I just received an email from an artist (in France, to narrow it down enough so that if the individual actually visits this site – and I have my doubts – s/he will recognize about whom I am writing). It was a request for work with links to an online portfolio. So far, so good. I’m not looking for artists now, but if Kieron O’Gorman is too busy when Nefertiti Overdrive funds, I might soon be in the market for one (don’t send portfolios now, I’ll let you know when I’m interested).
But the email was sent to the individual’s own email address. We all know what that means, right? BCC – blind carbon copy. You use BCC when you don’t want other recipients to know the distribution list. That email was likely sent to a long list of publishers. I dropped it in the spam folder. That’s what it is, spam.
In this industry, the only criteria for professionalism is to act professional. And by acting professional, I mean acting in a polite manner and meetings one’s obligations. Money, in this industry, is not necessarily a mark of professionalism, especially given the extreme lack of money in said industry.
Spamming is not professional.
If you want to work with a company, email them directly. Take the time to find out if there is someone who makes the decisions regarding art, and email that individual. In your email, include some reference to the company’s publishing history, showing that you’ve done the bare minimum of research. Be polite, indicate you would love to work for the company, and provide a link to an online portfolio. Thank the individual for their time and let them know you look forward to hearing from them again.
I never fail to respond to these emails. Yes, I have always said no in the past, but that is because I really don’t need artists. If I ever do, I will not be hiring somone who spams me.
As the immortal Wheaton has said: don’t be a dick.