New projects in the works

Yesterday I finished meeting with one of my new clients, an artist in Kansas City named Donna Aldridge. “Donna”: is another example of working your network. I met her through a neighbor, who came to a garage sale I was helping my parents with. As I carried her purchase to my neighbor’s car — it was an artist’s easel — I asked her about her art and told her about mine. When she heard I was a filmmaker and looking for industrial work to pay the bills, she cracked a smile and told me there were several artists in the area who were looking for someone to produce how-to videos for them to sell at workshops, art shows, etc.

So she put me in touch with Donna, and after several emails and our initial meeting I find myself in Donna’s house yet again, discussing our options for marketing her upcoming series of how-to videos that I am going to shooting and edit for her in February. The material is already there, since she’s been teaching this stuff for years, and there are several subjects she is passionate about teaching to new artists. Right now, we’re outlining and scripting the first few DVDs.

She’s well connected to a couple major international art suppliers (her specialty is pastels) and spends most of her time doing demos, workshops and classes all across the country. She also receives many requests for commissions and actively shows her work in galleries around the world. I’m excited because she has lots of original material to teach — stuff that’s not being taught in other art videos or books. An international art magazine is writing an article about her right now, and there’s also a book in the works.

She’s also well-connected and has lots of friends who will help us out. For example, a photographer friend of hers has generously agreed to help with the lighting and any other way he is able. Her daughter is a commercial artist, so they are working together to design a logo and overall look for the packaging. We are currently looking for funding to buy some necessary new equipment and pay for part of the reproduction costs. We’re all excited about this, because it has the potential to sell well. It’s good to start a project when you already have a viable marketing plan. Working with Donna is already turning out to be rewarding and educational. She’s a smart, terrific woman and a very talented artist.

And it all started at my parents’ garage sale…

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