Friday, February 23, 2007

Ice Storms and Logos

I've been very very busy, mostly with business. I think I've got the accounting thing somewhat settled now (or is that just an "I hope"?) I'm in negotiations on the next likely project. It is a children's book painting to be included with the author's submission packet. I've been spending a good bit of the past couple days working on a logo for my illustration business. Not done yet, but see below for the present state. :)

I'm very glad that I got the battery replaced in my Blackout Buster, as we've been inflicted with a major ice storm and very strong winds as of late. Nothing scares me worse than my computer shutting itself down before I can save what I'm doing. When the 8-year-old battery was in, it would shutdown without warning. Even if it was just a surge. Rumor has it there is another ice storm coming.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Business Developments II

Yesterday, I did three major things for my illustration business. First I went to the Clerk of the Court and registered my business name: Laura Diehl Illustration. Next I visited the Town Hall and purchased a business license. The one bad thing about getting this now is that it is due to expire on April 30, which for full price ($25) is kind of a crappy deal. But I needed that business license number for the next step... which involved a trip to my bank. There I finished filling out the paperwork and opened an account for the business Laura Diehl Illustration. So, I guess that means the business is official.

I just wish getting Quickbooks up to speed with all of the transactions since January 1st were that simple.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Business Developments

Some business developments today. :) First I met with a councilor at JMU's Small Business Development Center at 10:00. The meeting lasted for around an hour and was much more helpful than I had anticipated. Most of the discussion was about accounting software, tax considerations and start-up business stuff (like trade names, DBA, and local ordinances). Enough to make my head swim. I've got a long to-do list now.

Second, my postcard order came from Overnight Prints. It actually looks pretty decent! That means I need to go ahead and purchase that list from Agency Access that I made some time back and get some blank slicker label pages.

Third, I purchased the domain names:,, and ...all to be parked to my main domain name. I feel for $10 a piece this is a worthy investment.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Lighting and Chainmail

I'm not sure what all I did, all I know is that it took all day. I did try to address the lighting on the character issue, as well as work on smoothing and detailing parts of his costume.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Turbulent Clouds

I've been busy with business. I made an appointment to meet with a councilor at the Shenandoah Valley Small Business Development Center. I hope to get some recommendations on tax/accounting issues as well as applicable laws for my freelance business. I also went ahead and ordered a bunch of new equipment for my desk redesign in progress, including a nicely priced OEM bundle of the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 and Microsoft 3000 Comfort Mouse, black gel-pads for my chair's arm rests, and sliders for the desk. I also canceled the Amazon order for that Skype Polycom Communicator (as it has been 5 days and it was still not shipped) and placed an order with PC Nation instead. With 3-Day FedEx shipping they are still $2.00 cheaper, and I get the feeling I might actually get the item.

The current illustration is moving along pretty well too. I worked mainly on the background today. I hope to work on the middle ground (the harbor and city) tomorrow.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Unnatural Light

Today I started to define the figure's form. I also fiddled with the lighting. I want it to have an unnatural and brooding feel. The way it sometimes looks before a storm, when the sunlight appears strangely colored and doesn't quite match the dark clouds.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

On the Business of Illustration

Where to begin? Well, I've been diverting a lot of effort into business endeavors. The method(s) by which I want to do my first postcard mailing is still up in the air. The design for it is mostly done (I need to add a few more contact details). I'm awaiting more samples from about 7 or 8 online places. So-far, 4by6 looks really nice.

Spurred on by the need to include a business phone number on said postcards, I decided to actually get one. After a bit of research, I opted for the $15 Unlimited calling in the US and Canada from Skype and one of those nifty little Polycom Communicators, as I hate headsets and handsets. I just hope Amazon isn't too slow getting it here.

The Google Adword campaigns continues. At the moment, I've yet to get a single print order or illustration quote request that I can trace back to them. I'll give them a couple more weeks and see if I get any nibbles.

In art news, I'm working on a cover for another small press, which is quite enjoyable.

Oh yeah, I also made a slight (*cough* slight = it only took hours of headache) update to my website, making it more in line with my postcard "look."

Also, I must provide a link to a very well written article that is spot on. On what, you ask? Read for yourself:

Seeking an artist/designer/illustrator? LOOK RIGHT HERE!!!

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