Welcome Marketing Intern Alec Lessard

Alec Lessard

Please welcome and get to know Alec Lessard, our first-ever marketing intern!

Alec LessardAlec graduated in advertising last month from Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. His specialties are design and strategy. He has worked with Aramis Consulting at Xavier University, Flipdaddy’s Burgers and Beers in social media, and in direct marketing for Momentum Marketing. He has also worked with Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati as well as Findlay Market and the Cincinnati Zoo, creating campaigns for all three of these organizations. His alternative movie posters are ridiculously fun. He lives in Shelton, CT.

CAGCT: Alec welcome to the guild! You’ve just graduated from Xavier Univeristy in advertising. What part of your studies would you say surprised you the most?

AL: The part of my studies that really surprised me was how many different areas and aspects of advertising we went into. The areas ranged from graphic design which I personally was to areas such as social media and media purchasing.

It was a well-rounded learning experience that I am excited to use moving forward. Also, the Senior Seminar was an awesome experience. We created campaign for the Cincinnati Zoo as well as a local farm stand known as Findlay Market. We even pitched our campaigns to them and my work is actually being shown off downtown because they decided to go with my ideas.

CAGCT: Of all of the social media outlets, which one do you like the best? Why?

AL: I really love Instagram. I have always believed in the statement that a picture is worth a thousand words and with that being said, Instagram is all about pictures. It links your life experiences with those that follow you and anyone that wants to look up a particular hashtag.

Ad campaign for Cincinnati Zoo
Ad campaign for Cincinnati Zoo by Alec Lessard

CAGCT: You work in design. Do you consider yourself an artist?

AL: This is tricky because art is defined in so many different ways. When I first was starting out in design, I never really thought of myself as an artist. This was mainly because i was taking pictures from the internet and creating my own twist on them with different backgrounds and various effects.

Recently, I have been getting more into what I believe can be described as art: I am more creating the different aspects of a piece such as my Batman and the Joker image I created called “You Complete Me” which then brought me to my piece where I created an image around Prince and his song “Purple Rain.” So long story short, I would classify my newer works as art while my older works are just pieces that I have had fun doing.

Alternative Harry Potter Movie Poster by Alec Lessard
Alternative Harry Potter Movie Poster by Alec Lessard

CAGCT: Plans for after your internship?

AL: After this wonderful opportunity, I am looking to getting into design for an agency either in the Connecticut/New York City area or move back towards Cincinnati where all my friends from school are. I miss them and with all of them out there it is easier to stay in touch rather than setting up phone calls or texting back and forth. You never know where the road of life will lead so why not take the less road traveled like Robert Frost said and see where it leads you.

CAGCT: You are stuck on a deserted island. Who would you most prefer to have stuck with you (and why?): Frida Kahlo, director Ang Lee, Queen Latifah or Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?

AL: I would have to choose Ang Lee. I have a huge respect for a great number of his movies as I sort of call my self a cinephile. In my collection I have over 200 movies, most of them being the Marvel superhero movies, but a lot of classics and recent box office smashes. I feel that a discussion with him going back and forth would be inspiration to me to continue whatever design work I am up to at the moment.

A Gift for Artists not on their List (But Should Be)

Gift for Artists
An gift for artists that isn’t paint?? Why didn’t I think of that??

When you are wracking your brain for a gift for artists in your life, here’s one you probably didn’t consider, but should.

Buy them a membership to their local art guild.


1. Community. A membership to the local art guild is a gift for artists — and everyone else in your community. Supporting the arts in your community increases tourism, boosts the economy and raises property values. (Americans for the Arts.org)

2. Cost. Guild memberships are relatively inexpensive. Our annual, individual membership is just $35.

3. Resources. Artists can often feel and act as solitary creatures. Yet creativity feeds off of other creative sources. Some of the best resources (grants, arts partnerships, showings, marketing) comes from groups like the Coastal Arts Guild of CT.

buy-local4. Support. The membership cost supports arts programming, yes. But more importantly, the membership says: “I support YOU as an artist.” Many artists don’t join a guild because they don’t feel “good enough.” A membership tells them: these are your people! Join them!

5. Convenience. It’s easy to purchase the membership online. Right from the comfort of your pajamas or mobile device.

To purchase a membership for your artist, click here. Join them in a family membership, and you can even purchase a “patron” or business membership for yourself.

Enjoy the season and remember to shop local and handmade, whenever you can.



Building the Website You Deserve

Build a Website for Artists & CreativesThis week, Mark Hannon and I will begin teaching the class “Building Your Website, For Artists & Creatives.” The class costs $175/$135 for members and includes a year’s of web hosting.

Does that seem like a lot of money? I think it probably does. But consider this:

According the The Guardian, in “Selling Art Work Online and Reaching New Markets” one of the most critical aspects of selling artwork online is a having an up-to-date online presence.

“92% of art buyers said that the quality of the artwork image and the information presented on the website were the most important factors when buying art online.”

Paying for It in the Long Run

Web designers are happy to create a site for you, but they won’t train you to run it, update it, keep it fresh. And the initial design alone can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Websites require backups and updates that, if they aren’t completed, can break the site.

In order to keep your website up-to-date — with new artwork, events, or just wonderful blog posts about your latest project — the best course of action for an artist on a budget is to learn to create and maintain a website yourself.

You can do that this March. Classes start this Thursday and we have a few slots left. Come and join us. You will be glad you did.

–Elizabeth Howard

This class is currently closed. If you would like to see this class offered again, please contact us and let us know! Thanks!

What an Artist’s Reputation is Built on

You have an idea of who you are as an artist. But how do others think of you and your work?

Your reputation, according to Professional Artist magazine, “is what is generally said or believed by others about the character of a person.”

As such, reputation can be accurate or inaccurate, and it can be manipulated. In fact, there is a whole industry geared toward managing the reputations of celebrities, performers and politicians, employing publicists to do this on their behalf.

Artists can develop their reputation in six ways, including using quality materials, presenting oneself professionally, and being pleasant, honest and approachable.

Brand Quote BesosThink of some of the business people your refer friends and colleagues to. Why do you refer them?

What are the qualities those business owners have that you admire?


Members of the Coastal Arts Guild of CT have access to Professional Artist Magazine. That’s just another excellent resource we provide to help build your reputation! Join now!

Should I Build My Artist’s Website?

If you are an artist or creative person without a website or social media presence, here’s a sad truth:

You are missing out on the bulk of business exposure opportunities.

However, if you want to reach your customers and art lovers and really sell your work, it’s time to come to terms with the reality that most people are spending more and more time online.

Do I really Need a Website?

Yes. A website is a your online home and gallery. It’s where you get to reach out to the world, share your work, and tell them who you are.

It’s often the first place (and hopefully not the last!) that people will interact with you and your art.

If you think about it, this is AMAZING! In the past, artists and their followers could only meet people in person! Now, you have the chance to extend your reach to any corner of the world, to virtually anyone with internet access.

The website is your launchpad to marketing yourself. Do you feel intimidated by the idea of “marketing” yourself? That’s normal.

Just think of a website as a (practically free, beautiful, ever-customized!) listing in the yellow pages. If you don’t have one, how will people find you??

Why Learn to Design a Website Myself?

If you hire a designer create a site for you, that’s great! They will love you for it! Most designers will create professional, beautiful sites that you will be proud of.


Here are the THREE Cs of why learning to design it yourself may be better for an artists or creatives right now:

  • Creative Control – It isn’t always easy to express to another designer what you are seeing in your mind. Your website expresses the ‘YOU’ brand. It says what you want it say and looks the way you want it to. Doing it yourself gives you that control.
  • Cost – Over time the cost of changes to a site definitely add up. You don’t have to pay yourself anything to change an image, add a page, or post a blog update once you know how to do it yourself.
  • Continuing Education – There is nothing better than expanding your skillsets and learning more in life!

If you are ready to get serious, then..

Take This Class

If you don’t have a website, you can sign up now for the Coastal Arts Guild of CT’s 4-week course “Building a Website for Artists and Creatives.”

Building a Website

Build a Website for Artists & Creatives

The course — co-taught by designer Mark Hannon and content and social media specialist Elizabeth Howard– will give you opportunity to create your OWN HOME online.

This class is currently closed. If you would like to see this class offered again, please contact us and let us know! Thanks!