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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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.

2011 Creative Freelancer Conference Is Fast Approaching

Later this month I’ll be in Chicago for the Creative Freelancer Conference, a two-day event designed to help freelancers work smarter, up their game, and as a result boost their incomes. This will be my fourth year attending and I can’t wait. It’s easily one of the top events I attend each year.

The Creative Freelancer Conference will be held June 23-24 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. If you make a living as a creative freelancer (photographer, designer, illustrator, etc.), or are thinking about taking the plunge into freelancing, you absolutely must go to this conference. You’re guaranteed to walk away loaded with practical info and inspirational ideas on how to make freelancing work better for you. The better you are at freelancing the happier your clients will be and the greater your chances of overall success. Its a win-win for everyone.

Time is short but its not too late to register. This year the conference is also piggybacking off of the HOW Design Live conference so if you plan to attend both you get a discount.

To get a taste of what’s in store you can purchase audio and powerpoints from the 2009 Creative Freelancer Conference here. Attendees of the 2011 conference can also order audio of this year’s event but if past conferences are any indication that audio may not be made available to the general public. If you still aren’t sold, you can read my recap of the 2009 conference. I’d also recommend visiting the website of Marketing-Mentor, the terrific people who partner with HOW to make the conference such a success.

Hope to see you there!

Christmas Gift Ideas For The Artist In Your Life

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If you’re looking for any last-minute Christmas ideas you might want to browse through my Amazon.com store, Cedric Hohnstadt Recommends. It’s a collection of books, DVDs, and other resources related to art, animation, and freelancing. Each item is something I have personally owned, used, and found to be especially helpful and/or inspirational.

Full disclosure: If you order any of the items from Amazon after clicking through my store I’ll receive a tiny percentage of the sale as a kickback (you won’t pay any extra). So you’ll not only be filling someone’s stocking but you’ll be helping me support my iPhone app addiciton.

I Won An iPad! iHappy.

I guess it pays to use Twitter.

This past June I attended the third annual Creative Freelancer Conference. I rave about it often. It’s a must-attend event for anyone who makes a living as a freelancer in the arts (illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, etc.) This year to promote the conference the organizers ran a contest: Whoever could get the most people to sign up for the conference via Twitter would win an iPad plus free registration to next year’s conference. I’m a big fan of the conference and I happily promote it every year anyway, but this year I decided that just for fun I’d plug it a bit more than usual (while giving full disclosure that I was taking part in the contest.)

Then the conference came and went, I had a great time, and I pretty much forgot about the contest.

Last week the conference people called to tell me I had won! They were very apologetic. In all the craziness of organizing the event they just now realized they never got around to announcing the winner. I would imagine it takes an enormous amount of time and energy to put together an entire conference and then to clean up after the dust has settled so I can’t say that I blame them. Besides, its hard to look a gift iPad in the mouth.

As an extra bonus, we got the phone call on my wife’s birthday and it arrived on our anniversary, just in time for us to take it with us on an out of town trip.

Not too long ago I wrote a blog post explaining why I had decided not to buy an iPad. In a nutshell, while the iPad is an amazing device for me it didn’t fall into the category of a “must-have” (unlike my iPhone or my laptop). Now that I’ve had a couple of days to play with an iPad I may reconsider. Too early to tell but you might see an iPad review popping up on this blog in the near future

In the mean time I want to say a big “thank you” to everyone who signed up for the conference as a result of my two cents here and there. I hope you got as much out of it as  I did.

The next Creative Freelancer Conference will be June 23-24, 2011 in Chicago. The conference is designed to help educate, encourage, and inspire artistic freelancers in all things business; to help them work smarter, get better clients, and as a result boost their income. If you are creative and self-employed this conference is a must.

If you want to get a taste you can purchase mp3s of the 2009 conference to listen to at your leisure.