Wednesday, February 25, 2009

First Come First Serve... Spots filled

The 10 spots are definitely filled. I'll be chatting with these people over the next two months. If it's successful and the artists feel it's beneficial to them, I'll make the offer again around the summer months, so keep an eye out.

Thanks so much

First Come First Serve

I'm offering to sit down with artists for a meeting if anyone is interested, for the first 10 people who email me.

Basically I'm offering my opinion as an art buyer to your portfolio, website, work, questions, etc. Anything you might want to discuss and ask an art buyer - literally anything and I will do my best to be honest and have some constructive words for you.

If you're in the New England area, I'm happy to meet with you one-on-one OR if you're not in the area we can have a chat on the phone.

The only thing I ask is that you come prepared with relevant questions and needs. We can set up a quick call first to have an interview of sorts and that way I can familiarize myself with your work. Then we can schedule another meeting to go more in depth.

You can email me here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Get What You Want

It might sound idealistic but how do you get what you want in tough times?

Realign your focus
Trust in yourself to handle the challenges that come along
Become resourceful
Bring something unique to the table and look for ways to grow
Network, network, network

Find something you love to do and are passionate about and you end up being able to deal with more.

Monday, February 23, 2009

APA NY Event

Thought this was worth mentioning:
Advertising Professional of America, New York chapter is having a marketing seminar/event tomorrow.
Check out the details here.

For those of you not in the New York area reach out to local photography groups and chapters to see what they are offering.

Waiting For Payment

Advertising Age is reporting today that some large clients are asking their ad agencies and media firms to wait for payment, some as long as 120 days (4 months). The article is here at

This, in turn, means that the ad agencies are either paying the vendors out of the agency's pocket or not able to pay them at all until the client pays them. This is where your estimate and terms you agree to as an artist are exceptionally important.

Prior to the actual shoot or illustration project always have on your estimate your billing terms, in writing and agreed to by the client and reiterate it in conversation for them as well.
For instance:
Payment in full is to be issued within 30 days of final art delivery.
Past 30 days incurs additional finance fees (something like 2% per week or a rebilling fee).
Advance of 50% (or whatever you agree to) prior to start of job.

If these items are not in writing, even if they appear to be industry standard, the client might not adhere to them. In today's climate it's especially important (and acceptable) to discuss the billing process and how you as an artist and a vendor will be paid and on what time line.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Arrested for Photography

PDN reports a photographer was arrested in NYC for photographing a train.
Article here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Creative Opinion

Talking about ideas and plans for this year to drum up business, I thought it'd be interesting to ask this month's creative opinion.

What are you doing differently this year than you have in the past? (As far as marketing, approaching new clients, approaching existing clients who have had to cut budgets, etc.)

You can email me here to share anonymously or post a comment.

New Artist Rep Agency

A new rep agency in New York has popped up.

Ara Edsinger, formally of E. Poje, has started iCreate. She is representing some up and comers.

Check out the work at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Inventive Idea

This morning I met with Valerie Gates, creative director at Gates Studio, who had contacted me through LinkedIn - just looking to network and connect. We discussed the state of the industry, local agencies, and tossed a couple of ideas back and forth.

We also were discussing marketing ideas and how to promote one's name in today's industry and economy. Valerie shared her current project with me, an idea that I think is incredibly inventive and a brilliant marketing tool for her studio.

This is definitely thinking outside of the box and proactively. She has issued a press release which I'm including below and reached out locally and nationally. The Boston Globe is featuring her story in their Sunday Globe edition. Oprah is a personal goal of hers. Aside from the idea of helping others she is creating quite the brand awareness for herself and her studio.

She, along with her business partner/husband, is documenting the experience on her blog at

Press Release
Wellesley, MA… When Gates Studio founder and principal, Valerie Gates read Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable and Miracle this winter, she knew she had to do something to help the small organic farms and the local food movement in the Boston area. Gates came up with the idea to offer local growers and farms her studio’s professional design and branding services on a creative pro-bono sliding scale. With help from the non-profit group, Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership, she put out the word to local farms that she was offering her studio’s services on a first-come, first-served basis as follows:

First five farms: a barter agreement of design time and services for organic food or CSA shares
Next five farms: 75% discount on rates for services
Next five farms: 50% discount on rates for services
Next five farms: 25% discount on rates for services

By the end of the second day, Gates had over 16 farms and local growers lined up to take advantage of her unique offer. “I wanted to do my part in helping even out the playing field for small growers and help them compete with larger farms and organizations that have larger marketing budgets,” explained Gates. “I also wanted to find a creative way to get my family to eat more organically and introduce them to sustainable farming life by creating a relationship with these local farms.” Gates Studio will also run a blog showcasing the farms and progress at

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Update about Facebook TOS

As of this morning Facebook is taking the feedback to their recently revised Terms of Service:

"Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog.

If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Agency Production

Creativity article about advertising production and agency producers - especially some of the work and obstacles that went into well known projects.
Check it out here at

Thursday, February 12, 2009


When invoicing for jobs it's important to include back up receipts for proof of line items. Nowadays clients are scrutinizing every dollar spent and making sure line items add up. It's my responsibility, as an art buyer, to review the invoice submitted with a microscope to justify all costs to the clients. In advertising, photographers are normally asked to submit all backup receipts.

Keep your receipts no matter what the cost is... if it's for a postage stamp, if it's for a latte, if it's for crew, etc. Whatever the case may be keep all receipts pertaining to the job you're working on. I have always asked this for every job I've ever worked on, as part of client requests and how the agencies work.

The agencies are working for the clients and therefore are also audited to ensure spending dollars are what they should be and that the agency is working in the best interest of the client (and their money). I've even heard from other art buyers that some agency accounting departments will not pay an invoice without the backup production expense receipts. Every dollar needs to be accounted for.

I bring this up because I ran into a situation and posed the question to several other art buyers... all agreed that when receiving invoices they require this backup.

I know people have brought up markups here when I've posted about billing before, I suggest including it in your creative fee or having a wrap fee.
Either way when you do larger advertising jobs you will always be asked to account for each line item in your invoice with backup receipts as proof.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Riding through the times

I really liked Leslie Burns Dell-Acqua's post yesterday (here) where she had some info about working with the client during these bumpy times.

I don't discuss clients or projects here for specific reasons (and I'm not going to disclose specific clients). However a few of the client projects I have been working have been changing because the companies are going through tough times (like the rest of us). One client is having to cut a substantial amount of their employees across the board nationwide. Therefore they are pulling back on their spending dollars. These clients however realize that they have a product to sell and in order to bounce back need to keep spending to get the product and messaging out there.

With this information photographers have been working with me and the agencies to be able to continue to work together at the budget constraints. One photographer is working with me on image re-negotiations and the next shoot. We're planning on "trimming the fat" on some of the production and he's also been flexible enough to adjust his fees, treating this particular shoot as a one-off.

Different ideas work for different people so it depends on what the artists and the agencies work out together.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fair Use

I thought this would be interesting to share. I'm sure some of you have heard about it already and probably have your own opinions as artists. Shepard Fairey's Obama posters used an AP photographer's image for the basis of his idea and concept. An image that is now on posters, T-shirts, buttons, stickers, and lots of other items. An image that was found simply by "Googling" it.

One art buyer shared this article while another added this link to the copyright clearance center discussing the idea of fair use.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Your networks can be your most valuable resource with finding jobs and remaining active right now. Reach into your roladex and any back files and reach out to people.

Sometimes if one hasn't had a job for a little bit, things can get static and one can even get lazy. The best asset is having others to reach out to. Networking on the phone or face-to-face is incredibly valuable. Reach out to other artists, stylists, producers, and agency people (especially art buyers, photo editors, and creatives). You never know when someone might have a one-off project they're working on, a freelance gig they heard about or can even put you in touch with someone they know.

Don't be weary of getting in touch with people. Use any time you have to reach out and not to solely rely on e-promos and mail promos. Especially now, in the reality of the employment situation, people are relying more and more on each other for ideas, work, industry references, support, etc.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Morning Quarterbacking

Here's a run down of commentary about Superbowl ads:
Reviewing via Twitter so everyone can participate in the commentary (article here) and (here)

Adweek has a customized Superbowl media link (here)

AdAge's rundown including video commentary by ad critic Bob Garfield (here)

2009 Ad Meter at USA TODAY (here)

Art Producer's Perspective opinion:
top picks were the spot and the Doritos (Free Doritos/Crystal Ball) spot.
worst was a toss up between the spot and the Toyota Faces spot.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl Ads

Check out all the ads here: