What if I told you that it is possible to work fewer hours per day, have more free time for fun and leisure, produce more work at a higher quality than ever before and never burn out? If you are anything like me then you would probably say that sounds like a nice infomercial – but you’re not buying. And I wouldn’t blame you because like many of you, I’ve always had a very industrial mindset when it comes to work. Meaning, if the demand is high then you roll up your sleeves and put in the extra time to get the job done. It doesn’t always leave you feeling rejuvenated and sometimes you have to miss out on a bit of fun, but that’s life. There’s no getting around the fact that work takes time and more work takes more time. Right? Wrong. (more…)
Maybe this scenario sounds familiar to you: A few years ago I found myself working an office job that was ok. It paid ok, I liked the work ok, I liked the people I worked with ok, and I was pretty ok at what I did. Like I said, it was ok. But I didn’t love it. I didn’t wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose that drove me to excel at my job. It wasn’t what I really wanted to do, but for the longest time I put up with it because I’d done the math. What I really wanted to do was go into digital publishing, which in my mind required a new computer that would cost at least $3,000, software that my current laptop couldn’t handle, at least one or two creative/business partners, and a camera/other gear I couldn’t afford. (more…)
No matter what sort of art you create – whether you are a graphic designer, painter, illustrator, digital artist, videographer, or any other type of artist – being featured on the web’s top art and design blogs can result in a huge surge of active followers, interested fans, and of course – paying customers. For artists, just like anyone else, a good amount of our time is spent trying to wring a living out of our craft and free publicity never hurt anyone in that respect. In fact, I know for certain that there have been some artists who were featured on sites I’ve written for that successfully launched (or in some cases relaunched) businesses that where all of a sudden profitable because they received so much attention they were able to convert some of those new eyeballs into customers. (more…)
In 2003, acclaimed filmmaker Lars Von Trier challenged his idol Jorgen Leth to recreate his 1967 masterpiece The Perfect Human. Not only was he to recreate one of his best films ever, but he was to do it five times, each time being limited with a new more challenging list of constraints than the time before. They documented this torturous challenge in a fantastic film entitled The Five Obstructions. In this film we see a man fighting with his surroundings, resources, and even his own creative limits to reach a goal through constraints that seem all but impossible to achieve. The result? Unbelievable resourcefulness and creativity – And six amazing films! (more…)
Many of us creative types spend a lot of time seeking out “inspiration”. In fact, if you’re like me it’s your job to find and write about art or other things that might spark artistic inspiration in the minds of readers. I’m not here to make light of that either, it’s what I do and I love it. However, the reason I put quotations around the word inspiration above is because many times in the blogging world we say things like, “we are your source for inspiration” or “check out this inspiring post” etc. as if further consumption of this or that will be the deciding factor in whatever you’re working on. (more…)
When I first sat down to write this post my idea was to compile a list of the best business books for designers. However, as I found books claiming to fit this niche, I began to notice something that got me asking questions. It was the publishing dates. Some were 2009, others 2008, and others were dated as far back as 2003 or even older! I immediately thought to myself, “How could these books possibly be valid today?” I mean, Facebook and Twitter didn’t even exist then! When I’m searching for posts online, if I come across a blog post or news story from 2005 or 2006 I don’t even read it. It’s old news, outdated, irrelevant. But is that just the nature of internet content ? Have I somehow been programmed to disregard possibly helpful material just because of a date? (more…)
Being organized is not something creative types are necessarily known for. However, in managing your freelance design business, it’s a must. In fact, with the exception of one or two, every successful freelancer I know (design or otherwise) has this one thing in common. Organization. Of course there are a lot of different ways to organize your projects, clients, potentials, leads, invoices, etc. And none of them is the definitive, “correct way.” However, I’ve found that having a few select tools can go a long way in making the process a lot easier and even enjoyable. So I’ve rounded up a short, but what I hope is a very helpful, list of tools for managing your freelance design business.
Last week, the future of the web got a logo. Just another reminder that, love it or hate it, HTML5 is here to stay and it IS the new standard. We’ve done some cool round-ups on here before that give several great examples of new sites made with HTML5. Instead of a repeat performance I thought I’d hunt down a few examples that are a bit out there on the edges, showing off some of the cool new things you can do with HTML5. A few of them have been around for a while but I’ve made sure to include a few new ones too. And some that, though subtle, show a keen use of design given some new native abilities. (more…)