Sketchbook Update: Sheriff

I’ve been trying to beef up my character design portfolio to get ready for the CTN Animation Expo next month. The other night I was up late noodling around on my Cintiq and this sheriff popped out. I liked how it was going so I thought I’d throw in some color.

Incidentally, if you are planning to go to the Expo I’ll be giving a talk on Freelancing called “Be Your Own Boss: Freelancing Tips and Tricks“. My presentation will be Saturday, Nov. 19. at 4:30pm in the Exec Boardroom. More info here.

I’m Giving A Talk On Freelancing At The CTN Animation Expo

The CTN Animation Expo is without a doubt a “must-see” event for anyone interesting in working in the animation industry. On Nov. 18-20 hordes of animation lovers will once again be descending on the Burbank Marriott Convention Center for three days and nights of animation goodness. There’s still time to register if you’d like to attend.

It’s just been confirmed that I’ll be giving a presentation on freelancing on Saturday, Nov. 19. at 4:30pm in the Exec Boardroom. My talk is titled “Be Your Own Boss: Freelancing Tips and Tricks”. Here’s a summary:

In the current economy more and more companies are hiring artists as freelancers. Unfortunately many talented people wind up earning less than they could, or miss out on opportunities altogether, because they haven’t learned about the business side of being an artist.

Cedric Hohnstadt has owned an illustration studio for over fourteen years and has created work for end clients such as Hasbro, Disney, DreamWorks, Verizon, Best Buy and Target. After working on hundreds of client projects he’s learned a lot of tips and tricks the hard way, and now he’s here to pass on some of them on to you. He’ll discuss how to know if you are cut out for freelancing, how to promote yourself, how much you should charge, how to talk to clients about money, and look at different areas where an artist can find work outside of the animation industry.

As a freelance illustrator and character designer I draw a lot of inspiration from the animation industry. This talk is my humble way of giving a little back. If you’ll be attending the Expo and you have any specific questions about freelancing you’d like me to touch on, feel free to contact me and offer a suggestion. I’ll be happy to consider it as I prepare my talk.

You can register for the Expo or get more info at www.ctnanimationexpo.com.

EDIT: I’m told that my presentation is part of a limited series of workshops that are pre-pay only. Most of the seminars at the event are free to attendees but the organizers have designated mine as one of a few for which seating is limited and there is an extra fee to get in (in my case $5). I’m not sure but I guess you have to log back in to your registration account to sign up and pay for the workshops. I’ve also been told that there are only three open spots left for my workshop, so if you want to get in you’d better act fast.

Upcoming Events for Twin Cities Cartoonists

This weekend there will be a lot of neat goings-on for Minnesota comic book and cartoon fans.

For starters, the North Central Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society will be holding it’s annual get-together here in Minneapolis. As part of the event, NCS president and local illustrator Tom Richmond has put together a special event for the public on Friday, October 14. Things kick off at 6:30pm when cartoonist Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine) will give a public lecture about his work. Then at 7:30pm there will be a panel discussion with Q&A featuring several professional cartoonists from around the Midwest. Both events will take place at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Auditorium 150.

Then on Saturday October 15, comic book creators and fans from all over the Midwest and beyond will be gathering at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for FallCon, Minnesota’s annual fall comic book convention. As usual I’ll have a table so stop by and say hi. The National Cartoonists Society will also have a table so you’ll have a rare opportunity to meet several professional cartoonists from around the region.

Finally, while you’re at FallCon MAD Magazine’s Tom Richmond will be selling copies of his brand new book The MAD Art of Caricature, hot off the presses. My copy hasn’t arrived in the mail yet but from everything I’ve seen it looks like it will be one very thorough, very helpful book. Tom’s been leaking snippets here and there on his blog, and you can tell from the above video that it’s no lightweight volume. There’s a zillion “how to draw” books out there, thankfully it looks like this one will rise well above the norm. Tom has a reputation for not cutting corners and this looks like a top-notch effort. If you can’t make it to FallCon you can order copies of the book here.

Comp Art For Best Buy Pitch

Last month I was hired by Minneapolis ad agency Olson-Denali to work up some color comps for a pitch to Best Buy. They wanted to suggest some possible photography ideas built around a specific theme. The left third of each image was left open for insertion of text.

The deadline was tight—actual working turnaround was about 24 hours.

Eventually Best Buy decided to go another direction, but in this business that’s pretty common. It was still a lot of fun and I’m grateful to Olson-Denali for the opportunity.