I’m not one to brag, but I can’t help myself. Who wouldn’t brag if they had the chance to meet with Richard and Wendy Pini? These are two of the kindest and smartest people who I know. It was a wonderful surprise when the Pini’s visited in Santa Cruz the day prior to their guest appearance at the Silicon show in San Jose.
I could rattle on for a while about what a delight it was to see them in person, especially given how few people I’ve seen in recent times. I’ll focus on a pair of quick points.
We may have talked about a new project, which I can not confirm or deny may turn into something really cool! How’s that for being vague? I’ve been itching to work with the Pini’s again for years. As I shared an idea with them I watched in amazement as Richard took my basic pitch and turned it into something far more exciting than I originally imagined. I don’t usually offer a tease so far in advance, but I really wanted to demonstrate how much I continue to learn from the Pini’s and how quick Richard’s business mind spins. They have been publishing and staying fresh for over 43 years and there is a reason why.
On another note, they were nice enough to listen to my ideas for the business over the next few years. I have a vision about where I want to take Flesk and how to navigate through all of the unknowns to get there. They encouraged me on my path while offering some very good insight into areas that I had not considered before. It was an enlightening visit for which I am grateful.
Over the last few months I have emailed five artists who I have never met or seen in person to inquire about the possibility of working with them on an art book collection. None of them replied.
In contrast, I emailed two artists earlier this year who I had met in person at events in the past. Both of them replied the same day with a positive note expressing their enthusiasm to work together.
This was a good experiment to run. In the past we would almost always meet someone in person before extending an invitation to create an art book of their work. Ever since the comic and art events came to a halt in March 2020, we haven’t had the opportunity to walk the shows and meet new people. While events are starting to reopen now, I suspect it will be a long while before everyone is fully comfortable going to them to take advantage of networking opportunities.
Meeting people in person still continues to be the best way for us to build new relationships as we focus on younger and emerging artists, as well as artists who have been in the industry for decades. We have no shortage of books to make, but I am eager to invite a few new people to our publishing company. Books can take a few years to make, so contacting people now for our 2023-2024 release schedule is something that I am looking into.
I know there are online opportunities to get your name out there and to build your reputation. But for how my brain works, I believe there is no better way to make new connections than to do it in person.