Getting commissioned as an artist is mostly a function of trust. Companies prefer to commission artists they know and trust. However, such trust is not easy to come by. Here are 3 hacks to getting you commissioned by companies and making the big bucks in no time.
1. Be Visible
It’s the year 2021, no one really needs to tell an artist who wants to get commissioned to create an online presence. Creating an online presence is a major hack to being visible. To stay visible, create and maintain a style for your online presence and stick with it. A good way to do this is to specialize and share works mainly from your area of specialty, and to create a unique identity for yourself . Focus on making your professional presence different from your personal presence or try to strike a balance on how much of your personal life you show to your professional audience. Collaborating with other artists also increases the incidence of your visibility, a popular quote from the Christian Bible is “one will chase a thousand and two ten thousand”. Basically, your works become more visible when two or more artists collaborate on it and share it.
2. Portfolio Reviews
When you make yourself visible and stay visible, the size of your audience increases. So long as you put good work out, people will start to pay attention to your work and you will be sure to spark the interest of a couple of people in your industry. You can then create an avenue for a portfolio review. A portfolio review happens when you create a portfolio by selecting some of your works and putting them together with some descriptive texts in a PDF file or other document format. You then go on to set a meeting with a professional in your industry, for example an editor or a photographer and have such professional(s) review your work and give you a feedback. With most things in the world going virtual, such meetings do not need to be physical anymore and you are also no longer bound by space. So for example, as a photographer working out of Nigeria, you can schedule a meeting with a photographer from the Middle East or Europe to review your portfolio on Zoom or on any other platform that hosts electronic meetings. The importance of this is that you get to see how your work is perceived by professionals and others in your industry. This helps creates an opportunity for these professionals to give you recommendations which will eventually land you commissions.
3. Apprenticeship or Mentee-ship
This is a major key to unlocking commissions. You need to associate yourself with already established leaders in your field and take time to work with them. When seeking to gain trust as an artist, you will need to “pay your dues”. Paying your dues doesn’t imply remitting a stipulated amount to some organization, but doing some work that may seem odd to you. It could include reaching out to persons who you have identified as likely mentors and being willing to endure the initial hard steps it will take to get their attention. The Nigerian saying “na pesin wey wan collect hand dey stretch pass” puts this aptly. Brace yourself, you may get ignored at first. You know you are a star but your proposed mentor does not know this. Yet consistently trying out the tips for finding a mentor will eventually land you one. Getting into a mentorship relationship doesn’t guarantee you getting commissioned by your target companies immediately. But working with your mentors overtime, you gain experience, skill and connections that will be immensely beneficial to you. In the long run you will certainly get a recommendation from him or her or some other connection you have made in the course of your mentee-ship and then finally, a commission which if done satisfactorily, will lead to other commissions.
We wish you all the best in your endeavors and we hope that you get commissioned soonest.