clue to be like "Oh, I shouldn't contact them again because they didn't answer me." Because seriously, 90 percent of the time, I get zero feedback. There are a few companies that are really amazing. They will message back and say "Oh, I love your work, I love to see more and we don't have any openings right now, " or something like that, "but we'll still love to see your work in the future." That is of course amazing and that's the kind of email you want back for response. The email of course, that you would like is that they are interested in in your work and would like to purchase for license. That's of course the email that you're really looking for. Once you've sent out introductory emails, I think it's a good rule of thumb maybe to follow up after two weeks just to keep it really fresh and then after that I don't know if you should do a third follow-up or if that's crazy, maybe after another two weeks, otherwise, let it go and then do another bulk. Send out every quarter, every season, or whenever you come up with a new collection that you think would be appropriate for the company. Start that process again by sending an introduction and then a follow-up a few weeks later. You should also maybe think about setting up a monthly newsletter that you can send out to these potential clients. You of course have to receive their approval to add them to your list. Nowadays, you don't want to be spammy. Make sure you get approval. This is something that we did when we were at, me and my art collective data team made sure we asked them if we could add them to our monthly newsletter. Most people say yes because it's very easy. We make sure that that's also something that's very simple. Its just comes up a few lines about what's happening, what we're working on, if we've had any collaborations or anything like that and then a couple of new examples of work every month. That's something very easy and doable to send out as well. You don't always have to do these personal emails that are directed to a specific company. You can have a general email sent out to all the companies that you are interested in working with, that you've received their contact information from. Like I said before, do this a couple times a year, do this once a month. It depends on the feedback that you get, how much time you have, and how much effort you want to put into it. But I think this is the part that's maybe more important than the designing part. Like you can make a beautiful collection, but if you don't make it available in a professional way that you can share with the buying world then what's the point in the end? Then of course there's the question of sharing on social media at the same time. From my understanding, as long as you are still pretty small designer, not so well known, most companies are not going to be bothered by you sharing your work on social media. If you become a large star, you most likely don't need to share everything. You can keep things under wraps because the company that purchases your work maybe wants it to be a little bit more exclusive, but for most of us, it's no problem. You can of course delete posts afterwards if they've been sold and the company doesn't want you to promote that at all. It depends on the contract and stuff like that. That's something you have to discuss. I want to give you one last solid tip of what I have in place when I'm emailing contacts. I have set up tracking on my emails so that I can see if the recipient has opened my email and how many times they've opened it, this is very handy. I use a plug-in for Google called Streak. That's the only one I've used, but I am very happy with it and they have tons of different features that I have no idea how you use them, but the feature that I use is the view count. You can see whether or not your email has even been opened or not, or if it has been opened it has been opened up 10 times or two times or 20 times. That's a good indicator or else it gives you nestle boost in your ego, if you don't maybe not get a response, but you at least know that they opened it so many times they were interested. Maybe they're saving it for later or showed somebody else. That's also a good indicator if you should be following up. Definitely don't say, "Oh, I saw that you opened my email 50 times, " really prompt them, "I hope that you are interested in what you saw. Can I show anything else?" Et cetera. If they didn't open it on, that's also a good indicator you should follow up a little bit quicker because maybe their email is just bombarded with tons of stuff and they constantly, they need a new email and maybe that email will come in right when they're checking, I think this is a pinch of luck sometimes. That's it. Happy emailing. Press that send button. It's not that big of a deal. The worst that can happen is that you get no response. I swear I don't think people would waste their time to write a nasty email to tell you that you're the worst designer and should give it up. That's not going to happen. 10. Thanks for Watching!: Okay, that's it. That's the end of the course. I hope that all of this information that I have shared with you will help you in some way to gain clients, gains jobs, deals, lots of licensing deals on amazing products or selling your designs and illustrations to amazing companies that will appreciate them hopefully. I hope that you will also feel more comfortable and confident when contacting buyers. That you feel that you're doing your best to be professional. You may not feel like you know what you're doing. But at least came across as knowing what you're doing. You can fake it until you make it. That's what I've been doing for the past ten years. Yeah, for the class project, I think it would be fun if you shared one of your look books that you created to send off to potential clients. It doesn't have to be your general look book. Because you might not want to share every single design you've ever created. But if you created maybe a categorized look book. It would be really fun to see. Whether it is for fabric collection, or a greeting card look book, or wallpaper, or like a floral look book, or the skies the limit. So please share those in the project gallery with me and I would be so excited to see that. Okay. Until then, you can follow me on Instagram at Emmakisstina. I also have a YouTube channel with free content about Illustration and Design. Also you can search under Emmakisstina. I'll have links in the class description. That's it. Good luck with your Illustration Design Businesses. Bye.