Thursday, January 25, 2007

Onward and Upward?

World domination -err my illustration business is going well. So today I started work on the first thumbnails for the current client. I've also devoted a good bit of time to researching things related to mailing postcards. I found a good list agency that specializes in maintaining mailing lists for illustrators (Langerman Lists). I think I'm going to go with the lowest number of pay per contacts to start with, which happens to be 310 for $99. As for printing the actual post cards, I hope to get that done locally. I design a potential one in Photoshop today, which I'm pretty excited about.

The Google Adword thing is up and active. I have really low daily budgets set right now. I want to see if this actually helps with print sales or commission quotes. If it does and it starts maxing out, I may go to something higher.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Enter the Evil Chair

So the new configuration seems to be working. My neck is certainly feeling better. Today I went out to a local used office supply store. And what did I find? A used Steelcase Leap Drafting Chair! It has to be the most comfortable office type chair I've ever sat in. These puppies sell for around $1,000 new, but this one only set me back $550. The upholstery and everything are black, the general consensus is that it looks futuristic and evil. My favorite thing about it is the lumbar support and the lean-back glide action it has. One thing I do want to do for it, though, is make some plush arm rest covers, while softer than the previous Criterion chair arms, these are still darn hard.

In other business type news, I've been toying with the idea of buying a few Google Adwords. I signed up for an account today, but have yet to activate it. I think I really need to make a easier to use commission form for potential clients to fill out for a price/time quote first.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Visual Ergonomics and Angels

I've been doing a little re-arranging of my "office" space. So, my neck has really been bugging me these past few days. After a bit of research I came upon THIS website and did a bit of reading, enough to convince me that trying a configuration where I sit above my computer monitor was worth a shot. So $0 and a good bit of make-shift engineering later, I now have a keyboard/art tablet table that is a good few feet higher than it was and a raised platform for my computer chair. The point is to see if this really works. If it does we'll see about a better looking arrangement, probably a Steelcase Criterion Drafting Chair (which would raise as high as my Steelcase Criterion Office Chair is presently) and a custom built table for the keyboard with a cabinet sliding mechanism whereby I could have both my keyboard and mouse on it and my Wacom at the same time, sliding either section in front of me as needed. I took some photos of the ghetto set-up for kicks:

Oh yeah, I also finished the angel book cover I've been working on. I've got the manuscript for the next cover (unrelated) and hope to start on that shortly.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Almost Done

I "fixed" many little things. My biggest difficulty was with the main angel's face. I swear, I must have repainted that one about a million times!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Layers of Candles

I was working on mainly little things today. I spent a good deal of time on his face, which I still don't know if I'm happy with. I also have been messing with levels and blend mode of some of the layers above the candles. I hope to get some title work done next, along with making any corrections my fellow artists point out.

In unrelated "news" I've discovered an interesting new musical artist, a KPOP (Korean Pop) singer who goes by the name of Se7en. His slower songs are rather sweet (and he sings well). It's rather funny watching his little dances for the faster ones too. Okay, okay, he's kinda cute too...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Little Things II

Urgggg, so tedious. I think one more day should do it, as far as the initial blending pass. Then I'll be tweaking stuff and adding final details.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Little Things

Cleaning things up and "detailing" is always the slowest part.

On a random note, I got my pair of USB heated gloves (bought off of Ebay) today. They are a tad itchy (as they are wool) but they are really warm and well designed. I've been painting in them all day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Too. Many. Scrolls.

Too. Many. Scrolls. ;) Just getting the sketch cleaned up and adding some detail to paint under.

Monday, January 8, 2007

In the Study

Forward march to the next piece. This is a full-wrap book cover for the same client whom I did the angel portrait/design for. The initial doodle was done in *gasp* real pencil and then scanned. The second image is me trying to work out the correct perspective of the interior.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Work Work Work

I've been a busy schmo lately. On the 3rd, I finished the painting Guardian Angel Arin (small version below). The just yesterday I finished Superdog (after working on it for three days), a pet portrait for a good friend. I've included the progress steps for it below.

Next up, I've got a fantasy book cover for a small press (should be a fun cover, as it seems like a comedy story), and an angel book cover for the same client who commissioned the painting below. :)

The final version is on my site here: Guardian Angel Arin

The final version is on my site here: Superdog

Friday, January 5, 2007

Illustration Goals for 2007

Illustration Goals for 2007:

1.) Work on getting paintings done more expeditiously. Along those lines, I really need to streamline my workflow ;)

2.) Make enough money during my first full year of running an illustration business to pay off my student loans completely.

3.) Bookkeeping. Bookkeeping. Bookkeeping! I need to get better at writing things down and that disaster of a filing cabinet needs to be cleaned. Middle school transcripts anyone?

4.) Start a life drawing sketchbook/journal to be updated for 15 minutes every morning with images or words.

5.) Get the 3 finished illustrations for my book dummy done and the dummy sent off to publishers.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Nearing the End

I did a lot of little things today. I get the feeling this image is close to finished. Many of the new additions such as the sparkles, tiny flowers in the grass, and pattern on the fabric, were just neat things I decided to try out (we shall see what the client thinks).

Monday, January 1, 2007

Angelic Faces are Hard to Paint

I'm undoubtedly at the slowest strange of this painting right now, the tweaking things here and there trying to figure out what looks best. The highest concentration of work today was on his face. I finally think I have something pretty good going on, less cartoon-like with more structure and such. However, when I flipped the canvas again (right before saving these preview versions) I noticed that there is still something a bit "off" around the eyes. *sigh*

In other illustration news, I've been focusing a lot of effort on getting more organized. At the moment I'm testing out the trail version of Studiometry, a program that seems to hold potential for keeping track of billing and projects for freelance business such as mine. I also acquired a nice planner at Staples today. It's harder than one might think to find a planner that goes beyond the standard 8-5 hour delineations. 8-5? Hah, the one I found runs until 9:45 PM. Nice for those evening hour plans.

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