The gang at the group blog I belong to The Story Book Bugs is posting an illustration a day with the 12 Days of Christmas theme. Today is the day 4 - check it out! I'll be posting on Sunday and the following Wednesday.
Check out Holli's great tips for illustrators on her blog. She's also giving away a consultation! Holli was one of the first children's illustrators I came across when I started getting interested in children's book illustration. She has always given great advice and encouragement to others.
When life gets too overwhelming and I start to feel down, I try to practice gratitude to stay positive. So, I make myself focus on the good things that happened in the past week that made me smile.
Had a nice lunch with children's illustrator and Twitter buddy Wendy Martin. We've been trying to hook up for a while and life kept getting in the way. We did wait for each other for at least 20 minutes in different parts of the place we were meeting though!
Met some great peeps at a Biznik meetup. Got some great encouragement and advice from another very nice graphic designer in the area.
I just discovered paper.li. You can use one of your Twitter lists (or your whole feed) to create a newspaper of all the stories mentioned from your feed in the last 24 hours. I think it's so cool! I'm following so many different types of people that it's impossible not to miss anything. This way, it's all organized in a newspaper format for me to read every morning. I do miss reading a newspaper. And you can read other people's papers, as well.
I finished another client project! A custom-designed header for a website called Computer Savvy Granny. My client is an older woman who is really technically knowledgeable and gives advice to those that aren't. Check out her site!
Having a very happy client! Before I helped her, she was stuck and couldn't move forward with her business because she didn't feel good with the logo and the look of the materials. I got her branding the way she liked it. I love that I helped her feel good about her business and got her excited about it again!
Have you seen this flash mob video from Ohio State? I just love the idea of flash mobs! It's just such a fun and joyful thing to do. I hope I get to witness one in person sometime. I love that they used the Glee version of the song "Don't Stop Believing"
Speaking of Glee, I LOVE that show. I am so glad that singing and dancing is cool again - it just makes me smile. Grilled Chesus was funny, and Jane Lynch, you crack me up!
Heidi Klum, you rock! I am a big fan of Project Runway, and one of my BFFs and I get together and watch it every week. I love how Heidi dressed down Gretchen - that girl needs to learn some humility! Don't be dissin' The Body, Gretchen! "What your line is missing..." I CANNOT believe she said that!
Just got finished attending the first International Freelancers Day online conference. It was so informative! Had fun tweeting with other attendees while the presentations were going on. There was so much I learned, and a lot I missed (will catch up when the replays are available). But here are just 10 of the take-aways I can think of right now (my mind is swimming with so much information) that would be helpful to many kinds of freelancers – illustrators, writers, graphic designers, marketers, entrepreneurs, etc.
Pricing Implies Quality – Jonathan Fields
Paradox of Choice - don’t overwhelm your clients with too many choices – Jonathan Fields
Present your pricing from the highest to the lowest, because people will compare the new price in relation to the one mentioned before it – Jonathan Fields
FUF: Follow up Forever – Michael Huggins
ABP: Always be Pitching – Rebecca Matter
NEVER miss your deadlines. 75% of new freelancers Rebecca Matter hired missed their first deadlines. WOW!
Get listed on top influencers’ resource directories – Ed Gandia
Milk the freelance life – Peter Bowerman (favorite quote - a t-shirt to be made?)
People Don’t Buy What You Do; They Buy Why You Do It – Simon Sinek (by way of Peter Bowerman)
Never discount, instead offer economical alternatives by taking out line items. – Michel Fortin
I don't believe in doing spec work, or work for "an opportunity for your art to be seen" or promises of "a lot more work in the future" or "it will be a great piece for your portfolio!" I don't think any other profession has to deal with this issue and I don't understand why people think it's ok to ask graphic designers and illustrators to work for free.
As artists, we are able to create something that someone wants, right? Then why not treat it as any other profession? You wouldn't go to the doctor and tell her you'll only pay her if you like what she says. Hell, if that's the case I would NEVER pay my doctor!!
Ben Crick is the designer of this wonderful image here, as well as three others about spec work, and he has a brilliant post about it here. I hope he comes out with these images as posters, because I want one! I feel like he should put them on t-shirts and I'm sure he'd have a lot of graphic designers and illustrators wearing them all the time!!
We artists know that as soon as we create something, it is copyrighted, which means that as the creator, we own all rights to that image. Some other people may not know that, and steal our images (or they do know that and do it anyway, but I'm not going to talk about that). But if you find someone using your image and you want to take them to court, the lawyers say you have to have gone through the process of registering your piece at the copyright office (and paying a fee) in order for you to be able to collect damages. Doesn't really make sense to me, but ANYway...
Some of us are too money-impaired to do that with all of our stuff. Adobe has addressed this starting with Photoshop CS4, by adding a feature that may* help you protect yourself a little more. I think it would protect you against instances where people claim that they don't know who the creator of the art is, as stated in that ridiculous Orphan Works Bill that was introduced last year.
* I am not a lawyer, this may not mean anything in a court of law, blah, blah, blah.
So, with your document open in Photoshop, go to the File menu and select 'file info.'
You'll get a new dialog box. Go to the description tab and there are places you can enter your information. The most important area, in my opinion, is the copyright status box. Here you can say that it's protected and add your name in the box underneath it. I also add stuff in the next tab over, the IPTC tab, to protect myself even further. I don't completely understand the IPTC stuff, but you can read about it here. I don't bother with the other tabs but there are a lot of other options to add more info about the image.
Now, you have your info for your original PS file. To get it on your web-safe image, when you go to "Save for web & devices", make sure that you check that you have selected copyright and contact info in the Metadata box. Hit save and you're done!
Announcing the Story Book Bugs. We're a group of eight illustrators crawling with creativity who love to illustrate for children. Buzz on over and check out this amazing group of talented women who never cease to inspire me!
Hopefully, the cap will work to stop the oil, but the animals will probably need help for a long time. I've created 3 more sketchcards for Kelly Light's Ripple blog. I feel privileged to have been able to contribute to this wonderful cause.
I had so much fun creating my sketchcards for Kelly Lights Ripple blog, I did a couple more. I think the ripple has grown into a huge wave! I could imagine how busy Kelly is trying to keep up with these! I have to get my other cards that sold out in the mail today.
The top card is of a pair of Northern Gannets. They look so sweet – they are known to perform elaborate greeting rituals at the nest, stretching their bills and necks skywards and gently tapping bills together.
The bottom card is a Roseate Spoonbill. Aren't these beautiful birds??
Here is the final version with some minor tweaks. Check it out on the They Draw and Cook site today!
This is a really good recipe for anyone wanting to try something a little different. The 'marriage' of tomatoes and strawberries is unexpected but delicious. :–)
I started this illustration for a secret project (coming soon!) and thought I'd make it into a little nighttime scene. I'm loving working with textures - I created this one by collaging some magazine articles and painting over it with watercolor, then scanning it in. Then I got to play with it in Photoshop - one of my favorite things to do.
If you want to use your scanned drawings and color them in Photoshop, here's a fast and easy way to get rid of all the white in the background.
Open up your scan in PS. It will automatically be on a layer called "background." This layer is locked, so double click on the word "background", then you'll unlock the layer and can rename it in the dialog box.
Then add another layer and move it under your initial layer. On the original drawing layer, go to the layers palette and change the layer state to multiply. This will get rid of the white!! Then you can paint on the layer beneath it. Easy Peasy!
Between the loss of my computer, getting food poisoning, buying a new computer, getting it set up with new software, etc. and trying to get my website done, I've neglected this blog - I'm so sorry, blog. I have been doing some sketching and my brother requested a guitar-related sketch to use for his Facebook avatar. My husband, also a musician, liked it so much that he incorporated it into this poster. Check out his music on here.
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