Why Didn't I Get an Invite to Your Facebook Page?

This site launched on September 7th, 2018. At the time of this writing, roughly two weeks later, the site has had 83 unique visitors and the Facebook page has two followers. I am one of those two followers.

I am very okay with this.

One of my more lofty targets in this endeavor is to help other artists. Many of the blog posts I have scheduled focus on the process of creating art and managing the business of marketing that art. There is simply not enough information out there about strategies and processes for marketing your own art. Our modern communication methods provide a myriad of opportunities, yet many artists struggle to make something happen with their work.

So, 83 unique visitors in two weeks. The most interesting aspect of that number is that 76% of those folks came to the site by typing “https://artmonsteratx.com” into their address bar. They came directly. They did not click on a link in Facebook or anywhere else. While it doesn’t take a good deal of effort to copy-and-paste a link or type it in beyond simply clicking a link, the extra effort means something in our click-bate driven world.

That 76% didn’t just want to follow a link casually. They were interested enough in seeing the site to take a few extra steps.

That is what I am going for here. My last site I heavily promoted online. I opened page-after-page on various forums, often duplicating my entire portfolio in multiple venues in the hopes that people would go to my site. The facebook page for that site had several hundred followers, many of whom received a direct invite from myself. The numbers looked good, but they were artificial.

I had friends following me as a courtesy. They may have checked out the site once and then never again. That contributed to my reasons for walking away from having my own website in the first place; it seemed to make more sense to bring my art to the forums they were in rather than try to get them to come to me.

The question is, am I try to accumulate likes or sell art? Obviously, it is the latter. That being the case, bringing my art to a social media site and getting a like is counterproductive. 300 likes are not worth nearly as much as that one person who leaves the venue they saw me at and seeks out my site.

That one Facebook follower I have didn’t get an invite. He followed my page because he is interested in my work. He wants to know when to go to this site to see new work. That is precisely what I need.

As I mentioned, in my efforts to promote my last site, I duplicated my portfolio in other forums. That is not the case with Art Monster. My new rule-of-thumb is to post no more than five related images in any particular forum. If you want to see more work, new work, you have to come here.

The Art Monster Facebook page doesn’t even have pieces posted, just notifications that new stuff can be found here, because here is where I need your attention. The people that find this website are the ones truly interested in my work, possibly interested enough to buy a sticker, t-shirt, or commission an original piece.

The strategy I am employing here is to achieve natural, organic, meaningful numbers, not hollow stats that look good but are ultimately meaningless because they were artificial. To those who have found there way here, thank you. I am going to be doing some special things for you in the near future to reward your interest and support.

Stay tuned.

Why I Have a Patreon Account, and What You Get Out of It

Patreon is a forum through which creators of all stripes can get financial support from their patrons. Patrons pay for access to content they might not get anywhere else, like being a dues paying member of a club that in return provides benefits and privileges to its members.

A friend of mine brought the value of a site like Patreon home one day when I invited him to go out to a museum to see a collection of Goya’s prints with my kid and I. He didn’t know Goya’s work, so I showed him online. He then asked, “Why pay to go see it when I can see it online for free?”

I know. I know. The value of seeing art in person is a point for another day.

On my last site, I tired to post everything. This included scraps and sketches, and this was without the benefit of the kind of framework made available by Squarespace. It was ridiculously difficult to maintain. My friend’s point came back to me, why pay for any of it when all my visitors can see it all for free?

Patreon is for me a venue through which I can offer my patrons access “behind the curtain”. It is like joining a special club where your dues get you benefits and privileges. Patrons who subscribe to my page get to see projects in development, sketches I am working on, and even read my short stories I post occasionally. In addition, they are given first notice of newly posted merchandise at my shops, discounts, and member exclusives like special prints.

The show of financial support allows me to purchase more and better tools to make art, and more importantly to set aside time to be an artist. With the launch of Art Monster, I am doubling down on the Patreon account, posting more frequently and reworking the available rewards. This week, for example, my followers on Patreon have seen four new tattoo flash design sheets that will not be released until October. Art Monster shows the 24 most recent graphic and fine art pieces I have made available to the public. On Patreon, you get to see my entire portfolio.

If you dig what I do and want a deeper look, check out my Patreon account. A good chunk of it is free to the public, with only the “really good stuff” being exclusive to paying patrons. Every little bit helps, and if you are already reading my blogs then you must be a little interested in what I do (thank you for reading the blogs, by the way). Become on of my patrons, and help keep my particular brand of creative lunacy alive.

My Perspective on Commissions

I am going to try to be delicate about this. Clear but delicate.

I am available for commissions, but I am in no way obligated to do commissions. I will take all requests into consideration, but I may decline your offer. This, to some, may seem obvious, but in my experience that needs to be spelled out.

When you request a commission from me, you are not just commissioning a painting or illustration. You are commissioning a work of art by Jason Sorrell. I know that sounds pompous, so let me explain. The work I create will be something unique, something identifiable as one of my works. Whatever you request, I will try to make personal, I will strive to make it a “Jason Sorrell piece”. If I don’t feel I can do that, that I can make you a piece that is representative of the type of work I do, then I will encourage you to find an artist who does the kind of work you are seeking and politely pass on your offer.

With this in mind, the commissions I do accept are ones that allow me the creative liberty to make the piece my own. Again, if you commission a design from me, you are getting a Jason Sorrell piece. That means if you come to me for a logo and you have specific fonts, a particular graphic, colors in mind, etc, I am probably going to suggest a good graphics program with which you can assemble to logo yourself. I am going to ask you a lot of questions and offer you a lot of options right upfront, but once we pull the trigger and I start working, we are committed. The nature of the project may require some revision, but mostly I am looking for projects where you are commissioning a design by me and I have as much liberty as possible.

The projects I accept will kick ass. I will make those pieces my own.

Pricing will be determined before I start the piece, with 50% due upfront and 50% due upon completion of the project. Pricing is subjective. It is determined by the materials involved in creating the work, the amount of time I calculate it will require, the limitations you set on the design, the number of revisions we agree upon (if any), the intended use of the work (private vs. commercial), and (honestly) how interested I am in your project. The price I set for one project is not indicative of prices I will set for future projects.

I welcome and encourage everyone to contact me with their requests. I appreciate everyone’s interest, and will offer any suggestions I have if I am unable to take your commission. I am looking forward to making you some epic art.