Friday, March 14, 2014

The Importance of Shows: Emiliano Ponzi

We’ve asked several illustrators to comment on why they enter shows and in particular why they enter our 3x3 Shows. We’ll be sharing their comments over the next several weeks as we lead up to our show deadline.

“In the last few years there has been a massive presence of illustrations on the web, social networks, blogs and so on. Exposure over new media is great because it is a form of democracy—it is like being in the Ancient Greek Polis—where all citizens have an active role in the political/cultural life of the city. Everyone can express his own opinion on many different subjects.”

“We think 234 ‘likes’ under an illustration on Facebook! Wow, this must mean it’s badass! Not necessarily true. Or at least it shouldn’t be automatic to come up with that conclusion. As the button says ‘I like’ it, this personal opinion is affected by many factors: if I know the person in reality, if the style is trendy or not, how the person sells his image on the web, how much time the person invests over the web and mostly what people know about illustration or any other subject before giving any appreciation. This may be taken for granted but it isn’t at all.”

“Coming to the profession world it’s important to move from ‘I like it/ I don’t like it’ to ‘It works/It doesn’t work’. And this is possible if we just keep in mind the difference between being appreciated and judged by peers or people with deep knowledge in the specific field. In this sense illustration shows and annuals are crucial because we can better understand how and why our work has a meaning and a value in the commercial marketplace.”

“I started sending images to 3x3 shows about ten years ago and I’ve seen merit and medals arriving since then. I believe that submitting work to annuals is an act of courage especially after achieving awards (because you know that most probably it will not happen the next year) but it is fundamental to keep growing as pros and being part of a larger community.”

“This is how it works. Don’t get me wrong, having followers, ‘likes’, clicks, is amazing but it’s very important to know how different media works in order to use both to the best of their potential. They need to be integrated to build an effective professional image. Social communication is horizontal—usually it doesn’t mark quality but raises popularity. Building your reputation is vertical and is achieved through shows, annuals and important jobs.”

“Two paths to enlarge our audience. It is important to share and make our images visible on one side of the square and on the other side make potential clients aware of what work we’ve done. The end result:  people that can give us a call tomorrow saying ‘Hi, how are you? I’d like to assign you an illustrated campaign for…’”


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