3 Tips For Partnering With Brands With Taylor Lee
Hey Denik Family! I'm Taylor Lee, and I’m a full-time artist. I mainly create original paintings that focus on color, emphasize shape, and combine different textures. I create work aimed to inspire feelings of freedom, transcendence, and ultimately joy, uplifting my collectors’ spaces, moods, and lives.
When I’m not creating original paintings, I love imagining my work on products and accessories that we use everyday. I was thrilled to partner with Denik on a collection of notebooks, and I have a few tips for you in case you’re interested in doing something similar.
Tip 1: Research and seek out brands whose values align with yours.
I know what it’s like to be a relatively new artist who is so hungry for a partnership that you would do just about anything for exposure! I went through a period of time where I was saying yes to any and every opportunity without much thought to the meaning or impact of that decision. As long as it looked impressive and got me new followers, amiright?
That’s not the best way to go about it. I have learned over the past few years that it is much better to invest your energy into collaborations that mean more to you. One of the reasons why I felt passionate about partnering with Denik was because I knew this project would go beyond making cute notebooks. Not only does Denik care about supporting artists, but every sale contributes toward the building of schools in areas such as Laos and Guatemala. This collaboration is so fulfilling and rewarding because I know that Denik and I care about making a positive impact on the world via art.
When you are considering collaboration with brands, be sure to do your research. Look at their social media, their “about us” page on their site, and even look into some of the press they’ve received. Find brands that care about what you care about.
Tip 2: Don’t wait to be “discovered.”
There is a myth about artists, and that myth would have you believe that artists need to wait around to be discovered, and that once they are discovered a bunch of jobs will be handed to them. This simply isn’t true. I believe that we have a responsibility to our artwork to actively pursue those opportunities with passion and great tenacity. I have obtained a lot of partnerships from doing just that! I reached out to Denik last year, proposing that we collaborate, and was delighted when they said yes!
Once you find a few ideal brands that you’d like to work with, send them an email asking them to partner with you! Keep in mind that as you seek out your own collaborations that it is best if you approach your ideal brands with a specific idea. Just saying, “I’d love to work together” isn’t really enough, and it demonstrates that you haven’t put that much thought into what you might do. Pitch a specific idea, such as designing notebooks, and then be open to other suggestions that the brand might pitch back. Keep your first pitch emails on the concise and focused side.
Tip 3: Be present with the collaboration and defeat Impostor Syndrome.
So the brand said YES to your email. Congratulations! Now what?
If you’re anything like me, you might start worrying because now that the project is going from hypothetical to reality, you are afraid that you aren’t actually talented, professional, or experienced enough to follow through. This is a common plight called “Impostor Syndrome,” in which you feel afraid that people will discover that you are a fraud who isn’t talented or qualified, but just lucky. This is probably the hardest part of collaborating with others that no one really warns you about.
The best way to get over that Imposter Syndrome is to push yourself through it.
Acknowledge that you are having those fears, but resolve not to let those fears get in the way of creating your beautiful project. Remind yourself that you are brilliant and capable, and put your best effort into seeing the collaboration through to its end. Don’t procrastinate - that’ll only fuel your doubts in yourself! Set yourself a time to work and stick to it.
The key to collaborating with brands is seeking out brands that are a good fit, approaching them with a specific idea, and believing in yourself to see the project through. I know that this all sounds very simple, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t follow these very easy steps! I challenge you today to make a list of ideal brands, do your research to narrow that down, and draft up a pitch email. And because Imposter Syndrome is real, make sure to pitch brands before you think you’re ready. You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.