How do I get Sponsored by Art Supply Companies?

POSCAs-Not yet sponsoring Drew!
POSCAs-Not yet sponsoring Drew!

UPDATE TO THIS BLOG POST on OCT 8, 2012:  Drew Brophy is now sponsored by Uni Posca, Iwata, Fredrix Canvas and many other companies.  These steps we posted helped to make that happen!

Watch a Video where I talk about how to get sponsorship and I give a lot of examples, on Smart Creative Women Podcast Site.

Here’s a question from Zach Neff:  “Ive been drawing my whole life…..with a certain pen company….I’m wondering whats the best way to go about getting sponsored or provided with the supplies and then make a site, sell the art and advertise a pen company and put my drawings n such on stuff?”

Zack, to get sponsored by an art supply manufacturer, you’ll need to follow these steps:

1.)  Build up a body of work;

2.)  Build up huge fanbase.

3.)  Contact the manufacturers of the products you want to be sponsored with and tell them what sponsoring you will do for THEM.

4.) Begin developing a relationship with the company and your contact there, and show them what you can do for them!

Sponsors are looking for a good role model, someone who is well known, with a strong following, and a strong prescence either on the web, on T.V. or through media (magazines, etc.)  In other words, they are interested in sponsoring a branded personality.

It’s not easy getting a sponsor, but it is possible.  Drew has single-handedly promoted POSCA pens to over 1,000,000 people over the past 20 years through his seminars, his website and his very popular “Paint Pen Techniques” DVD.  However, we haven’t yet been able to get the distributor of POSCA pens to sponsor him. We’ve talked with them, they had mild interest, but decided to sponsor a major race car driver last year (who does not draw or paint).  But, never one to give up, I keep in friendly contact with the company, because I know that eventually they will say “yes”.

So, how do you build up your fanbase, your name, your following?  Here’s 5 tips:

1.)  Be consistent – have your own style that people recognize as your own.  And use that style in most of your work.  Sign your name to everything and retain your copyrights.

2.)  Have Integrity – Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it.  This goes far in business and in brand building.  YOU are the brand, by the way.  People have to trust you, like you and beleive in you in order to buy what you are selling.

3.)  Stay focused on the Goal:  This means stay on the path, don’t wander to other paths, don’t give up early because it’s too hard.  Stay focused on the end result.  It may take years, but enjoy the journey.

4.)  Get a Functioning Website NOW:  It’s your window to the world.  Get a site, nurture it, keep updating and improving it.  And print it on your business cards and send everyone you know to it.  (Make sure your site url is your own name.)

5.)  Promote Yourself:  Get your name out there, do what you can to promote yourself.  Get educated on promotion by buying books on it.  Read how other artists are doing it.  Go to www.artbizcoach.com and get yourself educated on many other things you can do to grow your art business.

I want you to be successful!  Now go hurry up and be patient!

Maria “Spunk” Brophy    (Follow me on Twitter!)

“Patience is a key element of success.”  Bill Gates

About Maria Brophy

During the last decade, acting as agent and brand manager, Maria has successfully built Drew Brophy’s lifestyle artist brand through licensing and special projects.

Maria writes a blog that helps other creative people to design the life of their dreams, too. Hop on over to Maria's blog at MariaBrophy.com

Comments

  1. It’s nice to see others support the arts. Even though this may be basic advice to some, it is the best advice imo. I have be working on my art and designs since 2004 and now my site, and my fan base is looking better then ever. It’s not about how much you can do, but how well you can do. With almost 4 million people on my site alone, I’m speechless. I’m still looking for a sponsor, and the most I would even suggest for them is clothing to help them, no money. I will continue to keep looking and looking. I have made an image out of myself and my art for 10 years and I’m proud. Thanks for the pointers.

  2. I really look up to what you guys stand for and think its great that your giving advice to fellow artist in need of support.

    if you get a chance id like to know you feel about my art.
    i do alot of street art, (NOT GRAFFITI) mixing urdban life with nature as it what drives me.

    http://remorkart.com/in-the-act/
    also look at my illstrations

    i have my style down and am working on my collection.
    at the progress im making i cant wait to see where ill be in five years art wise.

  3. Wow, this was a huge question!! Maria answered it well – being sponsored is a step for later. Hopefully you’ve been establishing your biz already, but for those who are looking for a place to start – set-up free accounts on WordPress, Twitter and Facebook. Then, as you create your body of work, write about your process and post pics of your work. At the same time, interact with others in the biz, and you will naturally grow your audience. Your audience, as Maria states, is your value (aka demand) when it comes to both selling & seeking sponsors. Best of luck!

  4. You should have your own distinctive look so that when people see your art, without seeing your name, they know it’s yours. It’s okay if your art is inspired by or influenced by another artist – you see a little Maxfield Parrish in Norman Rockwell’s art, but you know Norman Rockwell’s art when you see it. Drew has been influenced by Rick Griffin, and you can see that in a lot of his paintings, but you could never confuse Drew’s art with Rick Griffins – they are both distinctly their own style.

    I hope this answers your question! Thanks..

  5. chad from rockin fig surf shop says:

    my style is like your and everyone from lost cuz ive been always looking up to your guys artwork…so should i change a little