Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Business Side of Freelance Illustration - Promotional Strategy and Clients

This started off by explaining what promotional strategies are, and what their aim are. A list was also given of example promotional strategies. It went over compiling a mailing list of art directors, editors, agencies and potential clients names and addresses.  It went over mailers, promotional schedules, social networking and agencies. It also touched on websites again, especially the About page, the Blog and what you want your website to do for you.

The lecture then went onto explain a bit about finding clients, and how to approach them, putting your own show on and social networking strategies. At the end of the lecture, a list of tips was given, which included, be generous, be a human, not a salesman, be consistent etc. The lecture concluded with a overview of the basics of your work, your business and marketing.

This lecture helped my understanding of how to promote yourself, and how to find and approach clients. I now feel more confident in approaching potential clients.

Friday, 12 April 2013

The Business Side of Illustration - Portfolios and Branding

This was a lecture where only the very basics could be given, as this is something that changes for everyone. There isn't set guidelines for creating these, as it is a very personal thing. It covered the purpose of a portfolio, and that quality is much better than quantity. It also went over portfolios from a Art Director's perspective, and some dos and don'ts of how to put a portfolio together.

Along with putting a portfolio together, the lecture also covered branding. This included branding yourself as a business, and having a visual identity.

Again, this was a very helpful lecture. It helped me when I was putting my portfolio together, and also helped when I was designing my business cards and website.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Business of Freelance Illustration - Contracts and Rights

This lecture began by explaining what contracts are, which are basically, a legal document that outlines the project specifications, terms of payment, the rights, credit and contact information. The lecture described the aim of contacts, and gave a brief overview of what you should do when you get a contract.

We then went over each item that would be on a contract in more detail, for example, project specifications, terms, a kill fee, rights transferred and credit. It also explained some very important dos and don'ts when you get a contract and when coming up with a contract.

We then moved onto rights, and explained what rights are, and the different type of rights. A list of things to look out for was also given, along with a list of things that you should never, ever let your client have, i.e. full copyright for any of your work, get full reproduction rights, get the right to sublicense your work or get original works of art.

The legal side of illustration is something I knew hardly anything about, so I found this lecture very useful, and has helped a lot with my understanding of how the business side works.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Business of Freelance Illustration - Websites

This lecture explained what websites are, and the different types of websites. It covered the dos and don'ts of websites and the different ways that you can create a website.

This lecture helped a lot when I was in the process of making my own website, especially the dos and don'ts. It also helped my knowledge of what a website is, and that there are different sorts of websites for the different type of things that you want it to do.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Business of Freelance Illustration - Time, Budgets and How Much to Charge

This lecture covered time, budgets and how much to charge. We first went through time, and how it can affect your work. It then went on to time management strategies, explaining things that we can do to help with your time management, for example, knowing your personal clock, making lists, setting daily duties, and techniques of time management, mainly the Pomodoro Technique, where you set a timer to 25 mins, and work on a specific task until the timer stops, then take a 5 minute break.

Under creating a budget, we covered, why you need to set a budget, and some of the things that we need budgets for, i.e. marketing and promotion, and any outside help like accountants. When trying to answer the question, how much to charge, there isn't really a set amount, it all depends on the client and the job. We also covered usage and rights, and what they are, and the basic information about them.

Another useful, and interesting topic brought up in this lecture was The Project Triangle

The client can pick any two, but not have all three. Good and Fast? Not Cheap. Good and Cheap? Not Fast. Cheap and Fast? Not Good.

This lecture was helpful, as it covered things that I wouldn't have known how to do when the time came that I had to do it.

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Business of Freelance Illustration - First Steps Lecture

This lecture basically just outlined what we would be talking about during these lectures. Firstly, we went over the basic plan of working for yourself, and also went through some of the things that being a freelancer entails, i.e. hard work, dedication, etc. We were then given a list of difficult questions that we had to ask yourselves. The aim of these were to make sure we know what type of illustrator we want to be.

This lecture was a useful opening to the business side of illustration, and really got me asking myself questions that made me question my work ethic, and who I want to be as a professional. Answering these questions, also made my work that much stronger.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Creative Futures 2013 Conclusion

Overall, Creative Futures week 2013 has been very insightful and extremely helpful. With this being my last Creative Futures week, I really wanted to gain some valuable information about the industry I am about to embark into. I feel that the main focus of this week has been on promoting yourself and setting up yourself up as a business, which has been very helpful, as this is what I am currenty trying to do. I particularly enjoyed and found the most helpful, 'Being a Children's Illustrator' by Kirsteen Harris-Jones; 'Self-Employed: The Basics' by Andy Gardner; and "If I Had Only Known...' by Sian Saunders.
Although there didn't seem to be as many talks focused on illustration as such, every talk I attended had a piece of information, or a tip or piece of advice that I can transfer into my work.