For those of you that aren’t aware, there have been a couple of hot art blogs hitting the community that has a focus of helping fellow artists market themselves – INK and Earthmonster illustrated. I had a conversation withEarthmonster, the man behind the blogs, to get some insight on his efforts and marketing philosophy for artists.
Your avatar is becoming quite a familiar place on redbubble. Your flagship blog, Earthmonster Illustrated, is becoming increasingly popular in the art community. Can you give me an idea what inspired you to start the ezine?
The popularity aspect really surprised me, I honestly never thought it would become what it is. A little over a year ago I noticed that most art sites like Redbubble and CafePress were not really marketing the artists themselves. They were marketing their products, which is fine, but it did nothing for the artists. There was very little exposure for anyone. I took it upon myself to start working on that and here we are today.
How would you describe EMI to someone that hasn’t read it before?
EMI is by the artist, for the artist – first and foremost. I have tried to keep it more about featured artists rather than myself. The magazines tagline is “Celebrate Your Creativity” and we think that says it all.
So what are your future goals for EMI?
I hope that the numbers of visitors continue to grow. We are doing everything we can to make that happen. We have instituted a press release program to help artists gain attention in their areas, as well as our Christmas Gift Center which helps feature our EMI Group members. We have brought in the VoteForArt company to allow our members to be involved in earning money for designs, but the group has yet to really make use of that. It amazes me that people will do art for shirts in an attempt to earn $5 but not latch on to a program offering earnings of $500 plus sales with Vote For Art. We will continue to pursue other options for our members. We have also infiltrated ArtWanted as of late and we are so happy the users there are really taking to it.
Tell me a little about your own background.
I started my career as a graphic designer in the advertising business, moved up in the company to a creative director position. 25 years ago a client approached me to open my own business and that became a mainstay for me. I dealt mostly in entertainment and destination marketing handling The Osmond Brothers, Andy Williams, Eddie Rabbitt, Tony Orlando, Mel Tillis and so on. I sold the business to a partner who still has it open.
Check out a sampling of EMs own portfolio, it’s hella cool.
You have now started a new blog called “INK”. Why two blogs, and what is the difference between them?
EMI is a monthly e-zine and ink is a daily updated blog. Both deal mainly with EMI group members and our affiliates like the MIA , Halloween Group, Grindhouse a GoGo, and Horror Groups. It’s continuing to grow and we will always welcome new partners. Ink has been a fun venture for me, it’s short and snappy commentary on featured works or ideas.
What is the most exciting thing about both EMI and INK?
I get a kick out of the finished products; mostly I enjoy the people.
What are your goals for both blogs?
I would like to see both blogs succeed to the point we have some corporate interest which will greatly benefit our members and bring to them a new level of opportunity for exposure.
On RedBubble, you host two groups that feeds into EMI. Would you like to talk about them a little?
EMI-The Group is less about challenges and more about people and quality work. As far as work I think we have the finest artists on Redbubble in our groups and truthfully the members track records prove that. If you want high quality we can provide that in EMI.
The EMI Video Group is a bit of a challenge in getting participation due to some changes that happened on RB just after we launched it. The IT at RB I suppose had gotten requests to limit our abilities to use a certain feature within posting videos and they killed that ability outright. Which says alot about what we were doing progressively speaking. I like to think we swamped the system.
Would you like to tell us a little about your co-hosts and contributing writers that help you keep things moving with everything on your plate?
I would be lost if it weren’t for TK Rosevear. TK handles most of the copy and writing that I am involved with and makes sure we have limited as many mistakes as possible. She is the best creative writer as I have seen and frankly I would not be where I am with either publication without her. Victoria Antoine takes car of Earthmonster Facebook and keep the outside world churning with all things EMI. Last month she overtook Redbubble numbers in counts of unique visitors with our Facebook account. That was a tall order, so I think she gets all the credit for her work and rightfully so. She is an invaluable asset. Mindy McGregor fills in with featuring photography works in the group which takes a tremendous load off us and we think she knows a little about photos 🙂 And last but not least is you Patty Jo. We are just starting out on our journey together and I am expecting great things. I believe you will be the deciding factor in our growth. I am looking forward to getting started.
You sure do have a lot of things going on – how do you stay motivated? What inspires you?
Last time I looked I am holding almost 40 blogs, I am continuously trying to move the brand into the search engine elite. I think we will dominate if I can sustain this pace but I have no idea how I handle it. Then take a look at our artists, if that’s not enough to motivate and inspire you nothing will. Every time I moderate I get inspired by someone in our group. I also have long talks with TK regarding strategic planning for EMI and that gets me going.
I do think there are big things on the horizon for our group and myself…I’m hanging on for the ride.