Archive for the ‘freelance’ Category
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:
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:
Latest posts by Kate Leonard (see all)
- Two creative cures for when you feel your art isn’t good enough. - July 2, 2015
- 3 reasons why making art is good for you! - March 29, 2015
- How to chose and use your art materials wisely - March 5, 2015
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 Kate Leonard on 07/16/14 under freelance
Comments Off on Dealing with Your Creative Expectations
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
Post by Alice Palace
Ashley is a freelance illustrator living in the UK. He gets most of his inspiration from wildlife and nature, the rest from his quirky imagination. His illustrations of animals are well drawn, with good humour!
Have a look at his website
Post by Naomi
I am in awe of Yan Nascimbene’s breathtaking watercolors. Such a sense of stillness, light, and life.
Yan Nascimbene was raised in France and Italy. After working as a photographer in a Paris fashion studio, he studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at the University of California at Davis. He later spent many years living variously in California, France, and Italy. His illustrated edition of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way. Antibes, Clarievere et Autres Couleurs, his first book as author and illustrator, won the Graphic Award at the Bologna Book Fair in 1992. Yan illustrated Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Palomar, The Baron in the Trees and others. Nascimbene has illustrated over 50 books and 300 book covers. He passed away in Mexico on Feb 1st 2013.
Here is what he had to say about working with clients:
Rather than feeling limited by a client’s idea, I find that the challenge of expressing precisely his/her idea in my own aesthetical terms forces me to think harder, to search deeper and ultimately to create a much stronger and interesting image than if I had been given total freedom of style, format and subject-matter. I try to illustrate a literary piece between the lines, and I feel that an illustration must reflect at once the client’s idea and my identity. First and foremost comes the need of the client, then my understanding of such a need and the elaboration of a concept. This is the most taxing and important phase of the work, often the one that will require most time. A thorough sketch (or sketches) will allow me to explain the concept to the client and structure the image (composition, balance, etc.) until his/her unequivocal satisfaction. The final painting, although still an emotional and creative task, will rely at least as much on technique and my ability to translate our early discourse and sketches into a factual image, as it does on pure imagination. In my case, it is usually a quicker stage, as all but a few challenges have already been resolved.
Post by Naomi
Dadu Shin was previously featured on Illustration Friday in an Artist’s Palette Entry and I was so enchanted by the muted colors and geometric shapes that I sought more of his work. Although his compositions are mostly comprised of triangles, circles, squares, and other simple forms, his pieces still look mystical and naturalistic. I’m also impressed with how populated the worlds depicted in these images seem, even when the compositions are sparse and minimalistic.
Post by Naomi
Teagan White’s fantastic linework pulls together these gorgeously colored digital illustrations. In addition to the editorial style of work above, she also does children’s illustration and typographic illustration. See more of Teagan White’s work on her portfolio and blog!
Teagan White is a freelance designer & illustrator from Chicago, currently living and working in St Paul, Minnesota, where she recently earned her BFA in Illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Her body of work encompasses intricate renderings of flora and fauna, playful depictions of cute anthropomorphic critters, illustrative typography, and everything in between. The subtleties of nature and reciprocal relationships between organisms are her primary inspirations, and her work typically incorporates flat, limited color, decorative arrangements of organic forms, and obsessive detail.
Her clients have included Nike, Wired Magazine, Anthropologie, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Target, and many small businesses, independent musicians, and individuals.