>Chris Oatley Recap
Chris Oatley was an amazingly inspiring and engaging speaker. He stressed the importance of artistic consistency, which he said was equally about producing consistently strong work and also being a great person to work with. The ability to get the job done with no surprises or drama is highly valued. He also said that being able to absorb and adapt easily to new styles will ensure that you’ll stay on a project longer.
Chris also talked about his commitment to information sharing, both with his website tutorials and his podcast. He said that part of it is about creating a brand for himself, getting his name out in the world, and creating a fan base. The other part is a personal commitment to information sharing and open communication. Chris believes in putting positive, inspirational messages out to the world. He said that they key to being successful in the new media world is consistency. Plenty of people start blogging and podcasts, but few keep it up with enough consistency to build a fan base.
Along those lines, Chris talked about how it is always a bonus selling point to have a group of online followers when finding work or selling products. Having a fan base proves a sense of establishment, while also freeing artists from being dependent on studios as a single source of income. Chris thinks it’s important for all artists, whether students or pros, to be keeping a process blog and be selling products with their art on them. In terms of negotiating the new media age, Chris recommended a few books: The Long Tale and Free by Charles Anderson, and Tribes by Seth Godin.
Chris also stressed that we could take advantage of the new media space when it came to selling projects to studios. We now have the opportunity to create stories and worlds online, which studios can then purchase as fully realized projects. This is a different model than the previous studio system of buying scripts on spec. When thinking of stories to tell, Chris advised that we aim for authenticity and real emotions. He said that as a culture, we’re hungry for authenticity. Chris’s final advice to us was simple and to the point: do great work and be great to work with.
Chris was kind enough to look over some student portfolios, but before he did that, he judged our art contest. The winner this week was Joshua Lee. He won Walt Stanchfield’s Drawn to Life: Volume 1