HOW Magazine is a leading publication in the art and graphics community. If you don’t subscribe, you should. There are a ton of great articles on both the creative and business aspects of being a commercial artist.
Recently HOW started offering a series of online “webinars”. (A webinar is a seminar broadcast over the web.) These webinars are designed to help creative types improve their business skills so they can land more jobs and grow more successful.
If you are like me, business saavy does not come naturally. Artists often see business skill as a necessary evil, equating them with stuffy suits, number crunching, and sleepy PowerPoint presentations. People often make the assumption that being business-minded is the opposite of being creative. I prefer to think of them as complimenting one another. The right business principles, when properly applied, can actually free you up to be more creative and successful. These webinars are designed to help you work those business muscles.
There have been two HOW Webinars to date:
“Get Rich in a Niche: How To Find And Reach Your Target Market”
(Not that it should be all about the money. Money is like air. You need to breathe air to live, but you shouldn’t live just to breathe.)
If you sign up for a webinar (and pay a $69 fee), you can either listen live or listen later at your convenience. You can also download free PDFs and notes from the presentation. I’ve signed up for the first two webinars. I’ve only had time to listen to the first one, but despite some technical difficulties (see below) I like what I’ve heard. Lots of meaty content. The webinars seem primarily aimed at graphic designers, but there is a lot of good info that can apply to illustrators as well.
I only have one complaint: Unfortunately the webinars aren’t very Mac-friendly (which is surprising since Macs are so prevelant in the creative community). The presentations won’t play at all in Safari so Mac users will have to download Firefox to watch them. Even then I could only hear the audio, not see the video, but I didn’t really miss anything. The webinar could have easily worked as a podcast. Also, my play/pause button wouldn’t work, so I had to listen to all of it in one chunk. Hopefully those bugs will be fixed soon. Still, the overall content was terrific and the PDFs do a good job of covering the point-by-point specifics.
The cost is $69 per webinar, which is a reasonable fee for what you will get out of it (if you don’t mind the glitches).