Free Prize Inside

Last week, Brad and I had a few sales of our photo book, Illuminated Landscapes. Through a complicated series of relatives and acquaintances, the purchaser was able to have the books delivered to me, so Brad and I could sign them.

It’s always flattering to be asked to sign something. (well, I assume it’s always flattering, I don’t really know for certain; this is one of the first things I’ve been asked to sign…)

In the last several months, through a series of flukes and random good luck, I’ve had the opportunity to observe several well-known people in action. One thing that struck me was how cool they were. They weren’t arrogant celebrity divas, they were regular people who, upon meeting me, went out of their way to make a tiny gesture to make me feel cool.

This gave me a brilliant marketing idea: don’t be a dick.


Now, some of you might be saying, “Wil Wheaton came up with that expression years ago”.
Oh yea? well…I’m coming up with it now!

Here’s the plan:
1. Be nice to people
2. ???
3. Profit!

Artists seem to have a reputation for being horrible marketers and even worse business people. (Oh, did I mention that a digital version of Illuminated landscapes can be downloaded, absolutely free? Just send an email to smile_takeapicture@ymail.com) But after watching these creative people go out of their way to be nice to me, I liked them more than I did before. I realized that it made me a stronger fan of their work. Being nice to people can be a form of marketing!

So, what does all this have to do with those books that needed to be signed?

As nice as a signature by the artist might be, I thought it might be an idea to throw in a surprize as well. As a little extra, why not take a picture of Brad and I holding a copy of the photo book we are about to sign, and illuminate the shot with the same DIY LED throwie bags that were used to create the photos that appear in the book!

It’s just a small gesture, it’s not expensive or overly time consuming, and it gives the person a small, unique object along with the autographed copy of the book. (A photograph also fits in a book way more easily than a plastic toy would have.) I know that if I were a fan of a photographer, and I requested that my copy of their book be signed, I would be thrilled to find a small print of the artist holding my book between the pages.

If you are expecting to see a tiny low-rez version of that picture to be included at the end of this entry, too bad. That photo is just for her. If it ever finds it’s way online, that’s because she chose to share it with the world, not us.

Published by

Kyle Clements

Kyle Clements is a Toronto-based artist and nerd. During his thesis at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Kyle began working on his Urban Landscapes series, a body of work that aims to capture the energy and excitement of life in the fast-paced urban environment. After graduating from OCAD in 2006, Kyle spent a year living in Asia to gather source material and experience in a different kind or urban environment. His work is vibrant and colourful. Whether painting the harsh Northern landscape, or capturing the overwhelming buzz of life in the city, his acrylic paintings hover between representation and abstraction.

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