See You At The Expo!

Tonight I’m flying to California for the CTN Animation Expo. Can’t wait! Before I leave I wanted to post a few items of interest:

1. Update on my freelancing presentation.
I’ll be giving a talk at the Expo on Saturday, November 19, 4:30pm, called “Be Your Own Boss: Freelancing Tips and Tricks”. In an earlier blog post I said the talk would be 30 minutes. It will actually be an hour and fifteen minutes. Tickets to my talk are sold out but I’m told that when my presentation is over I can move everyone over to another room in the building (not sure which one yet) for an ongoing Q&A. If you weren’t able to get a seat at my talk you can still catch the Q&A. Just wait around outside the Exec Boardoom at around 5:45pm so you can join us as we file out.

2. Check out Stephen Silver’s new “Posebook” app.
Speaking of the CTN Expo, the amazing character designer Stephen Silver will have a booth there again this year. He’s got a new project that I think is pretty neat: He’s creating a new series of iPhone/iPad app for artists called Posebook. It’s a collection of professional costumed models in over 2,000 full-body poses (no nudes), hands, and close-up facial expressions for sketching. There’s also 6 instructional videos included as well as 25 sketches from some top character designers in the biz. That’s a lot of goodies for $9.99.

The first volume, “Males”, has just been released on iTunes. The second volume, “Females”, is coming soon. I recently downloaded the app and can’t wait to give it a try. Once the dust settles around here I plan to post a review along with a sketch or two. But from what I can tell so far it’s a great product.

3. I’m being interviewed on “On The Box”.
Several years ago I illustrated a cartoon Gospel tract for the ministry of Living Waters which has consistently been one of their best sellers – over 5 million copies have been printed in English and it has been translated into 20 languages. Last year, with the help of some talented animators I produced an animated version of the tract which to date has had over 300,000 hits on YouTube.

While I’m in California Living Waters has graciously invited me  to do a short video interview on their webcast, “On The Box”. It will air live on Thursday, November 17 (11:30am Pacific) and then be uploaded to their YouTube channel for future viewing.

Gotta go pack my bags. I’ll be back in the studio on Monday, November 21.

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Updated PDF Portfolios Available For Download

I’ve gone through the PDF versions of all my portfolios, weeded out some old work and put in some fresh. I’ve also updated the “About me” page. You can download them at my website or with these links:

Character Design Portfolio 2011
Toy Design Portfolio 2011
Illustration Portfolio 2011
Comp Art Portfolio 2011

Enjoy!

My Freelancing Presentation is Sold Out, You Can Still Catch The Q&A

I’ve been informed that seating for my presentation on freelancing at the 2011 CTN Animation Expo (Saturday Nov. 19, 4:30pm in the Exec Ballroom) is sold out. I’m pretty sure there are still tickets available for the Expo as a whole, and most of the terrific speakers and panel discussions are still free to all attendees. But mine was one of a few that had limited, pay-per-seat seating and all those seats are now filled.

If you didn’t get a seat you don’t have to despair completely. I only have a half hour an hour and fifteen minutes to speak and I’m going to be trying to cram an awful lot of material into that time. If people have questions or want to talk more about freelancing I’m told that I’ll be able to move everyone into a separate “Q&A room” after the presentation to keep the discussion going. I’m not sure where that will be exactly but if you hang around the Exec Ballroom at a few minutes before 5pm about 5:45pm you can join us as we file out and move on to the Q&A location.

Only Three Spots Left In My Freelancing Workshop at the CTN Animation Expo

On Saturday, November 19 I’ll be giving a presentation at the CTN Animation Expo entitled “Be Your Own Boss: Freelancing Tips and Tricks“.

I had assumed my workshop would be open to all attendees but I’ve recently been informed that my presentation is part of a limited series of workshops that are pre-pay only. Most of the seminars at the Expo are still free to attendees (and there are an awful lot of good ones to choose from) 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 the fee is a very affordable $5. In case you are wondering, no this isn’t a scheme for me to make a few bucks. It wasn’t my decision and none of the money will make it into my pocket. Somehow I doubt the organizers are getting rich either. These events are massive undertakings and very complicated to organize. Considering the enormous time and effort they put in to make the Expo such a great event they deserve every penny they can make off of it.

I’m told that you’ll have to log back in to your registration account in order to sign up and pay for the extra workshops. I’d include the login URL but my computer just went through a complete wipe-and-reinstall of the entire operating system and at the moment I can’t find it in my backups. If you signed up for the Expo the organizers should have sent you a link. EDIT: According to CTN you log in to buy the tickets here.

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! Hope to see you there!

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.

Google’s New “Reverse Image Search” Helps You See Who’s Stealing Your Artwork


Google recently launched a new service called Reverse Image Search which should be of tremendous value to artists. Among other things it allows you to quickly and easily find unauthorized uses of your artwork from all over the web. Simply go to the Google Image Search page, drag an image into the search box, and Google will show you just about everywhere on the internet where that image appears. This is an amazing new tool for fighting copyright infringement.

Last night I started poking around with Reverse Image Search and to my surprise I found well over 100 instances of my artwork being used without my permission. Most were rather benign, such as a personal blog or a Facebook profile pic, but there were a few sites that were offering them as “free clip art” or as wallpapers. I also found a couple of small businesses who were using my art on their websites. Fortunately I haven’t yet found anyone directly profiting from my work by claiming it as their own (although that has happened in the past), building a brand around one of my characters, or selling the art outright. But I do know of at least one graphic designer who has found over a dozen infringements on a logo he designed. And I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The internet has made copyright infringement easier than ever. Most of it is fairly innocent — the average person doesn’t realize that when they post an image on their blog or website without permission, in most instances they are breaking the law. They are well-meaning and simply ignorant of how copyright works. They assume (incorrectly) that if an image is available online it must be free to use.

Then there are the many people who aren’t so ignorant and are blatantly stealing the creative work of others to make a few extra bucks. (You may have heard about the recent firestorm that erupted around a company called LogoGarden who was selling dozens of logos that turned out to be blatant rip-offs).

Of course nothing will stop copyright infringement entirely — it’s far too widespread. But Reverse Image Search will give artists a powerful new tool in the fight to protect their work.

New Blog Look, More Changes Coming

You may have noticed that I’m giving my blog a long-overdue facelift. The old design was just too cluttered, stale, and outdated. I’m not 100% satisfied yet and will probably make some tweaks but I this is a good step in the right direction – cleaner, tighter, and a little easier to browse.

It’s also a temporary band-aid on a much larger problem: my entire business identity needs an overhaul.

I’m very slowly working on a complete re-brand of my studio. Although I’ve been freelancing for fourteen years I still don’t even have a real logo much less a brand. My current company name (“Cedric Hohnstadt Illustration”) is hard to remember and even harder to spell. It’s also too generic. It doesn’t say much about what makes me different from the thousands of other illustrators out there. Not to mention my current website design dates back to 2005 so it’s very rusty and outdated. I update the portfolio pages now and then but the coding and overall look are far behind the times. In short, I’m long overdue for a complete overhaul of my business identity.

In the hopefully-not-too-distant future I’ll be launching a brand new website with a new name, new logo, and new look. I’ll also be rolling this blog into the new website. For now, at least when you come here you’ll have a blog that’s decent to look at.