Sun chasing lifestyle
Cape Town based events and photographer, Julius Jooste describes his lifestyle as “sun chasing”. The sun feeds his soul and creative energy. Since 2013, Jooste has covered the summer party season in Ibiza. He has been back to Cape Town for the summer and in between he has secured residencies in Germany and Europe, working as a photographer. The sojourns in Europe have been in winter but one cannot have it all. For seven years, he has achieved an enviable balance, working as an events photographer and pursuing his passion in the realm of Fine Arts Photography. Jooste was looking at following a similar pathway – splitting the year, between Cape Town and Ibiza and whatever other gigs which came his way. This year 2020, would have marked his 8th season in Ibiza.
With the advent of Covid-19, Ibiza is on hold. Jooste is using his time to market his online exhibition, Dancers of Ibiza through his affiliate programme and to develop other projects.
Physical prints from the Dancers of Ibiza exhibition are available (produced as a limited edition), for order by global shipping. Each Fine Art Photographic print is accompanied by a virtual certificate of authenticity- the artist’s signature. The virtual certificate is added to the exhibition’s password protected online registry which safeguards the artistic provenance of each work.
Photos are printed on Hahnemühle acid-free paper.
About Julius Jooste
Before we go into Dancers of Ibiza, let’s look at Julius Jooste as a creative- and his journey.
During this time of the Covid-19 pandemic and global lockdown, many people are undergoing a proverbial soul seeking audit and asking: “What is it all about. What is my purpose”? This is what happened to Jooste in early 2013. For three years prior, he had been project directing a government project in KZN which involved collating electrical infrastructure. The process involved endless data input. Reeling from exhaustion, it was time to reconnect with his creative mojo which he had lost.
Jooste grew up in Roodepoort, Johannesburg. After school, he studied motion picture at AFDA in Johannesburg, majoring in producing and cinematography. With his degree in hand, he worked in film production in Johannesburg and in various modes of motion and still film. During the 2010 World Cup, he was contracted to international broadcasting companies. Then came his three year stint as a project director.
Burnout, coupled with a harrowing relationship breakup led him to re-evaluate his life and lifestyle. As a stop-gap, he took a DJ course at Soul Candi in Cape Town [http://www.soulcandi.co.za]. A delegation was heading for IMS in Ibiza and Jooste was invited to join. Grabbing his camera – as an afterthought –he went off to IMS [International Music Summit- a three-day networking event which includes seminars, interviews, master classes and debates.] It was a whirlwind of events and parties and soon he was using his camera to capture moments and that led to commissioned jobs. IMS [held in May] kicks off the summer season in Ibiza [from May] – which tends to be split into three parts –opening, summer season and closing. IMS has been cancelled due to Covid-19. There will be a virtual edition, playing out on its website https://www.internationalmusicsummit.com/ No one knows if any of the summer season events will take place.
For six years, working IMS and the summer season in Ibiza, Jooste, built up contacts and associations with dancers who are an integral part of the Ibiza summer season. He was intrigued by their energy; their stories and the beauty of their craft. They are extraordinarily hard-working. He muses: “When they are not dancing in the clubs, they are out and about on beaches in Ibiza, promoting events: ‘Here is a wrist band. Can I put you on the guest list?’
With their permission, Jooste began to photograph dancers that he had worked with at events. Those images are part of his first exhibition, Dancers of Ibiza. Jooste: “Essentially the photo sessions [Dancers of Ibiza], stemmed from me wanting to stop objectifying women and get a sense of what these [dancers] women are; what their lifestyles are about and for me that has been a tremendous journey of growth. The photos become a means of capturing a memory. My therapist suggested that I explore my sense of loss and confusion [relationship breakup etc.] through my photography: So my photography [of the dancers] started off as a therapy but it has now become a lifestyle. I would hope that when people look at these photos, even though these women are beautiful; that they [viewers] don’t necessarily just see the cosmetic product or the aesthetic. I want them to see these women being vulnerable, being open; being entrepreneurs. They are extremely entrepreneurial.”
Artist taking ownership of creative/intellectual property
Jooste explains why this is his first exhibition: “The reason I haven’t done exhibitions up to now, comes down to copyright. I have covered more than a thousand events (1 100) for some of the biggest names in the music business – whether they be DJs or festivals clubs at Ibiza and elsewhere. For me to sell for example, a David Guetta image, there may be copyright involved. His name is a registered trade mark [Guetta is a French DJ, producer and song writer]. Legally I should be able to do it. The law allows a photographer to distribute up to 200 copies of a Fine Art print. I am not allowed to take that image and put it on a soda can or on a T-shirt or use it to sell services. For that I need the explicit permission (in writing- from the artist or the trademark holder.”
Julius Jooste Affiliate strategy
During the time of Covid-19, Jooste has important lessons to share, revolving around Affiliate Marketing, to share with creatives who have lost avenues for showcasing and marketing their work.
Jooste has chosen to take ownership of his creative/intellectual property with putting in place an affiliate marketing platform.
He explains: “I chose the affiliate route for several reasons. It came down to strategy and it came down to resources and resourcefulness. Firstly in terms of strategy, if I were to go ahead and promote this exhibition by myself, I would need a lot of capital to advertise on Instagram, Facebook and Google Ads and so on. But if I go the affiliate marketing route, I don’t need a lot of capital investment, I just need to find people who have big followers and then the arrangement is that they receive a commission for every successful sale. That is the one component in terms of strategy.
“How it works: the software tracks links and conversions. Affiliate marketers are only issued commissions once there has been a successful sale. They don’t get paid for sharing. They get paid for successful sales. This approach – affiliate marketing – gives me a lot of leverage. I don’t need a lot of capital in advance. I just need to reach out to successful influencers who are on-brand for me and the work that I am creating – like the exhibition.”
The essence behind Dancers of Ibiza Portfolio- empowerment
Jooste: “The essence behind the Dancers of Ibiza portfolio is about empowering these dancers and recognising them as entrepreneurs. If they register for the affiliate programme, they get a 15% affiliate profit on sales of the entire portfolio. In addition to that, they get a 50% profit share of each photo that they are featured in. That means that after the affiliate profit; after the printing of the product, whatever is left; I take 50% and each woman gets 50% of the photo in which she is featured. That is part of my journey- to help empower these woman as well.”
During a winter residency in Germany, Jooste was influenced by a book, the 4–Hour Workweek,by Tim Ferriss. Jooste: “Ferriss speaks about a lot but the key component that I took from his book and implemented in my career is the concept of robotic income. Essentially, what that means is that you can build something like an online store which sells a product – like protein shakes or clothes or makeup – and because of the internet you can automate it. This [Dancers of Ibiza] is my version of that strategy. Effectively what is happening is that the exhibition is up and riding 24/7. People can view it for free and then they can purchase a print if they would like. The beauty about my approach is the efficiency. Let’s say someone orders a print, from an administrative component, I just have to order the print. They pay me. I pay the printer [print on demand] who then prints and ships it. That frees up my time. That means I can operate this exhibition, from anywhere in the world- as long as I have an internet connection. As I get more capital, I would work towards getting it fully automated.”
Collecting limited edition Fine Art photos direct from the artist
Jooste: “These photos are available now. These dancers are all happy and in high demand in Ibiza. In years to come, there will be these photos as keepsakes of these women. with a beautiful smile, against a beautiful sunset with an exotic location in the background. The photos become a means of capturing a memory. The images are bound to increase in value as time passes. That is something that I want potential collectors to understand. These pictures are available now and direct from the artist. You may never find these pieces at their current pricing again. That is important to me. I didn’t want to go the gallery route. Galleries tend to take substantial commissions and the artist may not get much. The affiliate approach can empower artists. There is no middle person. It is just us and the audience”
Making art available directly from the artist to the collector
Jooste cites an essay which influenced his developing his own affiliate platform. Jooste: “1000 True Fans is a very interesting article by Kevin Kelly [ https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/]. In the past if you were a recording artist or an actor or a mainstream artist, you had to create content that was commercially feasible and in terms of selling you had to go through a label or gallery or studio or broadcaster or what have you and they would distribute your product –whether it be film, song etc – they would distribute through their established networks. Because of the internet, those gatekeepers are no longer necessary. According to Kevin Kelly, what creatives need to do, is to find their one thousand true fans. The definition of a true fan is someone who is prepared to spend a 100 dollars on your craft or art work – a year. If you have a thousand fans and they each spend hundred dollars a year; that is effectively a hundred thousand dollars that an artist can earn a year: That is without the gate keepers- the record labels; the distribution channels.
“That is a big inspiration behind my approach. It is about making art available directly from the artist to the collector. The middle person can participate in an affiliate programme. For instance a gallery with an Instagram profile, can register as an affiliate on my website. A gallery can download images. The gallery can import the exhibition onto their platform with its unquiet affiliate links and can earn commission as well. It evens out the playing field. Dancers of Ibiza is my first exhibition and it is about creating a platform of what I am doing and hopefully getting those bigger names and brands to approach me: ‘We see the work that you have done with the dancers. We have seen your work in the past and would like to do something similar.”
The importance of being present
Jooste adds: “One of the most valuable lessons I learned while visiting the Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo, KZN is this concept of time illnesses and what that comes down to. Something like depression is a mental or spiritual illness, whereby you are not present but you are living in the past – being distraught about something that happened in the past. Anxiety is fear of the future. It is about living in the future of “what ifs- what if this happens or this. Whether you suffer from depression or anxiety, both these illnesses stem from the fact that you are not being present. That is the message that I would like people to take from this interview; from my exhibition: The importance of being present. In reality, that is all we have: now. Everything that is happening, is happening right now. Yesterday and things that happened in the past are not existing any more. They just exist in the minds and tales of humans. The same can be said for the future. The future hasn’t arrived yet. My sessions with these dancers have stemmed from practice of being present. When working with the dancers, there is a consultation session. I have questions that I have prepared which requires each dancer to take stock of her life – where she currently is and perhaps where she wants to go – moving forward. That has been essential. It is not just a matter of ‘look at me and look how pretty I am’. Instead, it’s an opportunity to reflect to say: ‘This is what I am doing now but this is where I want to go.’”
Julius Jooste – Dancers of Ibiza portfolio – limited edition
✔ Portfolio: 48 images. Each image is available in five sizes. There are 10 editions of each size [5 sizes x 10 editions = 50]. The images are produced as a limited edition – of fifty [1 of 50] prints. When the portfolio is sold, then that is it. No more will be printed. It is a limited edition of Fine Art Photography prints.
✔ Signature: The prints are currently not signed as printing takes place in Germany and Jooste is in South Africa. Instead, every piece is issued a virtual certificate of authenticity and added to the exhibition’s password protected online registry. However, if you can nab him, in Cape Town or Ibiza, he will gladly sign your photograph – which is likely to increase its value.
✔ Framed: Purchase of prints includes frames – behind anti-reflective Mirogard Museum Glass, stylish black oak frame border; prints window mounted with acid free board. Self-hanging mechanism included in price.
✔ Certificate of authenticity: Sent via email as PDF upon receipt. The virtual certificate is added to the exhibition’s password protected online registry which safeguards the artistic provenance of each work.
✔ Shipping: The online exhibition is shipping to 48 countries. The small prints sell from 500 Euros each. The largest go for 1 500 Euros each.
✔ Shipping charges: Prices do not include shipping. One is looking at about 5-70 euros per item for Europe and USA and up to 250 euros to Australia or South Africa. When ordering, the built in price calculator will tell you what the shipping cost will be.
✔ T-shirts and merchandise: Jooste is currently working on a range of t-shirts, which will have its own separate affiliate program. Watch this space.
Enjoy the exhibition- here on TheCapeRobyn
Image credit: Poster – Dancers of Ibiza. Image supplied by Julius Jooste ©
View entire exhibition online – click here