Monday, May 23, 2016

Selfie - My First Self Portrait (WIP)

All these years and I've never done a self portrait. That's like skipping How to Be An Artist 101!

To be honest, figure work isn't one of my strong points. I have a very poor sense of anatomy, and even though my college was great conceptually, they didn't teach the fundamentals of drawing, portraiture, or figure work in any medium. I just drew what I saw, which has worked for me until now, but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and do something kind of therapeutic and self-exploring.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

3 Types of Clients You'll Meet While Freelancing Graphic Design

It's been fun, and therapeutic, making more posts about my graphic design day job, and while working on a few projects for clients, this list popped into my head. This is by no means the ONLY types of clients you'll run into, but these are three I get a LOT and how I handle them.

The "And Then"
They want it all, and they want it NOW. 

This client knows what they want. You meet up for a consultation, get the information you need to make their invite, poster, ad, whatever the product may be, you deliver a proof, and they get back to you with changes, but really, it's more additions. Then they keep on adding...and adding. You warn them that things are getting too busy, their clients/recipients will be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of (useless) information on this product, but every single word must stay as-is.

Before you know it, your carefully constructed design that was clear cut and to the point is now a jumbled sea of text. It's overwhelming, but it's what the client wants even if their recipients won't know what hit them. 

Ever see the movie, "Dude, Where's My Car?" If you haven't, then there's a scene where they try to order food from a drive through and the person on the speaker box keeps the order going and adding to it by asking "and then?" Until the person placing the order snaps. That's going to be you. 

My best advice on how to deal with the And Then is to show them very simple examples alongside their own hectic and jumbled one. Explain how the simplicity makes the necessary information (when, where and what) POP and allows their audience to know what they need to know without searching for it, because most people really won't search for it. Especially if this is an advertisement. 
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Clients want what they want, and in the end you'll create what they've asked for and approved, but actual physical comparisons and visuals tend to help the most. Verbal warnings and emails will definitely be ignored. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

All About Holographic Goodies (where I got it and how it's working out)

Moon Crystal Power Make-Up!
I'm a cautious over thinker. It takes me FOREVER to pull the trigger on something when it comes to expanding my little online shop and artist alley offerings, even when I really think it's a good idea.

I come up with an idea, research it like crazy, leave 20+ tabs open in my browser about it for weeks, read reviews, and mull it over for months, sometimes even YEARS before I do it. If I do it at all.

For example, with my button maker. I've wanted one since I was in high school, which was 10 YEARS AGO, and I only bought it 3 years ago. It took me 7 years of research and what made me finally pull the trigger was seeing other artists with theirs in the alley at Otakon. That's insane! Sometimes this over cautiousness works in my favor and prevents me from wasting money of fads and trends, but it also hinders me from expanding my side business like I should. With my button maker I wish I had bought one sooner, but with this holographic film I'm glad I waited.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Story Time: Don't Feel Obligated to Accept EVERY JOB

This one is a bit of a downer and mostly me venting about a nightmare job of mine I should have walked away from a long time ago. Let this be a precautionary tale to those of you starting freelance.

A group of dentists are making a directory for their 500+ member organization. The job comes to my print-shop-day-job, but we can't do the file creation part of it (they have ancient computers and no InDesign) so my boss sends them my way and suggests I freelance it to keep the job close as well as "help me out" with extra income. I'm saving for my own house so I do need the money so I talk to the clients. 

The client said they will provide an excel sheet with data about the members. I need to use that 500+ directory of data to make a book divided into three sections. 

  1. Directory organized alphabetically by members' LAST NAMES
  2. Directory of members organized by the COUNTY their practice is in
  3. Directory of members organized by their SPECIALIZATION in the field 

I give them my hourly rate and let them know what I need to complete the job. They assure me they've done this before and that it'll be sent over very soon. 

I have better computers than my day job, and I’ve done data merging like this in InDesign before, it’s 500+ members, but it should be a simple data merge and a little tweaking here and there to get the layout to flow correctly. Should be easy enough, right?