Sunday, January 27, 2013

Illustration Friday

Finishing up some projects and starting a few more. I had some time to quickly place my Illustation Friday sample for this weeks theme. Started it with pencil and placed in Photoshop for coloring. Playing around with the brush features and adjusting the textured color with the Vibrance and Hue/Saturation features in the Adjustments under the Image in the menu section. You should give it a try. Lots of fun.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Some Thoughts For The New Year!

As 2012 begins to fade my thoughts turn to my illustration career and the New Year. This past year I have had my share of successes and failures. I wouldn't consider my failures a complete waste because in order to succeed one must take the initiative and make the effort to succeed. My failures will be used as a learning experience so that this useful information will be used to win those big projects.

What are my marketing plans? Do you have one to achieve your goals? If I you don't have a strategy you could be throwing good money away and wasting your time. My plans consist of a strategy that guides me through these unexpected times that exist within the illustration profession. Sticking with a marketing plan is so important for increasing your chances of success. My budget is always an issue because it determines what I can afford for my marketing strategy. I think the most cost-effective strategies to present my name in front of art buyers. Advertisement used effectively makes this possible. What are your plans for the New Year? Do you have a budget in place for marketing? I hope so, for without one you are a ship without a rudder on a vast sea with no port in sight.

I will continue to use the same advertising vehicles I have used last year. This will include using e-mails with attachments from my clients database. Postcards and newsletters are important vehicles that I also use to connect with my clients. Using such popular websites as"Your MailingList Provider and MailChip" will be part of my campaign. These two websites are very popular and their fees are reasonable. I don't plan on using some of the more popular directories for illustrators such as "Directory of Illustration and WorkBook". I don't think these directories are worth the money. You are competing with hundreds of illustrators and they are very costly. How effective do you think these directories are for you? Do you plan on taking out a page? Supplementing my websites with another website will be another strategy. I plan on placing samples on "HIre An Illustrator". This is a website for illustrators and the fees are reasonable. There are not as many artists on this website as on "Theispot" or "Directory of Illustration". Having alternative website is great way to receive extra exposure.

Social media websites are very popular and here to stay. These popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are an a powerful way to reach out to friends, colleagues and professionals. I have received numerous results from using these websites and received several  illustration commissions last year. Social media websites should not be just all about business. These websites are useful to make friends, share ideas and offer your solutions. We are all in this together and it makes sense to expand the wealth of information for the overall good of the internet community. What do you think?

I will end my thoughts for the New Year and mentioned the need to stay healthy and exercise, eat right and work effectively. This will improve our ability to maintain a healthy outlook and continue to be productive professionals. Have you ever reached a point when the creative juices are just not flowing? You feel burned out and tired from working long hours. It might be time to recharge with some time off for exercising. It is probably a good time to drop everything and visit the gym. If you can't afford the gym why not take a walk around the block or the nearest park. I have a plan in place during the week and exercise a number of hours. I have noticed a big  difference in my outlook and feel refreshed to tackle new problems. I plan on maintaining a healthy outlook and keeping my body and mind in shape. Do you have a exercise plan schedule?

My eating habits are another aspect of change for the New Year. My days of eating junk food and carbonated sweet sodas are just about over. My body started giving me signals from my poor eating habits. Starting out in my career I would eat anything that tasted good. It wasn't necessarily good for me but I didn't think about the long tern consequences. Visiting eateries and consuming lots of fries, double cheeseburgers with carbonated drinks was something I enjoyed. I don't eat like this anymore. I have learned to eat healthy and maintain my eating habits for a healthy body. I am sure you will decide what is best for you and but eating right is important. You only have one body and should take care of it. 

Learning to work efficiently and effectively does take time. I suppose this comes with experience and pressure from the illustration profession. I have structured my business schedule so that I work a certain number of hours each day for a total number of hours each week. Starting out in my career took a lot of learning to work effectively and use my time wisely. When assignments arrived from clients I would procrastinate and use my time poorly. I would wait until the assignment was due and quickly rush to complete the work. It would show in the finish illustrations. This was no way to produce professional work. I have learned to be patient and use my time effectively. I am now pleased with the quality and quantity of work that I create. Do you have good work habits to produce effect work?

This about wraps up some of my thoughts for the New Year. I am sure that you have your own ideas as to how you will meet the challenge. With some fortitude, energy and drive we will hopefully have a successful new year. I would like to thank all my friends, colleagues and professionals for the exciting past year and everyone a Happy New Year!