How NOT to contact a professional artist!

For all you young guns out there who want to crack into the film, design, art industry and feel the need to contact working professional artists, art directors, producers etc.. this is how NOT to do it!

Dear, Wanye

im an  industrial design student, engaged in my major design project, which is visualising a Philip K. Dick short story “the trouble with bubbles”

do you have any advice on approaching conceptual design for a futuristic society.

Is there a preferred format for presenting concepts to clients within the film industry?

i appreciate that you may be busy and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

S. W.

I received this email from a young man studying Industrial Design here in NSW, Newcastle TAFE, north of Sydney. First mistake, he got my name wrong! The other mistakes are too obvious to go into here suffice to say that I’m a little saddened that we pump these kids out of our education system without some of the most basic communication skills.

Unfortunately he has made a bad first impression and that can have fatal consequences for your future career.

Did he exhaust all other options before contacting me? Did he even spend five minutes on Google? Doesn’t look like it. He expected answers to be handed to him on a platter. It took me all of five minutes to track down who he was, where he lived (city), what school he went to and what year he is studying. I then contacted his head of dept and passed on his email.

So if you’re reading this young Mr. S.W, Google is your friend.. so is the spell checker and punctuation! Once you have clarified your thoughts and questions AND exhausted all other options, contact me again and I’ll do what I can to help.

As artist’s we communicate with imagery, we assume that writing is irrelevant as the images will speak for themselves, but when you’re out there in industry, your first port of call will most likely be through writing. Be clear, succinct (I’m not so good at that part) and make sure you’ve done your research. There is no excuse these days what with the world wide interweb or whatever it’s called..!

Now that ol’ grandpa has said his piece, he’s off for a little lie down!

😉

2 comments

  1. Wayne Haag says:

    Just realised that the word ‘professional’ in the title of this post had two ‘f’s.. **ahem** Hand me another slice of that humble pie will ya while I cover my tracks!!

    Yep, it’s tough enough for young people to get a leg up into the industry these days, they need to be equipped with the right tools before leaving school.. not just design/art training!

    Thanks for the comment Matt.

  2. Matt WBP says:

    Maybe his mail was intended for the infamous Wanye Kest?

    Good post. I feel a similar problem in regard to answering forum posts in my field of expertise. The vast majority of questions are simplistic or very general and cover a whole range of subjects all covered in the documentation and/or google.

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