Sep 7, 2008

About Freelancing & Useless Observations

1. Hulu.com, a free online streaming TV/Movies service, is subsidized by advertising. I noticed while watching Family Guy and the Simpsons, the main (the ONLY) advertisement shown was a "Don't Drink and Drive" commercial. Entertaining that someone behind the scenes thought that the demographic that the public announcement would be most effective towards was those who watched these shows.

2. That last sentence could be easier to read. I thought the person responsible for choosing the advertistments, thought that Family Guy watchers were most likely to be drunks. Irresponsible drunks.

3. I surmise that we are generally attracted to forms of entertainment that we most likely want to emulate or think we are like.

Ex) In Family Guy, Brian gets pulled over and arrested for having alcohol on his breath. After they take him away, Peter says he will drive, and while scooting over, you can here a sound effect of empty beer cans being rustled.

Family Guy viewers are irresponsible drunks. They emphasize with Peter or at least want to be a disgusting socially inept fat guy.

Ex) I like Family Guy because they like making horrible, usually awkward, risque jokes. I am like Family Guy.

I also like House MD, Bones, and Gil Grissom, in that order.

So read from that what you will...

What do you watch?

And what does it say, when you're favorite show is Hanna Montana? Ha!

4. My housemate said, "Gotta work tomorrow" and expressed a sense of dread. Soon thereafter, I did too, even though I freelance cause it's still work. It's still purposely being made to tread water, except the enforcer is myself.

Food for thought

Oxymoron-Biodegradable-Plastic


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Anyways, I have to go talk to a small class at the Art Institute of Nashville, so I made some unorganized notes just in case I run of stuff to say.

Why I decided to go freelance.


1. I disliked having to work with intermediaries, usually inefficient, between the artist and client.

2. I am surmising that the longterm financial potential is greater than with an employer.

3. Since the product is digital, it provides greater mobility if I were to move or go on vacation.

4. I desired to create works that I would be identified with, and not my employer.

a. Working for a client or employer, they direct much of the artwork, so although it may be your work, it is essentially the vision of the man with money.

b. Freelance work, once you establish your style and genre by filling your portfolio with work you want to do, will start to gravitate towards the content that you prefer.

5. If the circumstances occur, if married with children, I could be present with the children more than if I were to work in an office. Big IF.

In general, greater freedom in my lifestyle.

Things you should consider before going freelance.

1. Self motivated? No one's gonna drop tasks into your lap. No one's gonna tell you how, and where to make money. Self motivation assumeably stems from something you are passionate about.

Trite Truisms.

a. Do something you love, and you will never work the rest of your life.
b. See a man skilled in his craft, he will perform before kings.

2. Can handle tasks beyond your specific skillset? Budget, finances, marketing, emails, marketing, sales, and marketing.

3. Having keen ability to handle finances is very important. Sometimes you won't get paid for 30-90 days, and sometimes you might experience a lag in chunks of payment, so you will have to have already been well funded to cover those possible scenarios.

4. Do you have a significant market that you can tap? Having posted artwork on the internet previously for several years, I was accustomed to being solicited to do work, though I rarely took advantage of the opportunity. Set yourself up for success, test the waters, know that you have a desireable service or product to offer.

Pro/Cons of Freelancing

Pros

1. No drive time, no extra gas money outlay, less vehicle mileage, less road rage, less likely to be arrested or have an heart attack resulting from road rage.

2. Design in your underwear, never shave, and listen to horrible techno or Coldplay music you otherwise couldnt listen to if you were in an office with judgemental coworkers.

3. Moderate freedom in choice of topic, or clients. *** Level up first.

4. Allows you to have a FALSE sense of superiority over regular nine-to-fivers although they most likely make more money, work less, benefits, drive nicer cars, etc etc. FALSE SENSE... but if you can fool yourself into believeing it, you can also convince others of how cool you must be, just as long as you leave out the bad parts. See... you embody the true spirit of being an idividual, unlike those sheep, who DON'T have an unhealthy psychological issue of extreme detachment and disdain for committment, obligation or subservience.

5. Vacation, almost any time.

In general almost frightening freedom.

Cons

1. You must be a jack of all trades unless you outsource tasks like finances, marketing, answering emails, etc.

2. Taxes, health insurance, etc. You have to make more than a regular salary to earn the same money if you are on your own.

3. Seclusion from social interaction. Coworkers, although usually only on a superficial level, still provide almost necessary face to face human interaction that you won't get sitting at home in your office. Thankfully, I am introverted semi avoidant semi schizoid, so I only need small doses of people. ;P

4. You don't get weekly checks. You get random checks at random in the mail box or in paypal. Paypal takes 3%.

5. Since in a job, usually you have a specific task and people telling you what to do, the ambiguity of what you are to do and how hard you are to work on your own is a little daunting.

6. I seem to work more than I used to at a job, and I have to plan to not work.


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Other topics:

Best practices

1. Network with like freelancers/artists. Client Goldmine.
a. Online communities

2. Compete
3. Pimp your work. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

Photoshop

Workflow Topics
1. Grayscale with Multiple layers over sketch
2. Colorizing
3. Shortcuts
4. Default sizing

Contests

1. Significant income source
2. Marketability/Artistic Integrity
3. Crappy contests/Good contests/Low hanging fruit contests

Mistakes I've made

1. Undersold. $150 per design beginning. Caliber of $100-$200 art is fairly amatuer.
a. Minimum $350, average $400-$800, moving on up slowly.

2. Publicity pro bono or any pro bono. Never a good idea.
a. People who talk hype are usually the least capable to distribute greatly your product. If they don't have money to pay for good art, they dont have money to make, sell, distribute the product. Money talks... You have to spend money to...

3. Mediocre tools. You get what you pay for... Cintiq probably increased productivity and final product quality by over 30-40%

4. We are starting a website/magazine/apparel company/etc and we would love to use your work to create content, with little benefit to you whatsoever. Just another version of #3.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

If your theory on hulu advertising is correct, I have to wonder why I got to see an ad for the tv show terminator, 6 times, while watching the movie sense and sensibility. Hmm, maybe people who like Jane Austin are also fans of futuristic cyborgs and apocolyptic dramas? That might only be true for me, but then I always think I am a special case. :P