Sunday, January 25, 2009

So You Want To Freelance? Some Thoughts To Think About

Know Yourself Well:

How well do you know yourself because freelancing will require that you can deal with yourself alone for periods of time. This means when no work is coming in or you have a deadline and need to stick with your project and delay your social life.
You Are The Boss:
You will decide when to work or take a break. Decisions are made as you see fit as long as you complete your projects by the deadline. There is a lot of personal freedom to do errands or take a casual walk around the park when everyone else is at work. You are not constrained by working at an office cubicle nine to five. You are able to decide what needs to be accomplished each work day.
Stress And Tension:
There is a price to pay for this freedom and dealing with stress and tension exists as you wonder when the next project will arrive. You learn very quickly how to budget and allocate funds as needed. Do you have enough funds to market and create an effective marketing program?
When working on a project how many late nights or days do you have to work until you complete your project. You wear many hats to accomplish your tasks. You are a skilled psychologist dealing with many professionals(designers, editors, writers, etc.) negotiating to make sure the project runs as smoothly as possible.
There are undefined boundaries between work and personal life that you learn to resolve. Since your home may be your studio, you have to decide with each working hours what to accomplish and when to spend time with family and friends.
Unlimited Growth Potential:
There is a lot of pressure that you face as a freelancer but there is also a lot of opportunity if you create good work, succeed with marketing, work with effective business skills and treat your peers professionally. Your job opportunities should increase as well as your income. You can take on different projects that you feel offer an avenue for personal growth and potential for increased income.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Using Photoshop To Create An Illustration

When I begin an illustration the sketch is the first step in completing the artwork. I place the sketch and scan it with my Canon Lite within the software Photoshop. I cleanup the black lines and lighten up the white areas. The eye dropper tool selected from the Window menu in Photoshop assists me in this task and tells me if my blacks are to light or the whites are to dark.

Once I am satisfied with my sketch I will create another layer above the sketch layer. The sketch is on the bottom layer and I create another layer above for the color layer and select multiply from the modes dropdown menu in the layers palette. This lets me color on this layer and not affect the sketch below.

There are many tricks and tips in photoshop and I recommend that you go down to your local Barnes & Noble and head to the computer books section and read the many books about streamlining using Photoshop. I color areas using the black outline layer as a guide and continue until the illustration meets my satisfaction. My brush selection varies so I can achieve either a flat color effect or an airbrush effect. I use the mode, opacity, flow, and width features that Photoshop supplies to adjust my brushes to fit my needs. You will find these adjustments when I select my brush menu with either the F6 key, select the Window menu and scroll down to brushes, or select the Window menu and save my work space and bring up my selection menus already arranged to work with.

When my illustration is finished I save the file and print it out with my Epson printer. If I like what I see I save the file and flatten all the layers; otherwise I rework until I am satisfied. There are many ways to create your illustrations with Photoshop and I hope my suggestions offer some new insights.