Saturday, September 25, 2010


I've exchanged messages with hundreds, perhaps thousands of artists. Some of these exchanges have resulted in shoots or drawing/painting sessions. Others haven't. Of the ones that haven't, there's any number of reasons that we never worked together. It may have been scheduling, compensation, genres of work... or it may have been because there was just an utter breakdown in communication.

So what can you do to make communication go more smoothly?

Approach Me as an Equal: I am here to make art, just like you are. Neither a condescending tone nor overwrought flattery will get you especially far with me. A respectful message written from one artist to another will.

Cover Logistical Details Early: Telling me right off the bat about the location, scheduling/availability, concept/genre/theme, medium, and proposed compensation is incredibly helpful. I understand that some of those details need to be negotiated and/or arranged, but the more information that I'm given up front, the easier it is to confirm everything.

Answer and Ask All Questions: Sometimes I have a few questions. Sometime others have a few questions. Asking all questions at once, and answering all of the questions posed, is infinitely easier than dragging out a string of twenty messages of one-liners. If you will want to know about my rates, availability, and what wardrobe I have on-hand, ask me all of those questions in the same message. If any one of those is going to be a dealbreaker, I'd much rather we found out sooner rather than later.

Offer a Budget: If you suspect that you can't afford my rates, putting a number on the budget you're working within right off the get-go is far preferable than just telling me that you're a starving artist and asking for rates. I do not quote different rates simply based on the fact that somebody tells me that they're broke, or because they ask for a deal.


But when somebody is communicating in a clear and respectful manner, I find that my rates become far more flexible, and I'm much more willing to negotiate on all points. I truly do enjoy finding a way to make details work out. But it takes two to work the details out, just as it takes two for a successful collaboration.

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