Monday, August 31, 2015

The Three Jaguars: A Comic About Art, Business, and Life

I became a fan of MCA Hogarth's after impulsively backing one of her projects on Kickstarter. Since then, I've been working my way through her books (I just finished Either Side of the Strand last week), but I haven't followed her blog very much. That's a shame, as she offers advice about business management for artists there. In 2013, she put this advice into the mouths of three jaguars--Artist, Marketer, and Business Manager--and into a web comic. The format didn't work as well as she'd hoped, and it didn't run very long. I was disappointed when I found the web comic on her page and realized she wasn't drawing it any more. So when I learned she put the collection out in paperback form, I immediately bought it. You can buy The Three Jaguars: A Comic About Art, Business, and Life at the link.

In this comic, Hogarth introduces us to the three jaguars listed above, each representing a different hat the artist-businessperson has to wear. (The Artist in this book both writes and draws, just like Hogarth.) Together they give advice on such issues as publicity, contracts, negative art, politics, and more. Each character has a distinct personality and different skills. Artist tends to come across as the most naive of the three, as the others have to explain things to her constantly. (On the other hand, without Artist, there would be no need for Marketer or Business Manager.) Hogarth makes her points with humor and cuddles. While this book can't offer advice on specific ways to improve your marketing or how to manage your business, it does illustrate what marketing needs to do, what makes contracts bad, why you should be careful not to discuss politics online, and so on.

Award-winning artist Ursula Vernon says this book is "better than setting your house on fire and fleeing overseas!" (She really does, and it's on the front cover. Read the Foreword for more context.) If you're an artist trying to turn your work into a business, or if you know someone who is, I recommend this book.


Pat Dilloway said...

Sounds interesting.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't think I'd want to set my house on fire...

Sandra Almazan said...

I hope you check it out, Pat!

Alex, me neither.

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