How did I not know about this website? Thanks to a blog entry by the very talented Tom Richmond, I’ve recently discovered FreelanceSwitch.com. FreelanceSwitch is a blog devoted to freelancers in general (artists, writers, web designers, etc.). I’ve seen several websites that attempt to gather resources and advice for freelancers. Some are good, others not so much. This is one of the best ones. Dig around and you’ll finds some helpful articles that are real gems.
Here’s a warm-up doodle I inked on the Cintiq. Still trying to figure out the fastest, most comfortable, and most effective way to ink digitally.
And what’s with his nose anyway? No idea, it just came out of the pencil that way.
A while back Snert Studios hired me to create some of the artwork for a website and Flash game. The end client was Reliant Energy, and the goal of the site/game was to help teach kids about conserving electricity. They gave me a list of elements they needed to animate in Flash (i.e. a spinning globe, boiling pot of water, etc.), and some sketches and reference materials as a jumping-off point.
The main character is a desk lamp which had previously appeared on TV commercials in Texas, so I was pretty tied to the existing design. They asked me to give it eyes and a mouth, but I could’t change it much beyond that.
If my memory is correct, this was the first project since buying my Cintiq where I was asked to create vector art (i.e. Illustrator) instead of raster art (i.e. Photoshop). In the past, when a client requested vector art I would ink a drawing on paper, scan it into Photoshop, and then use the Live Trace command in Illustrator to convert the art to vector. With my Cintiq I could now skip the scanning phase. To speed things up even more I decided to try drawing direcctly in Illustrator to get a wonky no-outlines look (which I’ve always thought looks realy neat, when its done right). Here’s what I submitted as the first pass:
The client told me they had hired me specifically because they liked my cartoony line work, so I was asked to go back and add inked outlines to everything. Fair enough, since I wa giving them something a little different than my normal look. I had to do a rush ink job but it didn’t turn out too badly. They also asked for a brighter color scheme, and in hindsight I think they were completely right. The blue/green/grey scheme didn’t “pop” enough. The lesson for me was, communicate clearly with the client about what is expected, especially if you are planning to try something new. Overall I’m happy with how everything turned out:
To see the final result with animated roll-overs, or to play the game, click here.
I just got back from a five-day trip, and I’ve got a huge pile of freelance work to get caught up on. Time to turn a mountain into a mole hill. I’ve currently got seven projects in various stages of completion for different clients, and unfortunately I can’t show you any of it! (yet.)
I’m committed to post something on this blog every weekday. Since I don’t have time to write much today, and I can’t show any recent artwork, here’s some sketches I did a few months ago from a book of old Life Magazine photos. I got the book at a thrift store. Thrift stores are great places to find cheap source material for sketching.
Here’s something to think about, from Challies.com:
Would we be as interested in these shows if they were merely about talent or about fascinating plots? I don’t think we would. I think we are attracted to them precisely because they humiliate other people. We are attracted to them, at least in part, because they give us the opportunity to feel better about ourselves at the expense of others. “I may not be a good singer, but at least I’m not as bad as him. I may not be able to carry a tune, but at least I’m not delusional enough to go and audition for the show!”
Read the entire article here.
I was feeling pretty rusty this morning, so I did this warmup sketch of my nephew playing the trumpet. As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve been filling my sketchbook with too many faces and not enough full body poses. So, here you go…
Who are the people behind all that spam that floods your inbox? Why do they do it? How do they do it? Here’s a fascinating little article from Macworld about a former spammer who spills the beans about the one of the dark sides of the internet.
Recently a client approached me about doing a Flash-animated game with a football theme. Here’s an early sketch of the team line-up. Unfortunately, the plug was pulled on the project before we could get beyond the concept stage.
I’ll be out of town until Thursday of next week, but I’ll try to continue posting each weekday if I can.
I can’t believe it. Today my blog is two years old.
Having a blog is great. Doing so much writing helps me sharpen my communication skills. Posting my artwork out there for the world to see pushes me to work harder and draw better. My blog has also turned into a wonderful networking tool.
I also love following the work of other artists on their blogs (some very talented ones are listed off to the right). Blogs have been nothing short of revolutionary for the art world. Thanks to blogs, I can now be inspired by incredible artists I otherwise would have never heard of. I’ve learned so much from other bloggers sharing their tips and stories, and its a pleasure to pass on that info whenever I can.
Thanks to all of you who have taken time to read my ramblings (currently over 100 people a day), and thanks especially to those of you who have left comments. I hope I’ve given back to you a small portion of what you’ve given me.
I’d really like to attend Comic-Con this year but will have to skip. It’s not exactly a cheap trip for me to take. There’s the flight, the hotel, the admission, the food, and the $200+ I usually wind up spending on art books. Then there’s the hidden cost of lost time from freelance work.
Although the first time I attended (in 2003) I made a connection that eventually led to my current Penguins gig on NBC. So in that sense the ‘Con has paid for itself and then some.
In my two previous trips I’ve also picked up great tidbits from the seminars, and incredible inspiration from the talented artists I’ve met and chatted with. Each time I’ve come back a little poorer financially but much richer professionally.
Unfortunately I’ve just got too much going on this year to attend. Besides Penguins I’m designing a corporate mascot, illustrating some spanish curriculum, illustrating a humorous self-help book, creating a dog character for an ad campaign, and doing artwork for Flash-animted web game. Whew!
I’m also afraid that if I attended every year the Con would start to lose its luster and feel too much like just another business trip. So if I can make it down every two or three years, I’ll be happy.
To all who are attending (from the sounds of it, that’s a lot of you)….have a blast!!!