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The SPD* will be touring several magazines this month, and it’s open to students in NYC ($15 for non-members; FREE for SPD members). You’ll be touring the offices of Men’s Health, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Inked, People en Español and Seventeen magazines. For more info, click the image or this link: SPD.ORG - Student Outreach.
* The Society of Publication Designers is dedicated to promoting and encouraging excellence in editorial design. Read more on their About page.

The SPD* will be touring several magazines this month, and it’s open to students in NYC ($15 for non-members; FREE for SPD members). You’ll be touring the offices of Men’s Health, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Inked, People en Español and Seventeen magazines. For more info, click the image or this link: SPD.ORG - Student Outreach.

* The Society of Publication Designers is dedicated to promoting and encouraging excellence in editorial design. Read more on their About page.

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Dear Pro Illustrators: How Much Do You Earn Per Hour?

Typo corrected! Quel honte! Thanks!

Typo corrected! Quel honte! Thanks!

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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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…how have I come to abhor the title that once so inspired me? The answer is simple. The word “artist” has no meaning as a professional identifier. It is an insulting answer because it tells the asker nothing. […] A person who is truly interested in you, a person who may become a customer, a fan or a word-of-mouth advertiser for you, learns nothing from the statement, “I am an artist;” the person is forced to ask, “What kind of artist?” Even the term, “visual artist” is lacking in enough specificity. The question, “What do you do?” is an opportunity that you should maximize. Your answer to this question should be a thoughtful and carefully crafted one.
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luclatulippe:

Hey freelancers: have you been keeping track of your monthly expenses like I recommended 18 months ago? 

Well, because at heart I am The Illustrator Who Wanted To Be An Accountant™, and because my site stats claim this was a mighty popular post, here’s an update to our Monthly Revenue & Expense Worksheet as a PDF for you to download. (Also, here’s an Apple Numbers spreadsheet. If anyone can convert this to a prittay Excel version, that would be coooool!)

Here’s how we use it:

  1. Print out a new sheet every month.
  2. Use a sexy magnet (optional) to stick it on our fridge (or front door; somewhere where you’ll see it often each day). 
  3. Jot down every miserable Expense you make during that month. (Round up and drop the cents to keep it simple.)
  4. There’s also a teeny tiny box for Revenue, so jot down every job you get. (Or jot down every cheques you actually receive; whichever works best for you.)
  5. Jot down business expenses too, like HST/GST, software, hardware, paper for your printer, etc… 
  6. Add these up at the end of each month* and see what kind of hot mess your finances are in. FUN! (And if you’re like me, you’re going to want to double-check your calculations; our groceries were $960, not $850. FOR TWO PEOPLE. WTF?)

This is a rough worksheet rather than a typed-in-the-computer spreadsheet for tax purposes. It’s meant to encourage you to quickly jot things down so you can get a bird’s eye view of your “money in/money out” situation. It lets you see right away if you are in the red or in the black, and if you have any money left at the end of the year to put away and invest.

  • Where are you over-spending? Restaurants? Clothes? 
  • Are you not bringing in enough money? 
  • Did you bring in more than usual last month? Good job!
  • Do you have some left over each month you could be putting into tax-free savings account, or a retirement fund? (Are you even doing this?)

Yes, you can use an app (there are literally hundreds out there, and you may be able more easily to track them as they happen), but for me good ol’ paper-and-pencil works best. 

When you’re done, you can type all the totals into a proper spreadsheet and have a

I round up a little each time, because I know there are small items I forget here and there.

Freelancers, young and old: How do you keep track of your expenses? Paper or App? How accurate/disciplined are you about it? You run a business after all, so if you’re not doing this somehow or other, you’re only cheating yourself in the long run. Hop to it! :)

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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drawmark:

From the I Drew This Thing Series


Mark Kaufman

drawmark:

From the I Drew This Thing Series

Mark Kaufman

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Vancouver to convert two industrial buildings into 26,000 square feet of arts space | OpenFile

Really wonderful news for Vancouver artists this week: 

As part of a move to increase studio space in Vancouver, the City will be issuing a request for proposals for the use of 26,300 sq. ft. of new artists’ space at two city-owned industrial warehouses: 16,000 sq. ft. at 251 & 281 Industrial and 10,300 sq. ft. at 2625 & 2629 Kaslo. The leases will be for 3-5 years, with the aim to have tenants in place this winter. The buildings will then be broken up and rented to individual artists, meaning a 100-square-foot space will cost the artist between $70 and $150 per month.

The usual price for a 100 sq. ft. work space in the city is usually around $1000, more than 6 times what these will be offered at. There’s more: 

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Park Board will make six more field houses available to artists for studio space in: Elm ParkFalaise ParkHadden Park, Slocan Park, and Strathcona Park. The board is already accepting applications for those spaces.

That’s not all! 

…an additional 13,000 square feet of studio space will become available over the next few years at three recently approved developments, including 20 studios in a 10,000-square-foot space at 1265 Howe Street.

I can’t tell you how great it is to read this news, in a city that’s so expensive that artists have been leaving in droves. Nothing is ready to view yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye on this to see how it develops. I am really impressed with the city for doing this, and anxious to see what happens next. 

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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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30 Things To Look For in an Illustration Rep

luclatulippe:

I recently had a very interesting exchange with a fellow illustrator about reps, so I thought I’d share some of what we talked about here. 

I don’t think illustrators necessarily need representation. I’ve said before: An illustrator without a rep is STILL an illustrator. But a rep without illustrators is just someone with nice business cards. (I sound like a big jerk there, and I’m sorry. If you’re a rep I’m sure I’ll hear from you and that’s totally cool.) 

Click the “read more” link to see the full list and read all my opinionated blathering:

Read More

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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No Etsy for you!!

luclatulippe:

Maybe if Etsy’s “crafters only” business model also applied to themselves—DIY computers made from egg cartons and lawnmower parts, internet run on hamster-wheels, office inside a treehouse—I could get behind it. 

As it stands, Etsy earns around $90 million a year off their sellers, who themselves on average each earn less than minimum wage from sales of their own work. *cough* (Slave labor!) *cough*

Anyway, here they are looking like mean ol’ jerks: 

In January, e-commerce site Etsy.com banned Tracy Robertson from selling goods on its marketplace after discovering that she had outsourced some of her work.

“My business is completely crippled right now,” Robertson, a model and fashion designer, wrote in an email to Etsy after the company pulled the plug on her account. “I moved my entire catalog over to Etsy and closed my personal Web site because I loved and trusted your platform so much.”

Etsy, which promises shoppers handmade items, stood by its action. Robertson had delegated too much of her operation to other people, leading Etsy to flag her items as “factory made” and revoke her right to sell on the site. 

It should also be noted that Robertson, above, relied exclusively on Etsy for sales (even closing her own website), and this is always a bad idea. Don’t build your business entirely on someone else’s platform. And read the TOS. 

What do you think about this? Any Etsy sellers out there who’d like to comment? 

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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The nice folks at Moo hooked me up with a set of their new Luxe Business Cards, and they arrived today in a nice fancy box. I got to design my cards myself using Moo’s easy-to-use tools, just like with all their offerings. I could have easily ordered a different image on each card, but chose to just go with the one.

Their Luxe cards are what the name implies - deluxe versions of their already popular print-on-demand business cards. The paper is nice and textured, three times as thick as a regular business card, and with an optional coloured paper sandwiched in between the two outer layers.

They feel great, and they’re almost too nice to give away. I’ll be saving mine to use as promo items, as they are more like mini art prints than regular disposable business cards.

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luclatulippe:

This week I tweeted a question that’s been on my mind lately, as my husband and I have been drafting our wills recently (ghoulish, but necessary!):
Hey web designers, creepy thought: If you die, have you thought about who’ll take over your clients’ sites?
I am LOADS of fun at parties. 
And this doesn’t just apply to web designers, but to any freelancer with multiple regular clients, who has ongoing projects with them, yet has no staff who can take over during a crisis… or worse. DA DA DAAAAAHH!!
Anyhoo, because Twitter is the best place for asking questions aloud and getting great answers back (thanks Simon!), I was sent a link to Crisis Cover. For £5/month (CDN$8, or US$7) you can get the most basic service that covers 50 clients. Hey it’s cheaper than life insurance, hiring staff, and having a lawyer. Click the image to see the basics of how it works. 
I think of these things so you don’t have to. 
(via Crisis Cover - How would your clients cope if something happened to you?)

luclatulippe:

This week I tweeted a question that’s been on my mind lately, as my husband and I have been drafting our wills recently (ghoulish, but necessary!):

Hey web designers, creepy thought: If you die, have you thought about who’ll take over your clients’ sites?

I am LOADS of fun at parties. 

And this doesn’t just apply to web designers, but to any freelancer with multiple regular clients, who has ongoing projects with them, yet has no staff who can take over during a crisis… or worse. DA DA DAAAAAHH!!

Anyhoo, because Twitter is the best place for asking questions aloud and getting great answers back (thanks Simon!), I was sent a link to Crisis Cover. For £5/month (CDN$8, or US$7) you can get the most basic service that covers 50 clients. Hey it’s cheaper than life insurance, hiring staff, and having a lawyer. Click the image to see the basics of how it works. 

I think of these things so you don’t have to. 

(via Crisis Cover - How would your clients cope if something happened to you?)

(via luclatulippe-deactivated2013102)

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ZenCash - payment collections services for freelancers and small businesses

I used to use Blinksale as my invoicing system until they started stagnating a few years ago and better solutions came along. Since then Blinksale has been under new management and have revamped their services — including an intriguing $15/month “unlimited everything” pricing structure that’s certainly more appealing than a menu of varying pricing plans.

They’re now launching ZenCash which looks interesting — a service that acts as a collection agency for you. They not only send out payment reminders to your clients, but they call them on the phone on your behalf when they’re late.

I don’t know if it’s a service I would use enough to justify subscribing to, but it’s intriguing, and I appreciate that it works with some of the major invoicing services — Blinksale, Harvest (what I use), and Freshbooks (with LessAccounting and QuickBooks coming soon it looks like).

Update: I’ve been informed it is not a subscription based service; it’s free to join and you only pay for what you use. 

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Today's Inspiration

Y’all should head over to Leif Peng’s “Today’s Illustration” blog for some great stories and discussions about how much illustrators in the 1950s used to earn. The three most recent posts cover a lot of this. Pop ‘em into your Instapaper for some bedtime reading. 

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Man Bartlett: "$," A Document.

wnyc:

manbartlett:


(view the document here)

So in keeping with my thoughts from yesterday about finances, I’ve decided to follow through on a tweet from last night and make my finances public.

Thank you to everyone who sent me private messages relating your stories. They were helpful and inspiring.

Artist Man Bartlett has created the public Google Doc “$” that shows his income and expenses.

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