The other featured artist of the weekend was Matt Hughes, an illustrator who defines his art as “Gothic Art Nouveau.” Matt was very helpful to me not just with comments on my portfolio, but also talking about marketing. Matt is the one who suggested to me that I should start a blog talking about the things I did at Dragon Con. He also recommended that I read the book “22 Immutable Laws of Branding,” and remember that building an art career is like building any brand. He encouraged me to do a mailing or update every 2 weeks, stating that art directors get mail from artists like normal people get junk mail. You need to send stuff often, just in hopes that your postcard will be on top and catch the art director’s attention.
Matt’s comments about my art were very encouraging. He said that my stuff was good, but that I needed to be aware of my values, that I needed to make sure to use models in all my pieces, and that I needed to pay attention to light sources. He told me I had a good understanding of color, but that I should stop trying to draw what I thought other people want to see, and draw what I love.
Matt also said I needed to make a statement: art without a statement is not really art, give your pictures a voice! Matt thanked me for only having 6 pieces in my portfolio. He told a horror story about a girl who came to his booth a few hours earlier with 30+ drawings and paintings she wanted him to look through!