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Freelancer? How About a Three-Month “Working-Vacation?”

luclatulippe:

It’s coming up on a year since Doug and I “wintered” in Buenos Aires (we spent three months there, from mid-January to mid-April), and if any of you freelancers are thinking of doing something like this, it’s a good time to share what we learned from it. 

To refresh your memory: because we’re both self-employed, my husband and I decided we would finally take advantage of this, and spend the worst part of our cold, wet winter somewhere warm and sunny. Besides warmth and sunshine, we had two more criteria: 1) it should be a place we’ve never been before and present some fun challenges, and 2) be gay-friendly. (That last one is pretty damn big, when you consider being gay in many places means imprisonment or even death. Kinda cuts down on options.) Thus, we ended up choosing Buenos Aires. 

If you’re thinking of doing the same, here’s a small list of things I learned which I’d like to pass on to you: 

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(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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I’ve spent my entire career obsessively trying to “learn how to draw” when I should’ve just been drawing. Always thinking “I just need to get a little better… and then I’ll start working on (insert any of a hundred personal projects)”

The fact is that i’ve been good enough since my teens- and would’ve improved so much more rapidly had my study been in the service of any of those projects- and not in the dozens of sketchbooks pilled in my closet.

Lesson: Don’t use “learning” as an excuse to avoid “doing”.

Shane Glines
Link (via faitherinhicks)

(via tonycliff)

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Pricing Strategies: How to Price Your Product or Service–To Avoid Killing Your Business

luclatulippe:

We all need to take this advice; artists (and I include myself here) are notoriously terrible at business. 

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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I got an email from a fellow in London. He had been on his lunch hour, and seen my cartoon in a magazine at the newsstand. This fellow didn’t buy the magazine, but remembering my name, he walked back to his office, Googled me and found my site. His UK company was going to do a big ad campaign, and would I be willing to draw some cartoons for it?

Mike Lynch Cartoons: The Business of Cartooning: Your Signature

This post is a couple of years old, but it’s of colossal importance in this time of 9gag, reddit, imgur, and any number of image sharing sites that pass around comics and illustrations. A legible signature is often as important as the image you’ve created.

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Graphic Design Pricing - What's a good designer worth these days?

luclatulippe:

Attention, freelance creatives: read this article by Shaun Hensher on how to approach pricing for your work!

This is a great start, helping you wrap your head around why you would charge a certain amount for this or that kind of project. Though one thing I’d recommend is to boost his “Bare Minimum” from $100 to at least $250. If you consider that a single project—say, a standard editorial illustration—may take you on average of 8-10 hours to complete, charging $100 means you just worked for minimum wage. No, we don’t usually “charge by the hour,” but it’s important to think of things this way when you add it all up each year come tax-time. 

This has inspired me to post a follow-up (of sorts) where I’d like to apply some more long-term thinking and planning (because I don’t have enough to do already!), and examine the cause-and-effect of lousy pricing in the illustration field. 

This article is directed at client-types, but I think it’s important for freelancers to read this too, and think about whether or not you’re pricing your work in a way that benefits you and your business. 

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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Probably the most important thing I learned while filling in as an art director:

Seeing how desperate you are as an art director, when you put your trust in an illustrator - has really changed my whole perspective. And also I realized that being on time and doing professional work is 98% of what [being an illustrator] is all about.

And every once in a while you do this one great piece where the stars align and maybe it gets into American Illustration or Society of Illustration or CAA but that’s not what makes your career. I was always trying to shoot for these fantastic super-quirky weird concepts and I didn’t realize that so much of it is being professional - about being somebody that an art director can put their trust in.

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luclatulippe:

Henry Miller had the same issues focussing on productivity in 1933 as we do today. Of course, he had the added advantage of living at a time without Facebook or Tumblr. 
I particularly like no. 7.: “…drink if you feel like it.” Oh wow! I do that!
(Thanks to my husband for finding this!)

luclatulippe:

Henry Miller had the same issues focussing on productivity in 1933 as we do today. Of course, he had the added advantage of living at a time without Facebook or Tumblr. 

I particularly like no. 7.: “…drink if you feel like it.” Oh wow! I do that!

(Thanks to my husband for finding this!)

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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“In a Word: PERSIST.”

cameronmoll:

This morning I tweeted about a lack of inspiration and having to trudge through it. In response, @brainhofj tweeted about the following:

Letter by Austin Madison

This handwritten letter is by Austin Madison, Pixar animator of Rex, the green dinosaur in the Toy Story series (among other characters he’s designed). Madison’s letter is a submission to the Animators Letters Project, and it so eloquently described what I was attempting to say in 140 characters.

Here’s page one:

I, like many of you artists out there, constantly shift between two states. The first (and far more preferable of the two) is white-hot, “in the zone” seat-of-the-pants, firing on all cylinders creative mode. This is when you lay your pen down and the ideas pour out like wine from a royal chalice! This happens about 3% of the time.

The other 97% of the time I am in the frustrated, struggling, office-corner-full-of-crumpled-up-paper mode. The important thing is to slog diligently through this quagmire of discouragement and despair. Put on some audio commentary and listen to the stories of professionals who have been making films for decades going through the same slings and arrows of outrageous production problems.

In a word: PERSIST.

Page two continues with canny and inspirational advice for those of us — actually all of us — trudging through the creative blocks that fill most of our days. At the end of today’s workday, I’m happy to report that I persisted, knocked out lots of mediocre stuff, and then cranked out a couple above-average ideas towards the end.

Thanks, Austin.

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luclatulippe:

My pal Chris posts artist Robert Genn’s 10 Commandments for Artists. 
(via Art Marketing Blog: Resource: Robert Genn)

People Who Draw For A Living: take note.

luclatulippe:

My pal Chris posts artist Robert Genn’s 10 Commandments for Artists. 

(via Art Marketing Blog: Resource: Robert Genn)

People Who Draw For A Living: take note.

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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(via Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School at Marvelous Mustache Factory)
Phil McAndrew offers up solid advice for young cartoonists and illustrators. From my own experience, every word is true, but especially this:
I’ve tried many different methods of self promotion. I’ve sent out postcards in the mail, I’ve tried shmoozing at conventions, I’ve sent cold emails and have considered cold calling art directors (I’m still considering it). The most effective thing I’ve done has actually been the simplest: Draw awesome stuff and put it on the internet. Do this for a while and good things will happen.

(via Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School at Marvelous Mustache Factory)

Phil McAndrew offers up solid advice for young cartoonists and illustrators. From my own experience, every word is true, but especially this:

I’ve tried many different methods of self promotion. I’ve sent out postcards in the mail, I’ve tried shmoozing at conventions, I’ve sent cold emails and have considered cold calling art directors (I’m still considering it). The most effective thing I’ve done has actually been the simplest: Draw awesome stuff and put it on the internet. Do this for a while and good things will happen.
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philmcandrew:

Smart words from Lisa Hanawalt.

philmcandrew:

Smart words from Lisa Hanawalt.

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Buying art supplies and paper online in Canada?

This is a tad meta, but I noticed one of us posted this on our Twitter stream and thought Tumblr’s ability to let readers reply here would be even more helpful: 

Canadians: what are the best options for buying art supplies and paper online in the Great White North?

Thanks in advance for your help! 

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To calculate the price-per-square-inch of a work of art is simple: you multiply the length of the piece by its width to get the number of square inches, and then you divide the price of the piece by the number of square inches.

Art Marketing by Chris Tyrell

Fine artists: How do you price your paintings? Most of us have absolutely no idea how to price our own work (or we have a disdain for this task because we feel it cheapens our craft). Chris Tyrell comes to the rescue once again with his typically sound advice, and some very simple math. Say thank you.

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Don’t Be Afraid of the S-Word

As in “SALES.” Some wonderful advice from the folks at The 99 Percent about how to handle incoming business leads. This applies as much to freelancers, as it does to design firms, big and small.

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Focus on ideas instead of tools (technology). Anyone can learn to use the tools, but it is the thinkers who really impact the culture in important ways. In the end the tools don’t offer anything interesting.

Secrets shared « Keri Smith

Want to make some New Year’s Resolutions? Do yourself a favour: Print Keri’s fabulous advice and stick it on your fridge. Read some of it every day. 

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