I don’t believe in making art for a market. I believe in making art from your soul and then finding the right audience for it.
But sometimes we are lucky enough to make the art we want, then tweak it just a bit so we can broaden our audience. My guest for this episode of the Art Biz Podcast has found a way to do just that.
Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is an artist whose work features smartly dressed animals and other sweet anthropomorphic characters. She has illustrated numerous children’s books, coloring books, and other unapologetically cute projects.
By placing her characters in local townscapes, Ashley's work appeals to an audience that continues to grow. I talked with Ashley about how she came up with the idea to tap into people’s love of a specific location and how she leverages it for her prints, products, and commissioned work.
We also discuss how she connected with a community even before moving there, how she juggles her life as an artist with that as a mother of a 2-year-old, and which social media platform offers the greatest return for her work (it's not Instagram).
Even if you don't “do” cute or illustrations or location-specific art, you'll want to listen to ideas for connecting to new communities.
Music by Wildermiss
- Ashley Lucas describes the inspiration behind her characters. (2:22)
- How COVID-19 and motherhood have affected Ashley’s income streams. (6:22)
- Juggling a growing art business and a busy 2-year-old. (9:18)
- The value that community connections bring to your art business. (13:18)
- Distinguishing between prints and commissioned pieces and how to price each. (19:01)
- Customizing standard city pieces without redrawing each one. (21:41)
- How Ashley connected with her new community before moving there. (25:25)
- How the pandemic has made a strong online presence more important than ever. (28:21)
- Marketing through TikTok and exploring current culture. (31:20)
- Curating email lists for artists and for promoting products. (34:13)
- Which social media platform generates the most work for Ashley? (35:25)
- Ashley’s strategy for promoting her web stores. (37:14)
- The key to making your art appealing to buyers. (40:28)
Ashley Lucas Quotes
“If you want to make money with your art, you have to appeal to somebody else and find what that person connects to.”
“I like to think of the art in my shop as real estate — if a file can be produced again then why not put it somewhere else?”
“I always have a little bit of a different strategy when I’m promoting each of my sites and stores.”
“Putting the price out there has really helped the custom work come through.”
About My Guest
Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is the daughter of two artists and the mother of a budding artist, 2-year-old Leon Bay. Her art combines her two favorite things in the world: animals and children.
Her work, which is unapologetically cute, features smartly dressed animals and other sweet anthropomorphic characters. She has illustrated numerous children’s books, coloring books, and other projects, and has collaborated with such companies as West Elm, OOLY, and Meredith Publishing.
Music by Wildermiss