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.
Text and photos copyright © 2020 John Fleskes. Videos © 2021 Flesk Publications. Artwork © 2020 its respective artists. All rights reserved.