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Mark Gonyea

Mark Gonyea talks creative habits on the Creative Habits Podcast. Mark has a new children’s board book coming out in Sept. called Monkey Suit. He talks about what it’s like working with Kickstarter and Etsy as an artist.

There are some quotes and notes below capturing only a few ideas, listen to the full podcast for more.

Mark Gonyea Mr. Obvious

Mark Gonyea Mr. Obvious

The Five Year Mark

The intro quote to the podcast…

“I’ve talked to a lot of artists about this, every five or six years you get that ok I have to do something else now.”

This is in terms of keeping things fresh and interesting for both you and your audience. When you create ongoing art consider spinning in a totally different direction. This can reinvigorate your original work while also allowing for growth in a new direction.

Mark Gonyea Scratch Cards

Mark Gonyea Scratch Cards

What to Tell Your “Kid” Self

“I would tell myself as a kid to just start doing work sooner. I didn’t do anything professionally until well after college. Just start designing stuff and offering to do it. Just do work, you don’t get better until you do it. You don’t get better until you get criticized”

Getting your work out there for other people gives you critical feedback. If you are on the fence about “going pro” just go for it. You will find the issues change and you delve deeper into the meat of creating. You get better faster for the feedback and critical elements you receive.

Monkey Suit by Mark Gonyea

Monkey Suit by Mark Gonyea

The Graphic Design Time Table

“When you are working for someone else especially in graphic design, you are on their time table. You never spend as much time as you would like on a project for someone else”

Working at Vermont Teddy Bear gave Mark a set time table to get work done. This made “shipping” a piece of work out essential. By having some sort of time table you let the art go and say, ok it’s done. Not having this time table can often land you in a place of never knowing when a piece is really done. Mark has this time table in the back of his mind so he is always doing something that helps move everything along even if it’s not immediately obvious how it will apply to the end result.

Kickstarter Similar to Comic Conventions

Mark has done a comic conventions from early on in his career. It’s here he was able to interact with his audience. Using Kickstarter similar to going to comic book conventions in terms of meeting people and spreading through the same type of almost personal interaction. There is a dynamic that Mark enjoys, he is moving onto his tenth Kickstarter campaign. If you haven’t tried Kickstarter, there is a learning curve but it can yield great results.

Mastermind Groups Keeps Ideas Going

Mark has a group of fellow artists that regularly provide feedback to each other. The feedback is honest and up front. He finds it helpful to get that honest feedback he might not get elsewhere. It keeps his work sharp. It’s also great to talk with fellow artists and see what they are up to, you never know where your next idea could come from! Even if you only have a small group of people consider starting a group. Make sure everyone is fine getting honest feedback.

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