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It's tough out there

As a small creative business ourselves, we totally get it...
We'll be posting articles and sharing ideas here that might help us all negotiate the next few months...
Send in your tips, observations and links and we'll post them here - check back regularly for updates.

Suggestions more than welcome...

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Some recently asked questions...

question_answer Where can I get more info and help?

Here's a list of great resources from the industry...

Advertising Producers Association APA

The Association of Photographers AOP

The Association of Illustrators AOI

The Creative Introvert

question_answer Should I just sit this out an see what happens?.

Er... NO!
There may well be high demand across the industry once it is safe to get shooting and creating again, so use this time to plan, promote and stay ahead of the curve...

Q&A with an Illustrator in Isolation

Paul Collicutt

Steph: How concerned are you about the possibility of an extended period working in isolation from home?

PC : Working from home is not a problem in itself as I work part time from home anyway and am well set up. The problem I think will be working from home with the rest of the family in isolation too. We have 2 kids and they do need attention. I think we'll all have to be disciplined.

Have you noticed a tightening of the purse strings or uncertainty from any regular or potential clients?

Yes. I have lost clients in Hong Kong and in the UK people are just a lot more uncertain. I know of at least one magazine that has just pulled all its budgets back for the next 3 months and no illustrations are being commissioned at all for 3 months.

Do you currently have a plan for networking and promoting in the coming weeks and months?

Not really a plan as such but rather a determination to carry on. There must be areas that are doing well.

Do you feel that you have all the tools you need to stay productive and keep business moving during this period?

I have all the tools to stay productive but I'm worried about getting business in. Right now I have no jobs lined up at all and to be honest I am really struggling with making contacts that result in jobs.

As an experienced illustrator, do you have any words of advice for freelancers who have recently left college/uni and are finding it especially hard to get their careers on track in these toughest of times?

This will be a super tough time for them. I would contact publishers etc with ideas and see if there is anything you can work to develop. The games industry is still booming and only going up right now... they need artists all the time. Maybe as they have just left or are about to leave... now is a good time to go for internships.

Finally, how do you think we could help freelancers like yourself to power through this tricky situation?

Maybe any insights you have could be shared... certainly email credits or suggestions about campaigns would work well. I am on a plan for ad agencies and production companies in the UK... maybe for something like the advent gifts you gave out of contacts from another sector... e.g. publishing... would be very useful.

image courtesy Paul Collicutt
©2020 Paul Collicutt

question_answer What can I do to keep my name out there and keep the work coming in for the future?

There are plenty of things you can do to keep the ball rolling.
- Develop new relationships for when our industry regroups.
- Do some targeted info-email campaigns
- Grow your social networks...
Remember we have linkedIn profiles for most contacts.

Stay well, stay safe and stay connected.
Keep the wheels turning.

question_answer What tone should I use the moment? I don't want to come across as cold or being opportunist in the current situation.

Be honest. Everyone is affected across all jobs and industries, so sharing your experiences and concerns will be a great help to others.

Let your networks know that your are around and available for any projects they might have. There are probably clients out there who need to source great content quickly to help them get their own messages across - and you can help with that.

As Bill S. Preston Esquire once said, "Be excellent to each other!".