This Week’s Illustration Friday Topic!

It’s that time again, folks, but first we’d like to thank all the wonderful people out there who participated in last week’s topic, BEGINNING. It was one of the biggest weeks we’ve had in a while in terms of number of entries, and you can see them all here. And in case you missed it, here’s our intriguing Pick of the Week for the topic.

Now without further ado, our new topic for this week is:

DISGUISE

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

Posted by Thomas James on 01/24/14 under weekly topics
4 Comments

Pick of the Week for BEGINNING

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Happy Illustration Friday everyone! The new topic for the week is now live, and we’d like to highlight our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic, BEGINNING, which is this intriguing piece by SILEE. It’s always nice to see more abstract interpretations of our topics, and this is a great example of that. Check out all the other entries for this topic here.

Posted by Thomas James on 01/24/14 under weekly topics
5 Comments

9 Ways to Run a Smart Creative Business

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Illustration by Thomas James

Is your business smart enough?

As artists, we tend to be motivated by creativity and inspiration.  That’s great, but it’s important to remember the value in taking a strategic, analytical approach to business, so that you can maximize your potential to get clients, save time and money, and find success in your chosen market.

Right now, there might be artists less talented than you getting the projects you want simply because they’re running a smarter business.  The nice thing is, it’s never too late to start doing this yourself.

Here are 9 ways to start running a smarter business right now:

1. Know the Industry

One of the reasons artist representatives are so valuable is their knowledge and understanding of their target market. They live and breathe the business of Illustration every day, making connections, doing research, reading blogs, and staying up-to-date with current trends and and events.  If you don’t have an art rep, you’ll need to do this for yourself in order to become a player in your corner of the industry.

2. Create a Promotion Strategy

Rather than spam everyone you meet, take the time to build an effective mailing list, as well as a plan to create a personal brand and market it to the right people on a regular basis.  You will benefit much more from a concrete strategy than a haphazard approach to promotion. Here’s a resource that can help.

3. Know Your Budget

Too many famous artists died dirt-broke to deny the importance of managing your money well.  Make your budget a priority to protect your business from being crippled by financial surprises.

4. Manage Your Time

Create an effective schedule that works for you.  Stay aware of how much time you have to work with and organize this valuable resource to be sure that your priorities are being met.

5. Create a Social Networking Strategy

As with your other promotional efforts, it’s a good idea to have a general plan and schedule for social networking.  Otherwise, you might end up wasting countless hours getting lost in friend requests and retweets.

6. Stay Organized

Keep your mind clear and your thoughts direct by making lists, creating a system for cataloging paperwork, and maintaining a clean and orderly workspace.  Nothing will hinder your creativity more than a life in disarray.

7. Stay Current

The elements that affect your business are constantly changing.  Try to stay on top of developments in the areas that are relevant to you, such as social networking, technology, and the inner-workings of your particular niche.  This will help you to adapt and keep up with the pack.

8. Look to Your Peers

Keep an eye on your fellow artists and freelancers to see how they’re running their business and try to determine what they’re doing right.  You can learn a lot by looking outside your own situation for ideas and inspiration.

9. See the World Through Your Clients’ Eyes

A big part of your job is satisfying the needs of your clients, and the best way to do that is to understand them.  Try to ascertain the goals of those in your niche, so you can figure out how to best help them along the way.  Taking the time to do a little extra research will increase your value as a creative professional.

Although we may feel helpless from time to time, it’s amazing how much control we have over our own success.  If you do your best to run a smart business, you will not only be more of an asset to your clients, but you will have more clarity and freedom to create your next masterpiece.

Do you make use of any of these ideas?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Posted by Thomas James on 01/23/14 under business
1 Comment

Tutorial – Using the Color Wheel

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This week we are getting back to some basic color theory with a video from Sessions Online College of Art and Design, that has some good suggestions on how to use the color wheel more creatively and effectively.

I’m the first to admit that the video is a bit bland and not too exciting, but there is a ton of good info in it and I like the examples she gives at the end.

So, If you’ve ever got stuck, or needed some inspiration when choosing colors, check out this tutorial. It’s fun to throw a shape into the middle of the color wheel and give it a spin like you’re playing Twister and see what you come up with.

Click to see the video tutorial >>

Posted by Thomas James on 01/22/14 under tutorial / how-to
118 Comments

Editorial Submission :: Jennifer Orkin Lewis

Post by Natalie

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Jennifer Orkin Lewis (AugustWren) is an illustrator and painter based in a little village outside of New York City. After graduating from RISD with a textile degree, she spent many years as a textile stylist designing prints for children’s clothing and lingerie. She now works as a freelance illustrator and is thrilled to draw and paint every day, incorporating a love of color and pattern into her loose and joyful style.

See more of Jennifer’s work on her website.

Posted by Natalie on 01/21/14 under artists,editorial submissions
5 Comments

This Week’s Topic and a Special Announcement!

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This week’s topic (BEGINNING) is inspired by Illustration Friday’s very own new “beginning”, as we announce our new Managing Editor Marc Scheff!

Marc is an Illustrator and Art Director who has also been a long time contributing Editor of Illustration Age. He’ll be joining the IFriday team to engage the community, reinvigorate our content, and generally make lots of fun and rewarding things happen for everyone involved.

You’ll hear a lot more from Marc in the weeks and months ahead, but for now please welcome him to the family.

And, before we forget, here’s this week’s Pick of the Week for “SEARCH” by Jordan Kay:

Posted by Thomas James on 01/17/14 under weekly topics
4 Comments

Illustrator Daniela Spoto

Post by James

Editorial Submission :: Daniela Spoto

Editorial Submission :: Daniela Spoto

Editorial Submission :: Daniela Spoto

Editorial Submission :: Daniela Spoto

Meet Italian illustrator Daniela Spoto. After earning her degree in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts she moved to Berlin where she currently lives and works.

Daniela has taken part in several exhibitions in Italy and in Berlin and collaborated with several independent, international publications.

You can see her latest work on her website.

Posted by James on 01/14/14 under editorial submissions
5 Comments

Pick of the Week and This Week’s Topic!

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Happy Friday!

We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Valériane Leblond, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of ‘TIME’. You can also see a gallery of all the other inspiring entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:

SEARCH

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

Posted by Thomas James on 01/10/14 under weekly topics
3 Comments

Illustrator Esther Lui

Post by Natalie

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Esther Lui is from southeast Pennsylvania and is currently a senior at the Rhode Island School of Design. She loves the challenge of creating visually exciting narratives and aims to bring a sense of the fantastical to each image she creates.

She was recently featured in CMYK Magazine #55 ‘New Creative’ Showcase.

See more of Esther’s work on her website.

Posted by Natalie on 01/07/14 under artists,editorial submissions
No Comments

Illustrator Adam Busby

Post by James
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Editorial Submission :: Adam Busby

Editorial Submission :: Adam Busby

Editorial Submission :: Adam Busby

Meet Adam Busby, known to most as Buzz. He’s an illustrator, designer and artist from the U.S currently living in Brisbane, Australia.

His work varies, but he tends to work mostly in black and white with ink on paper, which “creates a confinement and constraint that forces texture and detail to be squeezed out of every brush stroke.”

See more of Buzz’s work on his website.

Posted by James on 12/19/13 under editorial submissions
3 Comments

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