Kim Thompson has a striking and memorable afro, the kind i’ve always been jealous of and wished i owned! She also had a memorable personality, she appeared vibrant, creative and determined. Whilst her main practice is illustration, she also covers a wide range of areas such as storyboarding, painting, mixed media, graphics and branding and advertising. Thompson told us how she has recently realised she has quite the talent for painting and so she paints dog portraits for commissions alongside her main practice as her bread and butter work; the stuff that keeps her going when she doesn’t have any illustration work coming her way. I guess this is important to know; You won’t just automatically break into the art world, You may have to do some not-so-enjoyable pieces that you’re good at and can do easily to keep a bit of money coming in.
Kim told us she uses blogs, newsletters, emails and business cards to promote herself. She regularly keeps her previous customers up to date by sending them a quick email or newsletter letting them know what she’s been up to recently. She always gives old, new and potential customers a business card with her illustrated, afro-ed self (pictured above) on the front so they can easily remember her, which she adds is about clever branding of yourself and the fact that customers are buying into you aswell as your art.
It is becoming evident to me just how much the visiting artists are always seeking out opportunity, always trawling through artsjobs.org.uk and constantly using the internet and other resources as a way of promoting themselves and finding new connections and opportunities. Also, another must is keeping up to date on your chosen industry and artists work. Keeping informed and up to date with newsletters, subscriptions, artist websites, gallery websites, magazines etc is vital and can only be of benefit to you in keeping you in the know of what’s going on and how your work will fit into today’s market. The creative industry isn’t an easy one to break into but it IS possible, As Kim said in her lecture; It’s never too late, be confident and wait it out and as long as you’re doing and you believe in yourself, other wills eventually believe in you too and it will pay off. The underlying message for the lecture though was to make your audience and customers believe in you and believe that they need you and your service(practice), this can be done with clever branding, advertising and perfecting your people skills and smile aswell as your art. They are all equally important.