Re-Post: Making The Most Of Your Website

I originally posted this on my blog back in August. However, my blog traffic has increased five-fold since then and I’m guessing most of you haven’t seen it. So, an encore…

For a freelancer, a website is an essential marketing tool. It proudly displays your work to potential clients 24/7. It trumpets your accomplishments to art directors all over the world. Most will not even consider hiring you if you don’t have a website.

But not all websites are created equal.

There are some little extra touches that can go a long way in making sure your website pushes you up on the hiring list. Some of these tips I’ve just recently learned myself. I’m planning to completely redo my website to take full advantage of them.

Put your contact info at the top.
Make sure your email and phone number appear on your header, so that they are readily visible on every page. It’s not that uncommon for an art director to print out samples from two or three artists to show to the boss and/or the hiring committee for a project. If they are having a tough time deciding which artist to call, having your contact info at the top of the page might push you over the edge, especially if the art director is busy and doesn’t want to take time to look up the contact info for the other artists. Continue reading

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Watch Your Step

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I found this using Stumble. It’s a fun (though bizarre) animated short by Pascal Campion about a man trying to open a very unique cartoon door. It appears to have been done in Flash. The timing is sharp, the animation is fluid, and the concept is delightfully simple. There is no sound or dialogue, just pantomime done very effectively. It runs a bit long, but you can tell the animator had a ton of fun doing it.

This little cartoon highlights one one of the often overlooked strengths of animation: the ability to really mess with physics, time, and space. This piece reminds me a bit of the work of Bill Plympton or “Duck Amuck” by Chuck Jones.

Click here to watch the cartoon.


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Shameless Self-Promotion: Download My New Portfolio

To any art directors/art buyers out there:

As a freelancer I’m always looking for new clients and fresh projects. So this blog is as good a place as any to announce that a new, updated PDF version of my character design and illustration portfolio is available online. You can download it for free here or on my website. Feel free to print it out and keep it on file for your records.

I’ve also posted an updated version of my resume here.

Finally, you can join my mailing list here. I send out a promotional email 3-4 times a year, and a “snail mail” postcard once or twice a year.

To the rest of you, thanks for indulging me. Regular blog posts will resume tomorrow. (If you like animation, you’ll enjoy tomorrow’s post.)

This Just Ain’t Right

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Warning: This post is way off-topic. Please indulge me.

I just finished listening to today’s Focus on the Family radio broadcast. The broadcast is an interview with a man named Bill Kennedy who is currently serving a twenty-year prison sentence for white collar crimes. The problem is, a few years ago new proof surfaced to prove his innocence and so far the government hasn’t done anything about it. He’s already been in prison for 14 years, and during that time his children got married and three grandchildren were born. All of which he has missed out on because he is unjustly behind bars.

I’m not a conspiracy kook or a sucker who believes every sob story he hears. But the Bill Kennedy story appears to be very credible and, as a result, very tragic. Focus on the Family is trying to build public support to get some action and have Bill Kennedy freed. You can find out more by listening to today’s radio broadcast, or by visiting www.justiceforkennedy.com. If you decide you want to do something about it, here’s a list of phone numbers (PDF) you can call. In a friendly voice, politely ask that the government do something to free Bill Kennedy.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled art blog.

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Illustration Friday: Tales and Legends

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Copyright © Cedric Hohnstadt. All rights reserved.

I would have posted this on Friday but I wanted Ask Mr. Artist Guy to be front-and-center all weekend. A big “thank you” to everyone who’s submitted questions so far.

Illustration Friday is a fun website for artists. Each week a topic is posted, and any artist who wants to (regardless of skill level) can submit a sketch or illustration created for that topic. The more creative and original you can be, the better. It’s a great way to sharpen your conceptual skills as an illustrator. (Someone who really has a lot of fun with it is Guy Francis.)

Unfortunately I usually don’t have time in my schedule to participate but this time I can squeak something in. This week’s topic is “Tales and Legends”. By coincidence I was going through some old sketches and happened upon this dragon drawing. It fits with the topic (albeit with a bizarre twist), so I thought I’d post it.

Participation in Illustration Friday is free. Just sign up on their website and each week’s topic will be automatically emailed to you.

Ask Mr. Artist Guy

Announcing a new feature coming to Cedric’s Blog-O-Rama!: “Ask Mr. Artist Guy”

I love writing this blog, but sometimes it’s a challenge to come up with fresh and interesting topics to write about five times a week, every week, all year.

My friend and fellow illustrator/blogger Tom Richmond actually blogs more frequently than I do (I don’t know how he does it). Tom also has a regular “mailbag” feature on his blog where he answers questions emailed in from readers. Tom, if you are reading this, and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then consider yourself flattered. I’m about to steal your idea.

To keep this blog fresh and interesting I’m going to ask for a little help from you my faithful readers. If you’ve got a question about freelancing/illustration, send it to blog@cedricstudio.com. If you have a cool link or a suggestion for a topic, send that as well. I can’t promise that everything I receive will eventually make it onto the blog, but every email will get read and if I think it will make a good springboard for a blog post I’ll work it in eventually. I’ll also give name credit at the end of each post, so if you want to be anonymous just say so in your email.

This’ll be fun. I know you readers are smart, thoughtful, and curious, so I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas and questions.

Re-Post: Free Drawing Lessons

Here’s an old blog post from 2005. My blog audience has grown since then so I thought it was worth re-posting:

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(Sketches by Pixar artist Tom Gately)

Walt Stanchfield started as a Disney clean-up artist in the 60’s, and by the 1990’s he had become one of Disney’s premiere drawing instructors. Now, thanks to the folks at Animation Meat you can download 70 different notes and handouts from Stanchfield’s classes. Though they are geared more for the advanced artist than the beginner, there’s enough valuable information to benefit anyone who has a serious interest in drawing the human form. Enjoy!

(If you print them out, have a lot of paper on hand. I think the entire set of notes takes up about 200 pages).

EDIT: Yikes! I just checked the site and the PDF files are no longer available for download. My apologies. As best I can tell, the handouts are being compiled into a book that should be available soon. Oh well. Check out the rest of the Animation Meat site, there’s some great stuff there.