As a design student, one commonly has a number of art creations, whether for assignments, social media, or even artwork that was created to fill free time. The question is, can you, a designer, start and develop a career from your own creations?
Apparently, according to Ario Tamat – the founder of KaryaKarsa, a Creator Appreciation Platform where fans can directly support their favorite creators’ financial sustainability – it is certainly highly possible. However, in order to be able to monetize the creation, you need to pay attention to several points.
In the Graphic Design and New Media Guest Lecture with KaryaKarsa that was held on Tuesday, 14 January 2020, at BINUS fX Campus, Ario said that first, you have to understand that everything a designer does to gain money can be classified into two categories: products (goods) and services. Furthermore, a transaction of products or services involve two parties, a provider and a receiver. Therefore, whatever you as the provider offer, you need to make sure that the receivers do exist.
Ario explained that even with art, a designer has to make the art known and convince people to like it. Just like when you are looking for a job, you have to convince the company. Or when you are looking for a project or commission, you need to convince the client. “And the most important thing is, if you are developing an IP (intellectual property) business, you need to convince people at scale,” he said.
The second one is, Ario continued, whatever your career path, there are three things that you need to remember. First, design is a skill. You need to practice often to keep on top of your game. The next one is building an audience. Whether you are trying to impress clients, a prospective employer, or your potential comic strip readers, you need to make sure to keep in touch with your audience. The last one is building a portfolio. Never forget to document your work and show off whatever can be shown because your next income may depend on it.
Furthermore, Ario also explained how to develop a business based on intellectual property or IP. The initial step is to start with what you already have now, such as artwork for a campus assignment, a social media post, or a personal project. Then, set the goal (it’s perfectly okay to have a grandiose one). After that, trace backwards every step that was needed to reach the goal until you arrive at this day. If you have already done all those three steps, then congratulations, you already have a business concept.
However, the journey hasn’t ended yet. You need to test your business concept with two simple experiments: test which work people like, and which one people are willing to pay for (and for how much). And then, if you already have your own IP as well as an audience, and if you are already able to produce works regularly, it’s time to develop it further by utilizing various platforms that can also help to sustain you financially.
Several platforms that you can utilize, for example, are Patreon, Ko-fi, and a platform that is specialized for Indonesian local artists and markets: KaryaKarsa. KaryaKarsa can help Indonesian designers, artists, and creators to gain direct support from fans as an alternative revenue stream. The fans can also get exclusive digital content, early access, and various benefits that are not offered anywhere else.
At the end of the Guest Lecture session, Ario emphasized that a creator should never forget to take note, measure, and evaluate. “Don’t expect an instant result and don’t give up if you don’t get an immediate result. If after some time the audience’s response is not good enough, find out why. Don’t be easily satisfied, but don’t forget to be happy with your development. Don’t be afraid to change ideas or concepts, but take note, measure, and evaluate,” Ario concluded.
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