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3647183749_1311910259_zBooks, newspapers and magazines are dead or dying.

Galleries and book stores are closing or down-sizing.

Book stores and galleries alike are only promoting the most popular, sellable work and no one sees this changing in the near future.

The digital market is growing – services like Comixology are steadily gaining ground.

Often illustrators are picking up some work from digital counterparts to the paper media tradition but sadly, the salaries are often nowhere near what traditional print media was paying.

What to do?

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 7.11.19 PMWell… you could move to alternative markets.

Tech & science is growing.

Tech & science will continue to grow for years to come. We are in a tech & science boom.

If that interests you – consider getting re-trained, or refocusing on tech and science illustration or other art/comic/illustration fields connected to these industries.

Barring that…

Do your own thing.


The “Gatekeepers” are dead.

Click here for more about the Gatekeepers.

The old path is over. There’s no longer a top-down hierarchy of being “chosen” by editors, gallorists and “taste-makers”.

Publishers, book retailers and gallorists are not taking the risk on a new name or talent. They are going with the most popular, saleable, recognizable names.

Media is pulling new talent from those on the internet who have already grown an audience.

An already created audience.

You are much more likely to be picked up by a gallery if your work has already created an audience and a following on social media.

That is way less risky for a gallorist or program co-ordinator as you come with our own mailing list and contacts of loyal fans already invested in our work.

Select yourself.

personeoftheyearThe path is simple.


If you want to write – then WRITE.

If you want to make art – then MAKE ART.

Write a blog and share it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Create artwork and share it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

If you’re making work that connects, it will grow.

ASK people to read. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

ASK people to look and share. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

ASK people to join your list and buy your work. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Reach out.

Put yourself forward.

Share. Participate. Join. Act.

Just do something.
Make the art. Make the art. Make the art. Make the art. Make the art.

Create our own opportunities. Make our own connections.

Network. Ask.

Stop waiting for permission.

Create our own events, participate in shows, put our work up. Share it.

Partner with creative friends – make a podcast, create a real life gathering in a local pub, join an art battle, create our own art battle, set up and live stream a paint night – gather creative friends of all types to our patio and make community art together.

Approach associated markets.

Show those markets how much more value there is in their offering when our art is a part of that experience.

We MUST value ourselves. We MUST.
We will absolutely fail if we do not accept that our art enhances the lives of the people that encounter it.

If we don’t feel this way – we MUST find this place in ourselves. We must.

We must come to embrace that there is a bountiful, joyful reason that we have been given our unique assemblage of talents and desires to make art.

We must humble ourselves and accept that we have been given all that we need to accomplish our heart-rooted desires in this life.

It is not the ego that has the tools and the drive but the Source that provides.

WE can do little but humble ourselves and accept the gifts and make use of them.

This doesn’t make it easy. This doesn’t make it suddenly NOT uncomfortable.

Pitching yourself and your work for business partnership is hard. It’s hard & awkward & almost cringe-worthy the first few times.

Do it anyway.

IF we don’t. We WILL fail.

Stop waiting for permission

If you want to achieve greatness permissionReach into ourselves as an artist – reach out to connect to the community and our audience.

It’s the inward and outward breath of art.

Staying hidden in our studio and posting on social media won’t be enough for most artists to succeed. Not nearly.

We need to get out of our comfort zones and put ourselves into situations that expand our reach.

Shows, events, auctions, speaking gigs, classes, self-publishing… WHATEVER.

Just start connecting.

Stop waiting for permission. Start showing your work like you’ve already been chosen.

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Listen here. In honour of TCAF this coming weekend – I’m reposting my interview with Annie Koyama, who will be exhibiting with her clan of comickers. Today I talk to Annie Koyama the owner and chief motivator of Koyama press, a small Toronto publishing company focusing primarily on comics and graphic novels. Koyama Press’ mandate […]