Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shifting Gears

To this day I can still hear my cranky old art professor's words ringing in my head from way back in 1986... "Class-- you need to wear as many hats as possible if you're gonna make it in this business!!! You can't draw one thing well and expect to make a living as an artist. Draw everything for everyone and you'll hit at least one out of the park!!" Now I loved this teacher so to me anything he said was gold. All I wanted to do was impress him artistically so I listened to his words of wisdom and when I opened my studio in 1987 I tried to draw as many styles and wear as many artists hats as possible. The varied work allowed me to pay my rent but I wasn't really finding my "niche" in the art community and I couldn't figure out why. Then came the early 90's and I started to advertise in Black Book, American Showcase, Picture Book, Etc. The art directors kept saying to me, "Scott, you need to showcase one style and one look only." This went against everything I'd been doing to date. I even went back and talked to my old professor to question this marketing dilemma and he said, "Baaah...They just want to sell more add space. Feature all your stuff." So I did and the result was I now realize I was simply confusing the art directors who looked at my work. Who was this Scott Nelson guy and what actual style does he do well? Inevitably they'd pass on me because the artist on the next page would showcase one style done well not 8 styles done mediocre. So over time I've learned to try and brand myself with one "me" style yet I still enjoy all the looks I do. So just for old time sakes and to honor the best art professor EVER__ the late Alex Gazonas... I'm going to feature two looks in this thread to really confuse my point. Bottom line, drawing is fun but when it comes to spending your marketing dollar...less is more. RIP Alex

1 comment:

Ginger*:) said...

Your work is exciting, enjoyable and varied. It is great to have more than one style, (but not too many) and to be able to use them when needed. They become kind of a tool box for your reference.

On the other hand it is wise to limit your offerings to art directors to one or two styles that capture your best work.

It is sad to see that we are at the point where when we honor our former professors it has to be done after they have passed on.

I would add my professors here:
Roy Lichtenstien, George Segal, Robert Bradshaw...
how sad I was to see that they were no longer here creating and inspiring todays students and innovative artists.