Thursday, December 14, 2006

A few interesting sites


A couple of sites worth a visit:

***
A blog for a landscape company in Santa Cruz, Ca. One of the few blogs I've seen at a landscape website. They are using this blog to promo their work and it looks much better than the typical static landscape website. Kudos to Silver Tree Designs.

***In 2008 Quebec city will be celebrating their 400th anniversary. One of the big parts of the celebration will be the Ephemeral Gardens:

EPHEMERAL GARDENS AT THE HEART OF THE FESTIVITIES

The Ephemeral Gardens will be an artistic event where creators from different horizons are invited to bring an artistic viewpoint on the major themes of Québec City's 400th anniversary. This viewpoint will be expressed through creator gardens : outdoor creations using mediums that combine different elements, including plant materials.

If you think you got a great ephermal design in you, go here to look at their call for proposals.

***The website for the University of British Columbia (UBC) is a good one. It is definitely worth a look.

***Finally, a list. This is a list of things a freelance illustrator has learned over 17 years of working as a . . . freelancer. I find this appropriate because I am a frelancer/consultant/self-employed kind of guy. All 17 are good advice, or great common sense reminders, but I think this is my favorite:

  1. Dealing With People's Questions.
    You will have interesting questions posed to you as a freelancer. Some
    people have ideas that all freelancers are of the of fuzzy slippers and
    jammy pant wearing, constant soap opera watching or constantly sleeping
    variety. There is really no solution to this line of questioning other
    than to answer their questions as honestly (not defensively) as
    possible. After awhile, they should see that you are a diligent worker
    who might have a slightly different schedule than most, but who still
    punches a "time-clock". Be patient, the comments will eventually stop.
Please take a look at the comments below the list, some are useful, funny, and or . . . well-comments. Starting with:

  • #18 - Don't use orange font to display something meaningful
  • Even though not a freelancer yet, or maybe I am a freelancer just haven't
    gotten any work yet! ha, still loved reading the list. They may be common sense but they can be easily overlooked and who doesn't need a refresher. Congrats on 17, and early congrats on the next 17! And the orange font does just fine, cause if you really want to read it, you will. ha ha

  • Excellent guidelines. I have been a freelance illustrator since 1973, minus six years as an art director at an ad agency. I second everything you say, and if I might I would add a couple of other lessons I've learned:
  • 1.) Always get a jump on a job. If you procrastinate because you have a generous deadline, you may end up having to turn down other work that comes in when you're up against it.
  • 2.) Sensitize your antennae to what the art director says. It may be something like, "The sketch looks great. . . at first I was a little concerned about the guy's hairstyle, but then I thought, no, I'm just over-thinking, so don't worry about it, everything's fine." That means--change the hairstyle!
  • 3.) Communicate early and often. If time permits, fax or email the art director rough sketches before going to tight sketches. This has saved me a lot of wasted effort.
  • 4.) I would underline your point #4 about "attitude." The art director is generally under a great deal of stress. When you get last-minute or seemingly arbitrary changes, or stinging criticisms, accept them cheerfully. Never express the irritation you may feel. The extent to which you can do this will go a long way toward creating successful long-term relationships. Some art directors have poor people skills. If you're one of the illustrators they feel comfortable dealing with, you'll be amply rewarded.
The website is Beetlegrass and I want to say thanks for the list, keep going!

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