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Instagram is ☠️ & New Pricing Handbook for Creatives, Illustrators & Designers
#makeinstagramcare - How artists, creatives, and designers can find new "old" ways of reaching new audiences. Let's also briefly talk about how to price your work, and a new class.
This is Number 10th of The Creative Draft! Welcome if you are new, and thank you if you’ve stayed this far. For this week, I’ll be sharing some thoughts and ideas that might help creatives go around the fact that Instagram seems to be willingly killing reach for everything that’s not video. Things we can do as artists, creatives, or designers to reach new audiences with our work, and what I believe we should stop doing.
I’m also chatting a bit about pricing work this time, as it’s been a recurrent question from you guys. A while ago, I did a full video about this subject, but I wanted to share that and 3 tools that can help you price your work independently on where you live.
The Menu for This Week
👉 Instagram is ☠️
👉 Wildlife Illustration for Children's Books Class
👉 New Handbook for Pricing Creative Work - Design, Illustration. Art & more
Instagram To Only Focus on Video
First, we had stories from Snapchat, now reels from TikTok
If you are like me, you pay attention to analytics as a business tool and not so much to count likes, you might have noticed that the reach of “what’s not video-related” dropped to the ground immediately after Instagram released reels for most of the countries.
During the past month, I have been experimenting with new ways to share my art, sometimes without even sharing my art, and as always, I want to share it with you guys. There will be times where I post one of my artworks and get to a few of you, but then I post a reel of me slowly peeling a paper tape off of my sketchbook, and I get to basically all my audience. That’s not a coincidence.
I have been talking to others, and even if we still have a few artists doing well, the general data indicates the same. Video is becoming the key for Instagram. Photographers, designers, even brands who rely on photography will have to either adapt, pay or get used to less and less visibility. Don’t get me wrong, Instagram is in their full right to do whatever they like; the sad part is that they advertise they care about creators. And being someone that went completely out of my comfort zone to be on YouTube, I understand that creating video content when you are an artist or a designer is not easy. But it can be done.
So if you are dealing with less and less engagement, and you need to get your work in front of new audiences and potential new clients, there are a few things I learned along the way that might help.
🗨️ Reels between 10 and 29 seconds seem to do better.
🗨️ Reels music that’s not popular seems to do better - most likely because they will not show a popular song to 1 million users, as they might have to pay rights. So when looking for a song, look for those that reached a lot of people.
🗨️ Art process reveal works, same as augmenting reality with your graphic designs skills or animations
🗨️ No text seems to work better
🗨️ Don’t download your reel and repost on TikTok with an Instagram watermark and low quality. Use a free app like “Repost” - it will download your reel, no watermark, ready to be posted on TikTok, LinkedIn (and any other app), even IG stories.
🗨️ Do not share your reel on stories. For me, this seems to kill my reel reach immediately.
🗨️ Share your reel to your Pinterest
If you happen to find something that works great and share it with all, please let me know in a comment. For now, I will keep capturing parts of my process and sharing in video format, except for IGTv that we all know doesn’t work.
Wildlife Illustration for Children's Books
An amazing new class by Dieter Braun, Illustrator & Author
You all well know I don’t work in Illustrator, and vectors aren’t really my thing, but who doesn’t admire Dieter Braun’s work? The class I took taught by him starts from the very basics and gradually leads you through all his process of illustrating a full book spread.
The class gets better and better, more and more interesting as you go, like a good movie. It is hypnotizing to see the magic of his work unravel.
One of the very best things about this class, besides the amazing artwork, is his advice. The tips this very talented and experienced illustrator shares with you at the end are super important and priceless, so please consider checking it out.
The Book That Might Save Your A**
GAG Handbook - 16th Edition: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines
A few months back, I talked about this book a lot. I made a complete video (below) in my channel talking about pricing work. In that video, I covered the 15th edition of this wonderful yet huge book. This book is so heavy that you can break a desk, and all that is coming from the knowledge within it.
Pricing your work as an artist, designer, illustrator, or creative is very difficult for many reasons. One of those reasons is lack of transparency. It can be that you have artist friends and either you don’t dare to ask them how they price a project they have, or if you ask, the answer will be vague.
It’s sad, but that happened a lot to me at the beginning of my career. I would get a client asking me for a project, turn to my fellow artist friends (please don’t approach artists you don’t have a relationship with, asking for free advice and to price your projects for you, that’s a big NO-NO!), and I rarely got a straightforward answer. Maybe it was because of fear or because they felt what we all compete with each other. I honestly don’t know. I truly believe that we should share info among artists and creatives to keep the value of our work, as a community, high. If not united, we all lose.
Books like this Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines became super handy and valuable for creatives. This book gathers a pricing framework for basically everything you need, from a logo design to an advertising illustration, even movies.
One of the best parts of the book that I never mentioned in my video (because I completely forgot about it), is that right at the end, in the last chapters, they share a lot of contracts and templates you can use or take as reference (this is not legal advice and you should always consult with a lawyer).
This year the new edition came out, the 16th, and I cannot recommend it enough. This book will be useful independently of wherever you are based in the world. In some rare cases, this might not apply for local clients, in countries where the local currency is not strong, but for pricing international work, it’s a dam good book. It’s a great investment if you are taking your creative career seriously.
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