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Manual Focus

Note: The images below link to a book on amazon.com. This is not a paid promotion or review. Any opinions expressed are entirely my own and do not reflect upon the author of the book.

So freelancing fell by the wayside in the last year and a half. OOPS! It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the work. I got caught up in landing a day-job that I turned out to absolutely love. That turn of events actually reinvigorated my desire to sell what I make. If it means I need multiple platforms then that’s what I’ll do. Jumping further in, unsatisfied with free resources online, I found a book – while working said day-job – and it’s going to be another tool in my arsenal to keep trying and making this thing work.

No lie: I’ve been a failure a great deal on this journey. Go back to the beginning and count them. I’ve had two day-jobs in that time and discovered that I am actually really good at customer service! That’s a very good thing since it’s been a weakness of mine since I was born. Treating my depression was the beginning of my new life. I wouldn’t give it up even if I go broke trying.

I don’t want to actually go broke. Please, Powers-That-Be, save me from THAT. 😛

The book I bought, was gifted by my mom, is called Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion into a Full-time Gig by Ilana Griffo. What I like about it most is the focus on creatives. It’s not a “business book” (it totally is though). It’s a guide that says, “Here’s something to think about, and then do it!” I’ve only read the first few pages. It’s written in plain English with very little jargon to get in the way.

Not only that, but it’s written by a typography lover, so there’s always something interesting to look at. That’s really how I found it in the first place: the beautiful cover!

Just paying through it, I can tell there’s a lot of exercises and thoughtful nudges in the form of list-making, brainstorming, and graphics that illustrate business ideas visually. YES! A CREATIVE AUTHOR THAT GETS IT! I mean, check out this glimpse of a cake diagram to fill in about branding:

Anyway, I’m going to read some more and hopefully learn something new!


Take it easy and remember to smile!

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50 Days of Logos – #dailylogochallenge

This post will be updated as I make more days.

Day 1: Rocketship

Day 2: Hot Air Balloon

Day 3: Panda

Day 4: Single Letter Logo

Day 5: Driverless Car Day 6: Coffee Shop

Day 7: Fashion Brand Wordmark

Day 8: Ski Mountain Logo

Day 9: Streaming Music Startup

Day 10: Flame Logo

Day 12: Airline

Day 13: Barber Shop

Day 14: Cloud Computing

Day 15: Hand Lettering

Day 16: Fox

Day 17: Geometric Logo

Day 18: Cupcake

Day 19: Kangaroo

Day 20: National Park

Day 21: Granola Company

Day 22: City Logo

Day 23: Boat

Day 24: Bicycle Shop

Day 25: Photographer Logo

Day 26: Paper Airplane

Day 27: Ice Cream Shop

Day 28: Hip Clothing Brand

Day 29: Rideshare Company

Day 30: Sneaker Company

Day 31: Lighthouse

Day 32: Sports Team

Day 33: Burger Joint

Day 34: Social Media Website

Day 35: Dinosaur Amusement Park

Day 36: Record Label

Day 37: Television News Network

Day 38: College or University

Day 39: Messaging App

Day 40: Camera App

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Eureka!

For my family and friends, it comes as no surprise that one of my sources of creative inspiration is Walt Disney. More specifically, the animation and otherwise artistry of the Studio and Parks is, in my opinion, some of the best work ever done, anywhere in the world. Glowing review right? I don’t work for Disney. 🙁 I’m just not that caliber. At least I’m not yet. 

Inspiration is a funny thing though. Where does copying end and new creation begin? If you trace over a drawing or picture at the start does that mean the end result, no matter how different, is nonetheless still a copy? I personally think the answer is no. I’m not talking about just changing a color or replicating the exact original in a different style (although that can be it’s own work of art, much more of a grey area legally and ethically). For my vector art, I often start with a photo and work it up into something new that sets it apart from a photo. Sometimes I combine photos to get a certain unfindable angle or unique pose. I hardly ever use all the details, and many times I end up running my lines through filters to get a certain type of line. Check out the example below. 


Believe it not, this Phoenix started life as a photo of a vulture. A lot of the work went into making the usually smooth feathers look more like flames. Picking and choosing where the gradients fall is a big part of this illustration too. There are both red and yellow lines to contrast the gradients and, of course, the head is entirely red to stand out from the brightly-hot chest area that I imagined would be the hottest. 

So is tracing really a cheat and a way of copying? When does a tracing of a vulture stop being a tracing of a vulture?

What about the question of collaboration on something like an animated movie? In the following YouTube clip, Walt Disney explains how sometimes and artist has to forgo their preferred style to mesh with other artists in the studio, but on their own they take the same tree and paint 4 very different pieces of art from it. This is why Walt Disney is my biggest inspiration. 

4 Artists, One Tree

Take it easy and remember to smile.