Artist Spotlight: Dave Draws
For our first Artist Spotlight feature at Klein Imaging, we are pleased to welcome prolific Manchester artist Dave Draws.
Klein: How important have you found it to creating yourself as a brand? and what were the stepping stones you’ve had to take to be where you are now?
DD: Very important, I always had what I thought was quite a unique style but it was a case of putting that with a brand name, making sure that the branding went across all my products and keeping that consistent that made the difference for me personally.
Klein: You’ve had some big commissions from some top clients like UNILad, what’s your creative process when a job like this comes around?
DD: So when I get a big mural commission job, I tend to ask the client for a screenshot of the area they would like covering and a list of features to go on the piece. Before I start I map out roughly where everything will go so my perspective is right when I start the design. Once I start the mural I tend to add the buildings first, then the roads and then the doodles.
Klein: Has there ever been any commissions that didn’t go too well and how did you managed to over it?
DD: There have been a few smaller commissions that haven’t been quite right at first or what the client wanted so when that happens you just have to try and make sure that the brief you are working from is as clear as it can be. With my work as it is all pen on to paper and takes quite a while to do it is always preferable if I can get it done first time and if I don’t have to re do parts of it.
Klein: What are your 5 best tips for someone wanting to get larger commissions?
- Use social media aggressively, posting, using hashtags, I noticed a pick up in my work when I started posting more on social media.
- Don’t be afraid to approach people or chase work up. Sometimes if I think a person or a company might want some of my work I just approach them about it. You can get knocked back sometimes but others people are receptive to the idea so you have to be quite forward.
- Network loads. The more people who are aware of your work the more people who are likely to commission you.
- Approach bloggers and websites to post about your work. Again this might not pay off every time but if the right blogger with the right amount of social media reach posts about you you can get a lot of work from that!
- Try and know what the client wants before you approach them, if you have an idea of something cool you can do for them then hopefully you can wow them with a pitch!
Klein: Approaching stockists can be a tricky for new artists, what’s your advice for people wanting to get there work out there into stores?
DD: It can be very tricky, especially to make sure you make a profit with all the different ways it can work with commission etc. Personally I would draw up a list of every stockist I could approach and work my way through them all, offer them wholesale or sale or return and see what they say.
Klein: Does stocking your work online with online selling platforms like Etsy and ManchesterArtPrints.com have the same issues or do you find it easier?
DD: At the minute I stock online with Big Cartel and that is easier in some ways as you are managing every aspect of that. It is important to be in shops though as people won’t always want to pay for the postage of online orders.
Klein: What has surprised you the most about your career and why?
DD: Basically I’m surprised that I’m doing this at all, I feel very lucky to be doing this. Individual experience wise though, going to Hong Kong last year to do two murals was pretty insane!
Klein: Are you surprised for the demand of your work or that things have fallen into place?
DD: I am surprised with the demand, even though this was what I wanted to do, being an artist is quite a singular thing, so people liking my work is always a bit of a surprise for me.