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Navigating the Labyrinth
by Lisa L. Cyr

With high-quality, custom printing available through desktop technology, many signature promotions can be cost-effectively produced in-house using inkjet printing on both porous and nonporous surfaces. They can also be outsourced by utilizing the on-demand services of digital printing companies such as or Print-on-demand allows illustrators to produce only what they need at any given time without the financial burden of printing a large run.

As a way to create a bridge between the print and online environments, illustrators are utilizing quick response (QR) codes. Employed in print materials, QR codes allow instant access to web-based, audiovisual enhancements such as interactive landing pages, bonus materials, gaming components and other supportive promotional elements online, each engaging and entertaining an audience on many fronts. The QR code featured in this article links to a video book trailer ( for my book Experimental Painting. The monetized trailer has been embedded from YouTube onto my site, my publisher’s landing page for the book, many industry association sites and every promotional venue that advertises my book and associated online and on-ground workshops, lectures and webinars. It has also been shared through-out the industry via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking sites. The video is also featured on my monetized blog Confessions of a Mixed Media Artist ( In addition to bringing global attention to my fantasy-based, mixed-media work, the print and e-book, video trailer, associated webinars and workshops, publisher’s landing page with bonus materials and my blog cumulatively serve as a brand-building promotional initiative that also generates income through book sales, print and online magazine article licensing of the content and work-shop, lecture and speaking engagements, as well as other opportunities.

To bridge the print and online promotional environments, this QR code links to a monetized video book
trailer ( that promotes my recent book Experimental Painting.


Offering sound, motion and interactive elements, the Internet provides an exciting array of promotional venues and presentational outlets for illustrators to share their artistic vision. From portfolio-based websites, animated slide presentations, electronic books, online magazines and blogs to podcast interviews, video biographies and step-by-step process demonstrations, artists can cost-effectively communicate with a worldwide audience almost instantaneously. With the employment of social media, syndication opportunities through RSS newsfeeds and online sharing create the potential for promotional initiatives to go viral. With social networking sites, artists can successfully build their fan base by cultivating a vibrant and robust community that spans continents, strengthening brand recognition and market value over time.

In addition, many online venues, such as Google AdSense, offer monetization opportunities by hosting ads, banners and the like within creator-owned content on a blog, video or website. This allows artists to capitalize on the online traffic gained through their ongoing promotional efforts. As content creators, illustrators can also participate in corporate affiliate programs that offer a percentage from purchases made on an affiliate site that is either hosted by or directed from an illustrator’s site. Affiliate programs are available through a vast array of online retailers, from known booksellers like Amazon to art supply dealers like Dick Blick. Through a dynamic presence on the web, illustrators are discovering unique opportunities for not only promoting their work, but also funding their projects and initiatives with subsidiary income generated by their ongoing promotional efforts.

To have a rich and rewarding career for the long term, illustrators must venture out from the traditional nomenclature in search of new ground to stake their claim. By embracing entrepreneurial thinking and promotional innovation, they not only create a breeding ground for imaginative and thought-provoking artistic content, but also open the doorway to a global communications presence that penetrates a marketplace on many fronts. For those that are willing to forge the new frontier, there is a unique opportunity to make a lasting mark on the world. As inventors, managers and promoters of their own intellectual properties, illustrators hold the map to the labyrinth. ca

© 2013 Lisa L. Cyr, Cyr Studio LLC, L. Cyr
Lisa L. Cyr is an accomplished author and multidisciplinary artist with a content-driven focus. Her books, Innovative Promotions That Work, The Art of Promotion, The Little Book of Big Promotions, Brochure Design That Works and Graphic Design That Works (Rockport Publishers), feature top national and international promotional work with sidebars that go beyond the basics to explore strategic and innovative thinking. A graduate from The Massachusetts College of Art (BFA) and Syracuse University (MA), Cyr’s artistic oeuvre has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in museums, galleries and universities. Her work is also included in the permanent collection of the Museum of American Illustration as well as private collections. She is an artist member of the Society of Illustrators in New York City and works in partnership with her husband Christopher Short, painter and 3-D illustrator.