Roadmap to Getting Your Illustrations on Products | Anne Bollman | Skillshare

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Roadmap to Getting Your Illustrations on Products

teacher avatar Anne Bollman, Anne Was Here

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

11 Lessons (1h 7m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Prep

    • 3. Step 1: Identify Top 3 Target Markets

    • 4. Step 2: Conduct Market Research

    • 5. Step 3: Portfolio Review

    • 6. Step 4: Scheduling

    • 7. Step 5: Online Presence

    • 8. Step 6: Portfolio Development

    • 9. Step 7: Email Pitch

    • 10. Step 8, 9 & 10

    • 11. Project & Closing

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About This Class

This class is for illustrators who have the talent but lack the know-how to get their illustrations on products. Within 2 years of quitting her in-house design job, teacher Anne Bollman was able to create a six-figure self-employed salary as an illustrator using this method. She will take you step by step through her marketing and portfolio development strategy so that you have the tools you need to get your art on products. Students of the class will be able to download an illustrated roadmap to fill out as well as a workbook so that they can easily follow along and establish their own plan for success. 



Class Prep

  • Defining Your Goal
  • Artist Marketing Overview

Step 1: Identify Top 3 Target Markets

  • Markets Overview

Step 2: Conduct Market Research

  • How to Find Manufacturers
  • How to Determine if They are a Fit
  • How to Determine if They Work with Artists
  • How to Find Contact Info

Step 3: Portfolio Review

  • Selecting Existing Pieces for Submission
  • Determining How Many New Pieces You Need

Step 4: Scheduling

  • Determine Time Needed for Developing Online Presence
  • Determine Time Needed for Portfolio Development
  • Calendar Blocking and Establishing Submission Due Dates

Step 5: Online Presence

  • Website Development
  • Online Portfolio Development
  • Instagram Account Development¬†

Step 6: Portfolio Development

  • Market Research Based Concepting
  • Submission Presentation Formatting

Step 7: Email Pitch

  • How to Write a Brief Yet Effective Submission Email

Step 8, 9, 10

  • 8: Adjusting Your Schedule
  • 9:¬†Repeating Steps 6 & 7 for Remaining Markets
  • 10: Email Responses to Expect and Follow Up

Meet Your Teacher

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Anne Bollman

Anne Was Here

Top Teacher

Anne Bollman is the author and illustrator behind Anne Was Here, a studio which provides art and illustration for products and publications, designed with humor and style, that is meant to make you smile. Anne's artwork can be found online and in stores internationally on a wide range of products including children's books, stationery, fabric, gifts, apparel, home decor and more. Her debut children's book, Help Find Frank, was released by Sterling Publishing in May of 2018 and won the Excellence in a Picture Book Award from the Children's Literature Council of Southern California.

Anne is passionate about busting the myth that an artist has to be starving, and through teaching on Skillshare she hopes to bring success to other artists. After quitting her in-house de... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Anne, and I am an illustrator. People have a hard time believing that I get to draw cute stuff for a living and that I actually make good money doing it. The number one question I get from other artists is some form of, "Please tell me how I can do what you do." The thing is they are talented and they know it, but they have no idea how to get licensing deals or freelance work illustrating for products. In this class, I am going to show you my own personal road-map that I used when I started out to put together a marketing plan. Including, how to identify your target markets, establish an online presence, find potential clients, and how to schedule portfolio development and submissions. By the end, you will be able to fill out your own road map to achieve your goals as an illustrator. If this class sounds like a good fit for you, I hope you will join me. 2. Class Prep: Before we begin, I've got a few things I want to go over with you. The first thing is about the importance of defining your goal. If you're taking this class, it's likely that your goal is something similar to, I want to get my illustrations on products. However, there may be slight nuances between yours and someone else's goal. Maybe your goal is to earn a living illustrating for products. Regardless of whether I've already stated your goal or yours is slightly different, it's really important that you write it down and define it clearly. If you haven't already, please take a moment to download the illustrated road map I've provided from the projects and resources tab on the class page. At the very top, there's a spot for you to fill out your goal. Go ahead and do that now. Now, let's take a moment to go over some artist marketing basics. While this list doesn't include every single type of marketing that an artist can do, it's a good overview of what is easily available to you and why I think they're helpful. I've arranged them into three categories. The categories are my opinion on marketing must haves, marketing good to haves, and also some optional paid opportunities. Let's start with the must haves. It's my opinion that as a commercial artist, these are things that you need to have in order to achieve success. If you don't have them, they should be your top priority. You must have a website that is updated with current work, at least every 2-3 years. You must have an online portfolio which can be a part of your website that is updated every 1-2 months. You must have an art-focused Instagram account. You must have a submission plan. I'll go into more detail on each of these later. Next are the marketing options that are good to have. This means that if you are not overwhelmed with doing the must haves or if you already have all of the must haves, these are great things for you to add to your marketing strategy. The first is having a presence on additional portfolio sites. In addition to your personal portfolio, having some of your work posted on searchable sites like Behance will increase your chances of being found by art directors. It's also good to have presence on online selling platforms like Etsy or Society6. Creative magazines and blogs are always on the search for good content and it's not difficult to get features and interviews in these whether in printed form or online. Here, I'm showing uppercase magazine, which is actually a printed publication, but it also shows online. When I was filming this, it just so happens that my good friend Jeanetta is featured in the magazine. The last good to have is a regularly sent out email newsletter. Admittedly, this is something that I need to work on myself, but I know it's one of the top marketing tools for many artists. Here's an example. This is my friend Victoria Johnson's email newsletter and she has focuses on art directors and also art students because she teaches online courses. Finally, we have our optional paid opportunities. You can create an artistic art to be placed in an art and licensing magazine or directory such as Total Art Licensing. These are printed magazines that are also available online. They often give them out at trade shows like Surtex and Licensing Expo. As you can see here, you can buy advertising space within where you can feature some of your work. You can also be listed in an online artist or designer directory, such as Print & Pattern's You can exhibit in an art licensing or selling trade show such as Surtex, BluePrint, Licensing Expo or Print Source. Here is my Surtex booth and a very pregnant me back in 2016. One other thing you can do is send samples of your portfolio to art directors via snail mail. Each of these marketing opportunities could be a class within itself. Because there is so much to cover and I don't want to overwhelm you, in this class, I'm going to be focusing on the four must haves. But before we dive into these marketing tactics, we first need to identify your target markets. In the next video, that's what we'll do. 3. Step 1: Identify Top 3 Target Markets: Let's go over some of the main markets for art and illustration. I'll show you some examples of my work in each. Now you will find that many of these markets crossover and some companies have products in several of them, while others will focus specifically on one product. That's okay. I just want you to have a general idea of the different types of products you can get your art onto. The first is editorial, which includes any illustration for articles either printed or online, in magazines, newspapers and blogs. Next, we have children's books, which is a class within itself. If you are interested in this market, I recommend you take one of the classes skill share has to offer specifically on it. The submissions process for this market has its own set of guidelines that we won't cover here. There's baby products and apparel, general apparel, accessories, greeting cards, party paper, which includes paper products generally used for birthdays and parties, like gift bags, wrap, paper plates, cups, napkins, etc. You'll see lots of prints and patterns in this market. Stationary, which usually includes journals, calendars, notebooks, note pads, and more. Papers storage is storage products like boxes decorated by being covered in a printed paper. Fabric this is different than a parallel design. This is fabric that you can purchase from fabric stores for your own projects. Notice that this market is very pattern heavy. Wall art these are not original pieces of art, but art prints and printed canvases that are typically sold in large quantities. Wall art uses prints and not usually patterns. Home decor is quite a broad category and it covers anything decorative you would purchase for your home, such as pillows, clocks, bases, etc. Table top is usually ceramic or melamine products for the table such as mugs, cups, plates, bowls, jars, and centerpieces. Finally, the pet market is another broad category and includes anything for your pet from woob bags. Yes, I've designed quite a few of those, to dog pets treat jars and bowls. So now that you have a quick overview of some of the main markets for your art, it's time to identify your top three. You should pick three that make you excited to design for, and that are a strong fit for your style. For example, my style is very whimsical and isn't a great fit for home decor. I wouldn't pick that as my top three to start. I do have lots of whimsical prints, so children's wall art and greeting cards would be a great fit for me. Let's say I choose these as my top three. Wall art, greeting cards and tabletop. I would write them down in order of importance. So in this case, wall art would be my number one. Once you have your top three markets identified, please take out your road map and fill in the markets where it says portfolio development 1, 2, 3. Now that the top three markets are identified, it's time to do some market research. 4. Step 2: Conduct Market Research: Since wall art was my top market, I'm going to use that market to show you how you can research. We're going to start by identifying five wall art manufacturers that A, work with artists and B, are a good fit for my work. Let's break it down into three parts. How to find manufacturers, how to determine if they are a fit, and how to determine if they work with artists. First, let's look at how to find manufacturers. You can look at art licensing and illustration agent websites, blogs, and Instagrams. They all share the work of their artists and often will share products with their artists designs on them, and the names of manufacturers of those products. You can find art and illustration agents easily on Instagram, by following lots of artists or you can do a quick Google search to find a list of agency names. You can do the same thing by looking at fellow artists websites, blogs, and Instagram accounts. If you don't already follow a ton of artists that do the work that you want to do start now. You can also find many factors by doing good old Google searches. For example, you can just search wall art manufacturers and see what you can find. Look at retail websites and catalogs. Often, they will include the name of the manufacturer of their products, if they aren't the manufacturer themselves. Here, I met target's website and I'm searching kid's wall art, and it just pulls up a lot of different options that they have. I'm just going to click on one that I like and see if the manufacturer's listed. If you look right here, it is. My number 1 piece of advice would be to go into a store that sells products in your market and flip those products over to see the branding on the back. Often the information will include the manufacturer. Here's one of my pieces of art licensed on wall art. If you flip it over, you'll see on the back that Oozie Daisy is who manufacturers that. After doing this, keep a list of as many manufacturers in your market that you can find. We're not going to be able to submit to all of them, so that's why you want to get as many as you can find to start. Now that you know how to find some manufacturers for your market. Next, you need to determine if they are a fit for your work. Look online at their websites or in stores if possible, to see what color palettes they use, what imagery themes, are on their products, what media the art is typically done in, such as hand painted or a vector look, and what the tone of the art they use has such as is it whimsical or is it sophisticated? Is at flowery and lush or is it clean and graphic? Another thing to note, is whether or not they use prints or patterns. Here I am at Oopsy Daisy's website. It just so happens that my crab art is on the front page as well as my growth chart. That's fun. I just want to look at their site to see the things that we went over. Let's look at color pallets. They're bright and cheery. If we're looking at imagery themes, I'm seeing a lot of animals and letters, this is a children's wall art companies, so it's going to be a lot of children themed art. There's some moons and maps and educational stuff. If you click up this link at the top, it actually lets you shop by theme, which is great. It gives you themes right there that they're looking for. That's super helpful to you can do that on some sites. What I would do is just scroll through, and again, look at the media, a lot of Oopsy Daisy stuff, it has a hand painted look. They do have some more vectory looking stuff, but I think for the majority, you'll see a really hand painted look or hand-drawn. If you're looking at the tone, it's obviously very whimsical. That's why it's a good fit for my work. Then you want to look at does the manufacturer used prints and patterns or both? For this wall art company obviously, it's mostly prints here, so you don't need to worry about having patterns for this market. With a little more detail, that's what I would do for each of your manufacturers, is go through, look at their website, and certainly take notes on this stuff. What color palettes are you seeing? What imagery is on their products? What media is used, and the tone of the art? Take notes on each one that you do this exercise for and then go back and compare it to your own art, and really determine whether or not your work is a good fit. Does it fit in with all of these things that you've looked at? Also keep these notes because later, we're going to use them for our portfolio review. Finally, let's talk about how you can determine if they work with artists. Check to see if they credit artists on their products online or in catalogs. Once again, here's my crab wall art, which is sold in stores. If you found this in a store and flipped it over, you would see that I am credited as the artist on the back. This is true for other products like mugs too. Here's a mug that I designed and if you flip it over under the fine print, you'll see the branding, where it has my copyright info. To see an example of being credited online, here we are at the Barnes and Noble website and I've got a calendar that they sell of mine pulled up. If you look right under the name of the calendar, it says by Ann Was Here, which is my studio name. You can also look in catalogs. This is a catalog of one of my greetings and stationary clients. If you look under any of their products, the artist is always credited. When you see an artist being credited for products, whether it's on the actual product itself, online, or in a catalog, you know that they work with artists. Another thing you can do to see if they work with artists, is to see if they reference artists submissions anywhere on their website. If we go back to the Oopsy Daisy website for example, you'll see at the very bottom, there is a link for submitting art. When you click on it, it takes you to a page with directions for how to submit. If you see this on a manufacturer's page, you can be sure that they work with artists. As we went over before, you can also check to see if artists or agents that you follow on social media, post about working with a manufacturer. If they do, you know that they work with artists. Finally, if you've done all of this and you are still uncertain whether or not a company works with artists, you can always call their corporate offices and ask, 99 percent of websites will have a corporate number listed somewhere. Your goal is to get a list of five manufacturers that work with artists and are a good fit for your work. Once you have those, next, you need to get the art director or creative director's contact info. I find that contacting through email, is the best way to connect. That way, you can get your work in front of them and they can review your work on their own time and make a decision about you without feeling pressure over the phone. But how do you get their email addresses? The first place you can look for email addresses, is on the manufacturer's website. Look at the fine print to see if they post artists submission guidelines. If they do, there's almost always a submission email address. Look on their website to see if they list their leadership team, to see if you can get the name or even email address of their art director. Often, if they don't have the leadership team e-mail addresses, they will have a salesperson's email address on the site. Make note of that. At a minimum, they'll have a general inquiry email address such as info at company Here's a tip for you. If you can find one named email address, such as a salesperson and you can find the art directors name, you can usually figure out the art directors e-mail address. This has worked for me before. For example, say the website lists the salesperson as Sam Smith and his email address is [email protected] If you know that the art directors name is Susan James, you can try emailing [email protected] If you can't find the art directors email address through these methods, you can try emailing the salesperson directly or the general inquiry email address and asked to have your email forwarded to the art director. This has also worked for me before. You can also use Google to search for art director email addresses. Say we are looking for the art director at, to get the art directors name, I would Google search art director at ArtyCards and creative director at ArtyCards. Sometimes, even if it's not listed on the company's website, the attractor will have been featured in an interview somewhere online or participated in an event, and you can get their name that way. Once you have the art directors name, you can search for their e-mail address by trying to search for Susan James email address, ArtyCards, or [email protected] Even search for common ways that e-mail addresses are put together, such as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] By searching for common name combinations as email addresses, you may find a website that verifies the correct version. You can also do LinkedIn searches to find out who art directors or creative directors are at a company. If you can't find an email address, you can try to connect with them directly on LinkedIn and send them a message. The last but not least way to find art directors and their e-mail addresses, is to do an old-fashioned phone call. Even though it sounds silly, this might seem scary to you, but there is nothing wrong with doing it. Just call a company headquarters and ask to speak to the art director or the person in charge of artists submissions. If you have the art directors name, ask for them by name, you may end up getting their assistant in which case you can ask for their email address. The worst that can happen, is that they say no to you. But in many cases, they will give you a way to connect, even if it's not directly to the art director. For example, the assistant may give you his or her email address, so that they can forward your submission to the art director. Don't be discouraged if you can't find some of the contacts you want, just get as many as you can for the companies that are a good fit for you. The others may come later at some point in your career, when you are better connected or even have the ability to exhibit at a trade show. In addition to the illustrated roadmap, I've included a workbook for you, which you can also download in the projects and resources section of the online classroom. You'll see on the first page, I've got a spot for you to write down your top three markets. The next, a spot where you can identify your five manufacturers for each market, including names and email addresses. Keep this workbook and your roadmap handy as you go through the class, because we'll be using them often as we go along. Once you have at least five manufacturers and their contact info, next up, is to do a review of your portfolio. 5. Step 3: Portfolio Review: Once you've identified your good fit manufacturers, I recommend picking your top choice manufacturer from your list and further studying the kind of art they use on their products. Revisit your notes from when you were determining if they were fit and look at their color palettes, their imagery themes, what media is used, and the tone of the art. Some other things to consider, do manufacturers in this market benefit from single pieces of art or coordinating collections of art? If the latter and you don't have collections, think about expanding your best fitting pieces into small collections. You'll also want to note if your market uses a lot of patterns on their products and again if they do, you'll need to add patterns to your portfolio. If we use Oopsy Daisy as an example, we already looked at the color palettes, the imagery, and the media used, but what about single pieces of art versus collections? It looks like they have both, but if you click on a few of their individual artworks, you'll see that a lot of them come in collections. What I mean by collections is several pieces of coordinating artwork, just like you see here with these bunnies and then there's also some other animals that are done in a similar manner that people could hang in their child's room and they would all match and go together. Since we see this, we know it would be a really good thing to submit art to Oopsy Daisy in collections. I want to give you guys an example from my portfolio of what I mean when I say individual pieces or prints versus collections and patterns. I'm going to show you this one collection I have called happy cacti and you'll see I have three individual prints which is not a pattern, it's a standalone piece that could be used individually as a piece of wall art or on another product. I have three of them that coordinate together. Then I've also created a few patterns that go with these pieces, so altogether I'm calling this a collection. Collections don't always have to have patterns or prints. They can be a combination of both or one or the other, but it's multiple pieces that coordinate together like these ones do. Take your detailed notes for this market and look through your existing portfolio if you have one. Select any pieces that you already have that are a good fit for the manufacturers you chose and based on the notes you took. After you've selected the pieces, determine if you have enough to make a submission. I usually recommend three to seven pages of individual prints or collections and we'll talk more about what that means later. I'm saying pages because you can either have one art piece to a page or a full collection on a page depending on what you determined you need for your market. Say you want to submit five pages of individual pieces and your portfolio only has two relevant pieces of art currently, you'll need to create three additional pieces in order to have enough for your submission. From my portfolio, let's say that I've selected happy cacti as one to submit because it's bright, it's fun, it's a hand-painted look, it looks appropriate for children. Because it's a wall art company, I wouldn't submit my patterns, I would submit these three cactus and succulent arrangements. Let's say that's the one piece of existing art I'm going to submit. Then next, let say that I'll submit this sail away nautical-themed art for Oopsy Daisy. It's bright, it's fun, it hits the marks, it's got animals, it's also got boats and lighthouses, so I think it will be a great fit for them. After going through my portfolio, let's say I selected those as the two pieces that I have that are appropriate to submit to Oopsy Daisy and the reason you want to know what those are is because it will help later inform when you go into portfolio development what you create because you want to create something a little different than what you're already submitting to them. Happy Cacti and this collection both happen to be collections that Oopsy Daisy does carry for their art, so I just wanted to show them as a good example of something in your portfolio that would be a good fit to submit. I want you to do this research for each of the three markets you chose and then review your portfolio and write down how many individual pieces you have and how many you need, how many collections you have and how many you need, and how many patterns you have and how many you need for each market. You can find this chart on page three of your workbook, which ones again is available for download under the Project and Resources tab in the classroom. Once you've done this, it's time to create a schedule, so we'll cover that next. 6. Step 4: Scheduling: As I've mentioned before, a key component of reaching your goals is to define them and write them down. Just like I had you write your goal down on your road map for this class, I want you to write down some due dates to keep yourself accountable. If we don't define when we want to achieve something by, we tend to keep putting it off until tomorrow. Sound familiar? It sure does for me. If there's a deadline looming, it helps us stay on track. Now, if this is your first time doing some of this marketing and portfolio development, you're not going to know exactly how long things will take you, and that's okay. Once you get started, you'll have a chance to adjust your schedule and dates accordingly. Right now we're just going to do our best guess. In order to help you set goal due dates for yourself to start, I put together a couple of scheduling worksheets for you. These scheduling worksheets are available starting on page 3 of your workbook. The first worksheet is the online presence worksheet. With this worksheet, we're going to take a best guess at how long it will take you to set up your online presence, including a website, a portfolio, and an Instagram account. There are a few things you should always keep in mind when scheduling work and thinking about your availability. Your existing workload, your obligations, whether they be social, church, family, kids, activities, fitness, etc, and then your vacations and holidays. Keep these in mind as you go through the worksheets. The first thing to fill out on the worksheet is how many hours you think it will take you to set up your website. This can vary greatly from person to person based on whether or not you already have a website that just needs refreshing or whether you're starting from scratch. Whether you're building a custom website, or whether you're going to use a platform that has easy templates that you can basically just plug your art into and go. There are some really nice and inexpensive, even free platforms now, and I would highly recommend saving yourself time and money and going that route. I myself use Squarespace for my website and I love how easy it is. I'll cover what the content of your website should be later on in this class. You may want to watch that section before you start scheduling. Once you know how you will set up your website, you can do your best estimate on how much time it's going to take you. Fill out the number of hours you estimate on line A. Line B is for your portfolio. Again, based on what portfolio platform you choose, this will determine the complexity and the time it's going to take. Also, whether or not you already have a portfolio started or you're starting from scratch again. The time here is not for building your portfolio, it's for taking all your existing work that you have and plugging it into a portfolio site. Write down on line B, how many hours do you think it will take you to organize your portfolio images and get them uploaded to a portfolio platform. Finally, we have an art dedicated Instagram account. This should be relatively simple to set up. You'll just need a profile picture and a short blurb for your profile header, any links you want to include, and you can start by just posting a few of your favorite pieces of art. Though, you should be budgeting a few minutes a day to post to your account, this line is just for the initial setup. I'm going to go with a generous two hours to set up an Instagram account on my worksheet. Next, you can total the first three lines to come up with how many hours you need total to establish your online presence. On line D, write down the total of the first three lines. For my hypothetical worksheet, I've got a total of 45 hours. Please don't use my numbers to estimate your schedule. I'm just including these here so that you can see how the worksheet works and they are not necessarily accurate numbers. On the next line, I want you to fill out how many hours a week you think you can realistically dedicated to this project. Remember to keep in mind your existing workload and obligations. I've written down that I can devote 10 hours a week to my online presence. The next line indicates how many weeks you'll need to complete your online presence. To get this, you just divide the total number of hours needed, in my case 45, by the number of hours you can dedicate to it per week, in my case 10. So 45 divided by 10 gets me 4.5 weeks. Line G is for what I'm calling a buffer. From experience, I've learned that something always comes up, whether it's personal or work-related, that throws a wrench in my schedule. I'm adding a half week buffer to make my goal due date more achievable in the end. Finally, you can add line F with line G to get the total weeks you need to schedule for establishing your online presence. For me, that's five weeks. The next worksheet is the portfolio development scheduling worksheet. You'll need to complete one of these worksheets for each of your three markets, but I'm just going to go over one market here for you to follow along. I'm going to write my first market at the top, which for me is Wall Art. Then the first line says existing print slash collections. Here I'm looking for you to write down how many appropriate prints or collections, if this market requires it, that you already have in your portfolio. From our portfolio review earlier, remember you wrote down how many you have and how many you need. I want you to write down what you already have. I'm going to say I already have three for this market. The next line is how many prints or collections are still needed. I'm going to say I need two more for a total of five. On line C, I want you to write down how many hours you think it will take you to create a new print or collection, if that's the case. I'm writing down that I need 10 hours per piece. On the next line, how many hours a week you think you'll have to dedicate to developing your portfolio. Once again, I'm going to write down that I have ten hours a week. Line E is for the number of hours it will take to finish the pieces you need. You multiply Line B by line C. In my case that's 2 times 10 and I get a total of 20 hours to complete the two pieces that I need. Then to determine how many weeks you need, you just divide line E, the number of hours to complete, by line D, how many hours a week you have available and I get two weeks. On the next line, I want you to write down how many weeks you need for creating mock-ups and presentation sheets. Again, I'll cover these in more detail later in the class, so you may want to finish the class before filling out your worksheets. I'm going to allocate a half week for this. Once again, there's a line for the buffer and I'm going to add a half week for that as well. Finally, the last line is for the total number of weeks you need to schedule for portfolio development in this market. To get this, you just add line F with line G and H. You're adding the weeks to complete with the mock-ups and presentation and the buffer. I get a total of three weeks for this market. I've only showed you one market as an example, but for your purposes, you'll need to complete this worksheet for each of your markets. Once you have your worksheets done, it's time to work on a scheduling calendar. I like printing out a blank calendar like this one. You can find lots of them online, this one has just from Google Docs. Somewhere on the page, you can use five different highlighter colors to make a legend for the following. Online presence, market 1, market 2, market 3, and then one color for holiday and vacation days. For me, I've used purple for online presence, red for the Wall Art Market, orange to indicate Greeting Cards Market, yellow for Tabletop Market, and finally I've used gray to indicate holiday and vacation days. Now for this class, to make it very clear, I've done this on my computer, but normally I would just print this out and use highlighters so that's perfectly fine for you to do too. It's much more efficient that way anyway. For simplicity and also pretending that my start date is January 1st. Your start date should be for whenever you are willing to dedicate your time to working on this. Since it's a goal of yours, I hope you'll start soon. When doing this, have your work sheets handy because we'll need to reference those now. The first thing I want to do is block out anytime that I need to set aside for vacations, holidays, or other obligations that will keep me from working on this. Take your highlighter that corresponds with holiday, vacations and highlight any days that you'll be unavailable. I'm going to block up January 1st, for New Year's day, and a week in March for vacation. Next, take a look at your worksheet for online presence and look at the bottom line to see how many weeks you determined you needed to get it established. Use the highlighter color you selected for online presence to block out that many weeks. My online presence worksheet was for five weeks. I'm highlighting five weeks purple. Then your going to do the same for your market 1 worksheet, minus Wall Art and I determined that I needed three weeks for this market, so I'm blocking out three weeks in red immediately following my online presence block. Reference your worksheets for the remaining markets to block out time for each. Notice for my second market, which I've used orange to indicate my vacation falls in the middle of it. I've skipped over that week to make sure I get all the weeks I need covered. My final market is tabletop in yellow. You'll notice that each of my markets has a different amount of time for completion. This is because most of us will have stronger and deeper portfolio for some markets than others. Some will need more time and some will need less. Once you've blocked out time for your online presence in each of your markets, you should take a red pen and circle the last day in each time block to determine your goal due dates for each development stage. Take those dates and put them in whatever calendar you use, whether it's an app on your phone or a physical daily planner. I'd also like you to take out your road map to success and fill these dates in where there is a blank for online presence, for submission 1, 2, and 3. Congratulations, you've filled out your entire road map to achieving your goals. Now you have a plan including what development you need to do, your target markets, and submission due dates. Now that your plan is written down, next, I'm going to take you through the process for each step of the way. 7. Step 5: Online Presence: Now that we've got our road map planned out, it's time to dive into some of the details. The three imperative components of your online presence are your website, your portfolio, and an Instagram account. There are many other ways you can boost your online presence. But for the purposes of this class, I'm just going to focus on these three because I believe they are the most important. Now, this is just a high level overview. If you need more detailed information, I recommend finding classes that are more specific to the development of each of these three components. First, let's talk about your website. It's important to have because it gives art directors a place to find out more about you and it also legitimizes you as a professional, your website needs to clearly show who you are and what you do. One of the biggest mistakes I see on not only artists websites, but many freelance or consultant websites, is that the message is confusing or too broad. You do not want to come across as a jack of all trades, you do not want to come across, for example, as a graphic designer and an illustrator. It's okay to have those two skill sets and work in both of those fields, but I would recommend that you have two different websites. An art director looking for your illustration style, is going to be turned off by images of corporate brochures that you've laid out. It sends in the wrong message. You want to show the work that you want to get. If you want illustration work, you need to show illustrations right up front. Even better, you need to show illustrations on the types of products or publications that you want to get them on. Your website should have a single audience and a single-purpose. My audience is art directors or buyers. My purpose, is to get illustration work for products and publications. Here on my website landing page, I have a slide show of my art on products. This can set you apart from other artists websites where they only show swatches of art. It says look, I illustrate for products, my illustrations work on products. Even if you don't have your illustrations on products yet, you can still achieve this by creating some mock-ups. Well, all of these images you see here, actual product photos, I have one in the mix that is a mock-up. This one right here, is actually a mock-up. If you don't have your illustrations on any products that you can show on your website, you can create mock-ups just like this and still look just as professional. I'm not going to teach you in this class how to make mock-ups, but if you want to learn, there are lots of classes online that you can find, whether it's skill share or YouTube where you can learn how to mock-up quit easily. I've also got a section on my website with examples of my art standing alone and not on products. I've organized mine by common categories my art tends to fall in. Here, I'm showing just a small selection. An art director can get a sense for my style. Showing some of your best and most representative work is key. Remember, put out work that you want to get. I'm not calling this section my portfolio because it's such a limited part of it. We'll talk about your portfolio next. For now, let's continue going over the other important aspects of your website. In my about section, I give a brief description of my related experience. You don't need to include any work history that isn't going to strengthen your case as a professional artist. For example, I did not include the portion of my resume that includes working for a trust company, I did include my experience working in corporate interior design, however, because it's relevant. I also included a list of clients, retailers, and publications I've been included in. The goal of all this, is to show that I'm an experienced professional and hopefully will make our directors want to work with me even more. Don't worry if you don't have a lot of experience yet, we all start out at the beginning. Just include everything you can for now and edit as you go. Obviously, another important thing to include on your website, is any social media links and your contact information. So I have that in a section called contact, and then I also at the bottom of each page is a mailing, a Facebook link, a Twitter link, an Instagram link, a linked-in link, and a YouTube link. You don't need to have all those, just whatever the best ways for them to connect with you. In summary, your website needs to answer two questions and achieve three things. Online presence worksheets start on Page 6 of your workbook. Question 1, who is my audience? Most likely your answer will be similar to mine, but it might also be even more specific. My answer is art directors for products and publications. Maybe you only want to work illustrating for magazines, then your answer is editorial art directors. Question 2, what's my purpose? My answer is to get illustration work for products and publications. Maybe your answer is to get illustration work for magazines. Once you have these two questions answered, they should guide you at every step of creating your website. If something isn't for your audience and doesn't achieve your purpose, don't include it in your website. Now, for the three things I want your website to achieve, the first thing, is show the work you want to get. You can do this by showing real images of your work on products or whatever your purpose was. If that's editorial, show images of your work in magazines. You can also do this by showing mock-up images of your work on products or publications. The third thing you can do, is show swatches of your most representative art. The more clear your style is, the better. The second thing I want you to achieve, is show why your audience should want to work with you. You can do this by showing what makes you unique as an artist, you can show what relevant experience you have, you can show what clients are retailers you've already worked with, you can show any awards or press you've received. The third thing that I want your website to achieve, is to make it easy to contact you. You can do this through social media links and an email address. The second imperative aspect of your online presence is your portfolio. Depending on who you have your websites set up with., this can either be a part of your website or it can be a link on your website to another portfolio site. Because of specific features I wanted my portfolio to have, I just have it set up as a link to a separate portfolio platform. My portfolio is hosted through Adobe portfolio. Adobe portfolio is free. If you have an Adobe CC account, you can actually set up your entire website through them if you wanted to. Now, your portfolio should also keep in mind your audience and your purpose. Any work that doesn't speak to your audience and help fulfill your purpose, should not be included. Now I want to talk about some things that you're going to need to consider as you're setting up your portfolio. The first few considerations are in regards to your artwork itself. You want to put out the work that you also want to get, so you don't need to include everything. In fact, you shouldn't include everything. If you have something that's not relevant to the work you want to get, don't include it. Secondly, you want to show work that is representative of your unique style. If you have older work that doesn't really have the style that you're currently working in, you want to leave that out. Third, you can include mock-ups if you'd like. I've chosen to keep my portfolio strictly to art and have any product photos, or mocks on my website. The next few considerations have to do with how you organize your portfolio. First, how does your audience look for work? Do they look by theme, by season, by icons? Do they look by application? Make it easy for your audience to find what they need based on how they look for work. I have my work organized into categories by themes and seasons that the art directors I work with, are commonly looking for. If your portfolio is separate from your website, make sure that you have a link included back to your website and always make sure your contact info is readily available. Finally, you're going to have to consider the security aspect of your portfolio. Do you want your portfolio to be open access or password protected? First, let's talk about open access. The pros to having an Open Access portfolio are that it's easy for your target audience to see and there are no barriers to entry. The con, is that it's also easy for copycats and art thieves to see because there's no barriers to entry. Your other option is to have a password protected portfolio. The pro to this, is you can keep your newest ideas safe from competitors, copycats, and art thieves, and fresh for art buyers eyes only. Some art buyers may want art that has never been seen before. You may get contacted by art directors who are interested when you otherwise wouldn't have known they're even looking because they have to ask for a password. The cons are there's a barrier to entry. You've just made it one step harder for an art director to get access to your portfolio and there is a chance they'll move on due to how busy they can be. There is no right way here, you just have to decide what's best for you. I have some of my work on my website for all to see, and the rest of it is on a password protected site. The third imperative component of your online presence, is having an Instagram account. Once again, you need to approach your Instagram account with your target audience and purpose in mind. Even if your followers are not all a part of your target audience, don't lose sight of what your goal is and always be serving that goal. First, let's talk about the tone of your Instagram account and whether it should be personal or business. I recommend having a separate art account than your personal account. Unless you are willing for your single account to be focused primarily on you as an artist with related peaks into your personal life and not the other way around. Just like with your website, you on your Instagram account to speak to your audience at all times. That doesn't mean that you can't ever be personal. In fact, showing who you are, will build authenticity with your target audience. You just don't want to get too personal and go off track. This is how you will lose or not gain the followers you want and need to grow your business. Usually when I show something personal, I find a way to tie it back to my art. Here's an example of my son several months ago wearing a ones-y that I designed. It serves two purposes. It adds a personal touch to my Instagram account, but it also shows one of the products that I've designed. As far as the content that you post, it's great to mix it up. You can include finished art, process photos, end products, collaborations, and relevant features of other artists like this one I'm showing here. For strategy, always keep the target audience in mind with images, text, and tags. Think about what you're posting and writing and how it will be viewed by art directors. Tag your account for things an art director might search for. If you're not sure what tags are or how to use them, you should definitely think about taking an Instagram class. I know there's several offered here on skill share and you can also just find them on YouTube. Consistency. Try to post at least once a day. Only if you have something relevant, you can post old art though, old process shots, etc. So stock up. Engagement is key to building your following. Ask your followers questions, answer their questions, create dialogue. Finally, include links back to your website, either directly or through something like Linktree. There are so many other things that you can do to build your online presence. This could be an entire class within itself. Here, I've covered what I see as the three most important. Others might argue that P-interest, Facebook, or Twitter should be included. If you have time, you should certainly work on developing your presence there and in as many other places as you can. But we need to start somewhere. In order not to be overwhelmed, I think that tasking yourself with a short and achievable list is best. Now you should feel equipped to start developing your online presence. Next, we'll talk about portfolio development. 8. Step 6: Portfolio Development: So let's say you decided your portfolio for your first market needs three new pieces in order to have enough to submit. This means you'll need to come up with three concepts for new art that are a fit for the manufacturers you'll be submitting to. If I need three concepts, I typically come up with five to seven and then pick my best three. Concepting is a lot like exercise. You often need to warm up in order to get your best work. Often my first concepts aren't my best and this is why I usually come up with more than I need and then select from those. So if I needed to come up with some concepts for Wall art, for Oopsy Daisy for example. I'd have my notes handy from the market study and portfolio review. I'd also reference the two pieces or collections I'm already going to submit to make sure that what I come up with is different from what I already have. While looking over the notes, I'd start to write down some ideas that fit the bill. Oopsy Daisy carries a lot of animal art. So maybe I could do a series of animals doing childlike activities. So first I pick three animals that sit well together. How about a hippo, a tiger, and a bear? Then I think of three children's activities they could be doing. How about riding a bike, holding a balloon, and eating ice cream. Then I'd assign an activity to each animal based on what I think looks good. So I'll have the hippo eating ice cream, the tiger holding the balloon, and the bear riding a bike. That would be my first concept. Then I'd come up with several more concepts and pick my best ideas to illustrate. I check back to my notes for the market and select the ideas that I think will be the best fit. So I've got my existing nautical collection, the cactus collection, and my concept for the wild animals doing activities. Let's say the other two ideas I selected were for a series of fun illustrated maps and then an illustrated alphabet. Since I didn't have any educational themed art yet. To submit these two concepts, I think would hit that mark from my notes. With these three new concepts, I've got my desired five pieces to submit. On page nine of your workbook, I've included for each market a place where you can consolidate your notes on the criteria that you came up with as far as color palettes, imagery, icons and themes, media used and tone for that particular market. So you can look at that as your concepting. Then there's a space for you to write down any concepts that you came up with. There's space for up to seven concepts and that's the maximum amount of pieces that I recommend you submit at one time. Once I have my ideas selected, it's time to move on to the fun part which is sketching and illustrating them. Referring back to my notes, I'd see that, Oopsy seems to lean toward a hand painted art, so I choose to paint these instead of creating them digitally. I'd also come up with some fresh and bright color palettes for each that would go well in a kid's room. This is just an example of how I would apply what I learned from a market study and portfolio review to my own portfolio development. The process may look different for you. The main thing I want you to get out of this is to figure out how you can create new work with your target market in mind. If you can build your portfolio out in this way, instead of just guessing, the chances of you being able to sell or license your work will improve greatly. Once you have the pieces you need to submit to a market. The next thing you need to do is package your artwork in a professional format that you can use to submit via email. If you don't already have any, it would be great to create some market appropriate product markups using your artwork. Again, if you don't know how to create markups, I'd recommend taking a class or watching a YouTube video on how you can do that. Having markups are definitely not required, but I think they really help show that your artwork can work for the products. Next, you'll need to arrange your artwork and markups into a professional presentation. I recommend setting the sheets up as eight by 10 or eight and a half by 11 inches so that they are easy for our directors to print. You can submit them as a multi-page PDF or as separate JPEGS. Either way, they should be low resolutions, you don't clog up anyone's email. 72 DPI is standard. You should include your art and any marks that you want to, your logo and or name, your copyright, your website, and contact info on each page. Sometimes art directors will save your images for later and they may no longer have the email that you sent them with. So you need to have your information on your actual images. You will need to make presentation sheets for each of the art pieces or collections you are submitting. Next, I'm going to go over how to write your email pitch. 9. Step 7: Email Pitch: Let's talk about how you can write a short but effective email pitch. You can find this worksheet on the last page of your workbook, Page 12. Start out with a brief introduction. Introduce yourself by name and include any related experience you have. For example, I might say that I have in-house design experience, had a gift in stationary manufacturer and that I am now a freelance illustrator and licensing artist. This should be one to two sentences max. Next, you want to explain why you are emailing them. What is the goal of your e-mail? Probably to have your art on their products. So for this line I'm going to write to design wall art for blank. Where I've left the blank, I would put the name of the specific Wall Art Company I'm emailing. Next, explain what you've attached to the e-mail, which for me is available collections I have designed with their company in mind. Then you have an option to include anything else you'd like to offer them, such as custom work or access to your portfolio. In closing, I'd like to end with a positive statements such as, I would love to work with you and always make sure to include a way to contact you. Obviously, they'll have your email address, but you could also include a phone number and your website. Make sure that you customize your emails to each manufacturer you send, so that it feels personal. If you have names, address them personally and if it makes sense to reference their products specifically in some way, feel free to do so, but keep it short. Then all you need to do is attach your presentation and hit send. My email would read something like this, Dear Susan, my name is Anne Bollman and I am a freelance illustrator and licensing artist with in-house design experience at a gift in stationery manufacturer. I think my art would be a great fit for the Wall Art Company. I have attached some of my available collections that I have designed with your company in mind. Please let me know if you would like to access my entire portfolio of work. I'm also happy to do custom work if you are looking for something specific. I would love to work with you and I hope to hear from you soon and that's it. You can send an email to one company in your market at a time and wait for a bit for responses or you can choose to send to multiple companies at once. The risk of waiting is that you may not hear back from the company at all and will have sat on your art for a week or so when it could have been presented to other companies. The risk of sending the multiple companies is there's a chance that more than one art director will want the same piece of art. That's a good problem to have, but it could get awkward, so it's up to you how you'd like to do it. Next, we're going to talk about what to do after you've successfully submitted to your first market. 10. Step 8, 9 & 10: Now that you've gone through the portfolio development process and pitch writing for one of your markets, you probably have an even better idea of how much time it's going to take you to do the other two markets. At this point, you can go back to your scheduling worksheets, for markets two and three and adjust them accordingly. Then you can update your scheduling calendar and your due dates. You've tackled one market. It's not time to sit on your heels and wait for the work to come your way, on to the next market. While you wait for responses from your market one submission. You can repeat step six, portfolio development and seven, writing email pitches for target markets two and three. Let's talk about the different kinds of responses you may get after you send your email submissions and how to follow up with each. The first type of response you might get is, no response. If this happens to you, keep sending new art when you have it, you certainly don't want a badger them but if in a couple of months you have a new group of art that is fit for them. There's no reason not to send it. The second response you could get is, thanks, but not interested in this art. If this happens, keep sending appropriate new art when you have it. Keep doing this with new art until they either show interest or ask you to stop. Another response you could get is that you are not a fit for them. It's easier said than done, but don't take it personally. There will be companies that are a fit for you. If this happens, cross this manufacturer off your list and respectfully stop emailing them. You may get the response where they ask you what else you have. If this happens, send them a link to your full online portfolio and ask what specifically they are looking for so you can send them anything you have that works.You can also offer to create something specific for them if you'd like to do that. The last type of response you could get is that they are interested in some of the work you sent. The next steps will be to review their contract and compensation structure. They may ask you to make some simple changes to your art or layout changes depending on what they need for their products. Don't be discouraged if you don't hear anything back after your first round of emails. Sometimes it will take several rounds of sending art, or they may even respond to the art you set initially, but a year or more or later, it happens. Art directors are looking for a specific themes, for specific seasons and sending the perfect thing at the right time is nearly impossible. They do not have time to respond to every submission they receive, even if they like your work. That is why you have to just keep sending art and be patient for the stars to align. It may take a year or two to start getting any real traction and activity. That's totally normal and okay. For licensing the work you do now starts paying off one to two years down the road. You should expect the first few years to be slower but if you keep at it, eventually you may have more work than you can even handle. By now, you should have all the tools you need and a plan to get your art onto products. Next, I'm going to go over your project for this class. 11. Project & Closing: My hope for this class is that it gives you a road map to jump start your journey to getting your illustrations on products. The project for this class is to finish filling out your road map. I truly believe that the first step to success is defining your dream and writing it down along with achievable milestones. Once you have your goal filled in, all you need to do is use the tools I've provided to come up with your three target markets and a timeline to complete your online presence, portfolio development, and submissions. You'll notice on the map that there is not a finish or an end. That is because this is just the beginning of your journey. But I promise that if you put in the hard work and put these steps into practice, you will have the jump start you need to success. I also find that sharing your plans helps keep you accountable. I would love for you to share your road map with the class by uploading it to the gallery. Bonus points if you'd like to illustrate your own road-map. Thanks so much for joining me in this class and I can't wait to see all that you achieve. If you enjoy this class and would like to stay up-to-date on my latest classes, don't forget to follow me on Skillshare.