Wednesday, October 22, 2014

breathing and regrouping

Wow, what a year. I finally have a lull so wanted to play catch-up and regroup.

This year I have had a broader range of work then years past. This year I got to animate my line illustrations for MacAfee in a series of videos about cyber security. I also had a great time at a recent event doing Graphic Recording. Who knew that a conference on the legal challenges for a business could be so interesting?

Some of the things I have learned this year. Sometimes it is better to say No than Yes. I found I got so busy that it was better for me and my clients to just say no. Although it was hard to turn work away it felt good to not overload myself and I delivered a better quality product to my clients. I also found I did the work I wanted to do and was able to give other illustrators a foot in the door with a project (I referred those clients to other artists). It felt great to share finally.

Another big moment was the Illustrator's Conference - ICON. This year the event was in Portland and made it easy to attend. The first night was an emotional roller coaster. Surrounded by so many Illustration super stars I felt insecure and full of self doubt. It doesn't matter that I actually make a living as an illustrator, somehow I felt that I wasn't good enough. Thankfully after a day I realized that one doesn't have to be a super star to have value. The world is chock full of people who are really good at their work that never have their names in lights on the marquee. We are the people who make things work, who innovate and create every day without the awards. And honestly that is a noble thing. So cheers to those of us who make good work!

Lastly, I need to find a way to manage my online work when I am so busy. This may be the hardest part. The creating is easy, the taking care of customers is easy, but sitting down and managing a portfolio, blech!

Until next time, keep drawing, keep making, keep being inspired.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

holy crap, a busy 10 months

Yes the blog title says it all. Holy Crap, it HAS been a busy 10 months. I know my last post from February noted the 6 months of crazy preceding, well other than that one day in February, I have been buried yet again. NOT complaining!

First, I have been swamped with regular work from my steady list of regular clients. I also have had the great fortune to work on some wonderful new projects.

One of my favorites has been working with a local packaging designer, Jeff Menzel. Jeff had me illustrate the label for a local company that makes the MOST delicious apple chips, 'Sisters Fruit Company Apple Chips'. I painted the two sisters in Photoshop which I love to do, and rarely get the opportunity. Then just last week while grocery shopping I met one of the sisters as she was demonstrating the apple chips. One of the fun perks of working for local folks.

Another big project was working with Dan Pred on five videos for McAfee and Intel. I created approximately 150 illustrations and then animated them for inclusion into the videos. Dan is a great collaborator and our client was very accommodating with a great sense of humor and style. Animation takes my illustrations to a whole new level and I loved getting to bring them to life.

There have been many other projects during the last 10 months that have reinforced for me why I am the luckiest person I know. Doing Illustration as a profession has been my life long dream and it really brings me joy knowing I have had the luxury to do this year after year. I sincerely am grateful for all the gigs I get, little to big, and the range of work to the variety of clients and personalities.