Thursday 30 June 2011

Sad times ........

My apologies for the hiatus in the Blog, I'm currently in the UK as my father passed away a couple of weeks ago. He had been ill for some time so it was sort of expected but nonetheless his sudden decline came as a shock. I'll be over here for some time arranging for my mother's care.
I've an armful of commissions to fill up any quiet moments.

Thursday 9 June 2011

River cruise ....

Did a five hour river cruise on the good ship Crystal Swan last week. A corporate function in which I managed to draw all the passengers bar one - took his photo and promised to send it through.
A good speed painting exercise in PS - 35 minutes.
I must get quicker on the live stuff - though I did join them all for a really nice sit down lunch - that's my excuse anyway !

Friday 3 June 2011

Happy Birthday Nola !!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

I never know what to get her ............... !!!

Thursday 2 June 2011

You've gotta sell 'em !!!

When I first started this business back in early 2007 I had a really minimalist web site with few samples. The inquiries I got were simply emailed the price and a few other details. Business didn't exactly boom !

I gleaned a few bits of business and marketing advice from fellow caricaturists - membership of ISCA proved invaluable for this - and gradually kept updating and upgrading my website. It's not anywhere as good as I'd like it to be, but the plans are in place for a really 'serious' one to be in place early next year.
That is once I've fathomed out RapidWeaver, to date I've used iWeb but it has limitations and Apple haven't updated it for some time.

Once I've received an inquiry, whether by email or the 'fill in a form' on the website, I endeavour to get back to the inquirer within 24 hours. I email them a comprehensive personal letter outlining my services and pricing and what I require them to supply - I have a mass of templates stored in TextEdit for this covering every type of request or scenario I've ever received. If I see the need I'll phone them as well.

I also attach a 'recent samples' sheet for them to check out. I can't, and don't, keep updating the artwork on my website that, at best, is an annual process. I do however keep a large .psd file with all my recent favourites, this is in constant update, and is sent as a .jpg along with, if necessary a larger image of a theme they're interested in. 

I spend a lot of time quoting but it is worthwhile. I keep statistics when I started I was receiving commissions on less than 10% of the quotes - it's now over 50%. Usually more work than I can handle and in fact I've always got a month to 6 weeks full capacity work scheduled in and, as of now,  jobs booked up to April 2012.  People like the personal touch. 

'They will come' doesn't work.


Weddings are a very important part of my business and as such I treat them as a separate caricature type.
Here is the current sample sheet for quoting on these.