Archive for the ‘freelance’ Category
Just another day at the art desk I hear you say, starting your sunday with a chipper smile and creative heart filled with enthusiasm, you believe everything will be absolutely fine. That is however until you sit down to start working on that creative portfolio you aspire to make.Suddenly you’re faced with an extremely sweaty brow and a blank canvas that’s been sitting there for the best part of an hour.
You may start to hear a small voice quoting in the back of your head how you can do this! However this then propels into a downward swirl beating yourself up over your lack of progress, whilst creating a rather larger pile of screwed up sketchbook pages behind you. In all you just don’t know where to start and have an idea of a project’s “end” with no “beginning”.
Generating ideas for portfolio pieces can be tough if you don’t plan and prepare in advance what you aim to create. Every creative person I believe though has the potential to create some amazing self-initiated projects to really blow the socks off those creative directors. If that’s what you wanna do then here’s a few ways to help reel back your line to the beginning , generate ideas and get started creating portfolio pieces that will help promote what you can do!
1. Understand what kind of work you want to be doing : Think about the kind of work you want to produce whether children’s book illustration , portrait photography , commercial design and more. By knowing where you want to go creatively this will help you understand the type of work you need to create.
2. Generate project ideas around your chosen work: Now that you’ve chosen your type of work the next step is to generate your own project idea. For example this could be illustrating a page from your favourite children’s book if your aim is a children’s illustration. Create a pattern design collection if your aim is to work within commercial product, licensing and more.
3. Hone your skills and think outside the box : No doubt you’ll have your collection of favoured art materials that you turn to when you create a piece. However be sure to hone your skills will other materials , softwares and processes to as this will help show how versatile you can create pieces and how diverse they can be. Last but not least though think outside the box, take inspiration from other creative is one thing but then take a little inspiration from it and create something unique to you.
Image by Matt Adrian you can find out more about his work here.
post by Heather Ryerson
Grace Helmer uses strong brush strokes to create her rich, ethereal oil illustrations. The expressive color progressions in her paintings give the work a delicate, transient presence; the viewer can’t help but be caught up in the joy and beauty of Helmer’s brief captured moments. Her style is used to especially great effect in her animated pieces. Constantly changing textures and shapes create a depth and dynamism that one might feel could easily be drunk from the canvas. Helmer graduated from the Camberwell College of Art in 2012 and is part of the illustration studio collective Day Job.
Dear Creative overthinker,
No doubt there have been times where you were sat at your desk deep in thought or maybe you were previously to reading this. With your pen , paintbrush, camera or graphics tablet in hand your mind gets caught up in a whirlwind of creative over thought causing you to over think your entire creative practice. As you do this the creative work that you do that was “fun work” begins to feel more like ” hard work” thus bringing the creativity inside you to a halt. Thoughts such as:
” What if I post my design and no one likes it ?”
” What if I post this set of cards, notebooks and prints and no one buys them?”
“What if I go to that design interview and I get turned down?”
“What if I email this client the price quote for a commission and they think I’m really overpriced?”
In a nut shell thoughts like this cause “you” to stop and your creativity will stop with it, all the “what if’s” in our head’s are sometimes enough to stop us doing what we love to do. So my dear creative over thinker try to stop thinking so much , live in the creative moment, make smart prompt decisions that may scare the pants off you and be brave.
Image by artist Tim Bontan you can find more of his work here .
We can all be guilty at some time or another of not managing our time as effectively as we could have done. Whether you were running late for a university submission, a deadline for a client that was looming or you just find it hard to keep on top of your to do’s then creatively managing your time better maybe something you could improve on. Now you don’t need to make major changes to your routine to manage your time better, simply by bringing just some of these tips into your creative day will help you manage your time making meeting those deadlines more stress free.
1 . Separate your tasks into time chunks of 30 to 45 minute followed by a break to refresh your mind ready for the next task.
2. Set an alarm to ring when your time is up this will prompt you to move onto the next task and if unfinished come back to the current one later.
3.Use app’s or timers to track how much time you’ve already spent on your project.
4. Pop on a tv series or film is another way of managing your time if you don’t mind a bit of background noise, once the show is over you’re prompted to finish what your doing ( just don’t get to distracted watching it if you’re a adventure time fan it may be best to stick to the gardening channel instead).
5. Use a calendar that’s either paper based or digital to track how much time you have from the start date to finish for your project. This way you can allocate set days and time to progress with your project.
Image by illustrator Kritsten Vasgaard you can find out more about their work here .
This Art Crush entry has truly been a long time coming. I first came across Lisa Congdon by way of Meighan O’Toole’s former art blog and podcast, My Love For You (which is post-worthy in its own right–it was an enormous source of inspiration for me during my college years). While I definitely gravitated to Lisa’s work on a visual level, it was her personal story that drew me in. Freelance illustration had been her second career. She didn’t start painting or making art until she was 31, and here she was, participating in museum-level shows, working with clients like Chronicle Books, and just being a genuine, successful badass. Lisa is not only someone I look up to artistically–she’s also a prime example of a human being.
Lisa’s art career was secondary, after she accumulated over a decade of experience in the education and nonprofit industries. By pure chance, she stumbled into a painting class and began making art of all kinds from that day forward–fueled by pure joy instead of the desire to succeed quickly. Having always been an avid collector, her random ephemera would find their way into countless collages as well as a series of photos, drawings and paintings that would eventually make up her A Collection A Day project. As she continued to develop her craft and share it with the ever-expanding Internet, people began to catch on. Today, she is an accomplished and prolific working artist, blogger, illustrator, public speaker and writer. Some of her most notable clients to date include The Land of Nod, The Museum of Modern Art, Harper Collins, 826 Valencia and Martha Stewart Living Magazine.
Lisa unabashedly tackles the subjects she is most passionate about, and that fearlessness is expressed effortlessly in the execution of her work. She describes herself as a “visual junkie,” and is deeply inspired by patterns, travel, architecture and vintage packaging, just to name a few. A faithful blogger, Lisa writes about her own process in addition to other artists whom she admires, as well as her life “outside the studio,” which includes swimming, biking, sewing, and traveling. In other words, she’s just making all of us look bad! (I only kid.)
One of the reasons I relate to Lisa’s work is due to the versatility and ever-evolving nature of her aesthetic. Certain characteristics like neon hues and her penchant for all things Scandinavian are mainstays, but she continues to branch out and explore all kinds of mediums (block printing and calligraphy, to name a few). These explorations fuel her work and expand her direction, which is most recently geared towards abstract painting. She’s a wonderful example of why you don’t need to narrow yourself down to one specific style (something I often grapple with).
Lisa is quite a unique artist in that she is not only a creator, but a mentor as well. Breaking into freelance illustration can be a challenging and solitary undertaking, and she continues to give her generous time to those who wish to pursue and learn more about the field through classes, speaking engagements and conferences around the country. I first met Lisa at her first Freelance Illustration class at Makeshift Society back in December 2012, and it was one of my most pivotal learning experiences to date.
Lisa recently released her new book, “Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist,” which is a revolutionary and timely answer to the starving artist stereotype. It covers all areas of the freelance artist’s domain, such as photographing fine art, finding printing services, copyright, and diversifying income. It sits on the shelf above my working desk (I like to call it my “VIP” shelf) as I reference it constantly.
On that same note, I’m very excited to be taking Lisa’s “Become A Working Artist” class through CreativeLive next week! You can follow along with the class virtually by RSVPing here.
Follow along with Lisa below:
Purchase Lisa’s books below:
Posted by Rachel Frankel on 09/28/14 under abstract,apparel / products,artists,children's art,children's illustrators,creativity,design,digital,freelance,Lettering,master of the month,pattern,pen/brush and ink,typography
Self-described “designy illustrator” Mikey Burton is a Philadelphia-based creative with a serious bear preoccupation. His professional work centers around editorial illustration, infographics, and identity design. He’s also been bestowed with awards from ADC Young Guns, Communication Arts, & Graphis, some of the most prestigious organizations in the industry, and has worked with clients like The Atlantic, Converse, Facebook, Fast Company, and Wilco. Mikey values simplicity in principles of color and design, using minimalism and traditionally-inspired typography to an effective advantage. The understated elegance of his work is what secured his spot in the Art Crush Friday Hall of Fame.
Mikey’s aesthetic is identified in the intersection between sharp, geometric vector designs and substantial, meaningful textures. I use the word meaningful not to be an art school asshole, but to say that the textures have strong purpose and intent in his work.
As I’ve learned more and more about graphic design, I’ve started to see the fork in the road that exists between flat and realistic design (this gorgeous Webby-winning site explains this very conundrum in further detail). As I mentioned earlier, Mikey’s process allows real textures to shine through flat shapes, seemingly creating atmospheres within the simplest of flattened shapes. Interestingly enough, he’s referenced his really old HP LaserJet printer as being the very tool that creates these fascinating textures. [More about his process here.]
Mikey swears by two things in particular before starting his design process: coffee and preliminary sketching. He’s a refreshingly real person who needs to participate in real humany things before dragging along on the computer for hours on end. He will routinely post final work to his Dribbble account, modestly seeking feedback from the peers he so deeply respects. I admire his humility, honesty and continual hustle for meaningful work, even amidst his great successes thus far. For budding designers, here’s some of Mikey’s advice: create work that you want to be hired to do, and don’t be a lame person to deal with.
Follow along with Mikey and his adventures to come:
Following the creative path to live a creative life isn’t always an easy instant road to success. You’re going to put in the effort and hard work so you’ll no doubt get there but like any journey there will be challenges to face and obstacles to overcome to become who you want to be. Whether you’re a current art student at college, just graduated from university or are bettering your creative practice in your own time with the aspiration of running your own business there’s one teeny tiny obstacle we all have niggling away inside called “expectations”.
Expectations can be anything from aims you set to accomplishments and standards you may put on yourself or those that people around you may have of you themselves but today I’m going to cover self expectations. Having expectations in general isn’t a bad thing as they give you points to work on and creative insight into ways you’d like to grow.
However sometimes when we set such high aims to reach and aspiring results to follow, when we fall short it can really knock us down and sometimes make you second guess what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. You may find yourself questioning whether you did something right, whether your skills are at their best , if you met the brief you were set and whether you can be as good as the next guy the list goes on and you’re not alone in thinking so.
However amongst all this expectation you also need to be your biggest motivator and you need to brush yourself off and tell yourself “Believe you can and you will achieve all you set out to”. I believe you can achieve anything if you put the effort and the hard work into all that you do, although one thing you must truly believe in is yourself. Remember these few things when you feel your inner expectations are clouding your creative motivation;
1. Your work is surely to be at its best when you are as well.
2. Everyone’s story and journey is different don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
3. A success is to be perceived through your own eyes, however if you don’t try you’ll never know how far you could have gone.
Featured image created by designer Stephanie Ryan and you can find out more about her and her beautiful designs “here” .
Posted by Angie
Anna Grape is freelance illustrator and graphic designer from Norrtälje, Sweden, north of Stockholm. She illustrates for magazines, packaging, event posters, and creates logotypes and mascots for companies.
Beth Knight grew up in Wales and has a degree in Graphic Design from the Norwich University College of the Arts. As a child she used to sketch the creatures she found when she went out hiking, and from there her passion only grew. There’s something really calming about her work; it reminds me of Beatrix Potter! Check out her other work or follow her here: Portfolio | Twitter