How to Draw Caricatures and Get Paid Over and Over
By: Greg Gillespie
When your first think of a caricaturist at work, you probably think of a busy theme park with crowds of people buzzing around the sketches of a talented artist, hard at work, cranking out exaggerated cartoons of amazing proportions, some funny, some offensive (all in good taste of course!), some that really stand out. For some artists though, the very thought of sitting in front of a public crowd, sweating under the pressure of the spot light, makes them go weak at the knees. And for a few smart ones, fortunately there is an easier way.
One that leads to ongoing income for their drawings. Imagine being paid over and over for the one drawing, or many drawings for that matter. Imagine knowing how much money you were going to make this week, this month or even this year, how secure would that make you feel? The technique I am about to explain can deliver just that, a full time ongoing income. Your caricatures will be sold over and over and over to a hungry market that has plenty of spare cash to spend on your creative talents.
So What Is This Secret Market?
Answer: Cell Phone Wallpapers If you are under 20 years old then you will know exactly what I am talking about. The cell phone after-market industry is absolutely huge, with a forecast $7 billion spend in 2009 in the ringtones category alone.
Wallpapers, (the cell phone equivalent of a desktop picture for the 30+'s reading this) are not nearly as big but they are second place getter in this race and that means they are worth going after.
So Exactly How Does A Caricaturist Capture This Market?
Answer: Clue, start thinking like a teenager and then create what they want. If you follow along with their media you will get a good idea of the current "celebrities" that they are going to want on their phones, as a wallpaper picture. Try visiting MySpace, YouTube, celebrity websites, ezines, fan sites, musicians sites, cell phone ring tone selling sites like Jamster.
Here you will get the latest, most viewed celebrities that you can do caricatures of and then give them away for free. Did you say free? Are you crazy, how am I going to make any money doing that? I know it seems ridiculous to do all that work only to give it away but unless you do, you will find it hard to get any traffic to your website, and no traffic means no money - at all. So how do you make money doing it this way?
Well first things first you need a hook (a freebie or 5) to get them to your site, then you need a way to get them interested in paying further down the track once they get addicted your freebies. It works well like this... Invite website visitors to download 5 wallpapers for free, all you ask is that they give you permission to send them your weekly newsletter to your latest and funniest celebrity caricatures, (with links to the ones that you sell for .99c each!) Setup your payment gateway with the most popular ways teenagers use to purchase stuff on the Internet, to make sure that you don't cause too much "friction" in the sales process. You don't want to lose sales due to this so invest some time in researching what the most widely used methods are and emulate.
How Much Money Can Be Made Selling Wallpapers To Teenagers?
The answer to that lies in how large your list of subscribers is. With a good strike rate of conversion at around 4% on each weekly mailing, you can workout just how big you need to build your list to make sure you can do this fulltime. Eg. List size 25,000 subscribers x $1 x 4% = $1,000 Now that is an income you could live on, and the good thing is this market, teenagers are very viral, so they will show off their latest acquisition from your caricature range to their friends to make them jealous and then they are going to want one too! The Trick You Must Remember To Make This Work!
1. Create 10 new caricatures each week, otherwise your site will become stale and your visitors and subscribers will start to leave. You need fresh material, not that hard when all you need do is pick up the latest weekly magazine of "celebr-a-trash" at your local news outlet or drug store. Who's pregnant this week, who's been arrested, who's engaged, new boyfriend, new girlfriend - I think you get the idea.
2. Rotate your freebies in your free to download area to be the last months selection that you previously sold. This way you can add to the number of freebies, which makes it more attractive and your site and subscribers will grow along with it. The setup of your website is something that you need to consider carefully as getting the right payment gateway, promotional tools for marketing and the correct mechanism for building your membership site are crucial to your sites success and these steps need to executed with precision to make sure your making the most of this opportunity.
About the Author:
For more information on how to draw caricatures and make money with your own website set up to sell, please visit Greg Gillespie's website, http://learn-to-draw.org/
Art Career Advice : Where Can I Sell My Cartoon?
For other articles and videos on this topic, please follow the links below:
Drawing caricatures is an exercise in observation. What makes your subject unique? How can you emphasize those features?
There is market that artists have been slow to tap, that of selling your caricatures as electronic files and "wallpaper" for mobile devices.