Thursday, 29 April 2010

business card research

I like these.

Business Card Designs

Business Card Designs

Business Card Designs

Business Card Designs 

 But for now mine look like this:

Monday, 26 April 2010

Lecture notes - Steve Gordon (careers advisor)

Today we had a lecture with Steve Gordon about Freelancing. careers service - guidance. available for 2 years after graduation.

Freelancing - is it right for me?

Qualities required
  • Ability to cope with uncertainty e.g sickness and holiday periods not allowed for
  • Being self motivated
  • Superior networking skills
  • Self marketing skills
  • Belief
  • Self Discipline
  • Energy
What do you need?
  • money! how much?
  • essential equipment - materials, tools, software
  • Premises
  • Transport
  • add them all up and work out how much I need to earn
Freelancing option - Sole Trader
  • simplest structure. No registration costs etc.
  • Register as self employed with HMRC
  • Personally liable for any debts
  • All profits to you
  • Also need to need to pay fixed rate class 2 and 4 national insurance contributions on profits
  • Self assessment tax return
  • VAT - if turnover over £64000 <--- i wish!
Record Keeping
  • need to keep a record of all transactions incoming and outgoing to satisfy inland revenue - materials, business costs
  • Invoices and reciepts need to be kept
  • date, reference, who, how much and what <-- keep organised!
  • make sure all reciepts and transactions match spreadsheet - make spreadsheet to keep organised.
    (see example below)
  • Bank statements - need to keep for 5 years - evidence of payments.

(this is an example of how to keep records. not illustration related, but same structure.)


A contract protects you if things go wrong. Essentials:
  • Fees - what you are paid for? how much?
  • How is the contract evaluated at the end of the project?
  • Obligations of employer
  • Copyright issues - who owns it?
  • Expenses, payment and invoicing
  • other considerations: legal, health and safety, illness, disputes, timescales, insurance
  • contract details
  • terms of service
  • deadlines
  • signed by both parties
good links:

Getting Work
  • agents take % of fee - find you work
  • AOI sell lists of editorial clients
  • Online agency search. e.g Advocate Art
  • websites - - offer lists of publications to pitch for
Pricing Will it pay?
  • Sales estimate
  • Cost estimate
  • Setting up costs
  • Ongoing costs
  • Direct costs
  • Wholesale good bought
  • Indirect costs
  • Insurance, rent etc


here is an example of a good invoice:

good website to look at --> thedesigntrust

business cards

A few weeks ago were doing a promotion where you could get a pack of free business cards. They had the logo on, but thought I would order some just to see how they looked. They were free afterall!

This is how they turned out.

I think I will definatley be ordering some proper versions of these business cards from I used the eco-friendly card, which is good, but maybe a bit tooo bendy. I might try out the standard card, which is thicker and slightly glossy I think, which will protect them and make them last longer and be more durable. (they need to stay intact so they are usable when found after being shoved into a pocket or dumped into a bag for example)

I like how some of the images I used look as small cards, I have used some images from EMP. But I think I want to use some more images too, so I have a bit of a variety.

promo/marketing research

I have been looking at some of the promotional stuff that I have recieved from artists/illustrators when I have bought some of their work, or stuff I have picked up at craft shows etc.

Here are some examples...

When I bought an illustration from illustrator Sally Faulkner a while ago, not only did I recieve the item I had bought, but as there had been a delay in the delivery (through no ones fault) Sally kindly sent me some extra little items along with a handwritten note to apologise, even though it was not her fault. She went the extra mile for the customer. I need to remember this, I think it makes a big impression when the illustrator goes that extra mile to show that they appreciate the clent looking at their work or someone buying it. She also included her little business card and all the packaging was hand decorated.

When I bought a piece of illustration from illustrator Ashley Goldberg, I recieved the piece I had bought, her business card plus a postcard of the illustration I had bought. I think these extra little touches make the customer (or client) feel special and like the illustrator is making an effort and putting extra time in, which shows passion and enthusiasm for their work. (just what an employer wants to see!)

Sunday, 25 April 2010

just thinking

Just thought that I quite like the idea of stickers with my work on... I think I should make some images especially for stickers so they suit the size and shape and don't look like they've just been dumped on.
I like the idea of the reciever of the promo stuff being able to use them... so be able to stick the stickers on things, be able to write on the postcard. That way they are using your images and surrounding themselves with it, so hopefully it won't slip out of their mind.

self promotion

For this project, and before the end of uni, I want to have a set of self promotion images and products; such as website, business cards, postcards to mail out.

An illustrator who is very good at "promo packs" is Meg Hunt. Here is an example of her promo pack.

I especially like the idea of her custom stamp so you can make your own letter heads and personalise anything. I might look into how to get one made. But I definatley think my own letter head would be a good idea, as I will be writing lots of letters to people to get them to look at my work.

You can see more of Meg Hunts work here. You should definatley check her work out. I love her colour schemes and patterns.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Lecture Notes - Tim Fletcher

These are the notes from the lecture given by Tim Fletcher - head of design of Rosie Lee in London.

*have to show what you are like as a person - not just what your work looks like. Show you are enthustiastic about your work. Make you easier to work with, more likeable.

*how relevant your work is to the company/project.

*agents = help with negotiation,, usage etc. no agent = closer to the client, closer to project, can build relationships.

Finding illustrators
websites - the easier it is to get to the work the better. make your website simple, clear. Make
sure each image is named, titled and dated.
blogs - get recognition on design blogs. build relationships.

RELEVANT! only send your work to people that it is relevant for.

send stuff to people - even if you get in their bookmarks to look at later.

*difference between suggestions and being told what to do - dont let the client comprimise your work, otherwise no point and lose dignity of work.

Portfolios! - good to have a variety of work. good to show you can work in a different mediums. Show different solutions. Show that your work doesnt all end up in the same outcome. Don't let your work get 'samey'.

usage - time used? (6 months/years/forver?)
where is it going to be shown? (online/print?)
where in the world is it going to be used? (uk/eu/world)

Fees - fee for doing the job and a fee for usage.
learn what you should be getting so you can suggest own fee if you need to/make sure you are getting
what you deserve.
sometimes theres a pitch fee if you have to do loads for the pitch.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

E.E.E - Notes

Here are a few of my notes that I have been making during the lectures for the E E and E unit. (they are just notes, so might not make much sense to start with, but I will be using them for my final essay.)

* illustration is your job - profession... treat it like that. Take it seriously, work hard.

*AOI - (join before graduation) - lower rate, and lots of advice.
pros: portfolio consultancy
discount on seminars
advice line
free legal advice
can get them to look at contracts. eg. childrens book contracts royalties etc.

*Agents - they sort everything out for you (contracts, commissions, pay etc) but you never learn the ins and outs of the illustration business.

* Tax returns - easy to do yourself if you keep organised! keep all reciepts etc.

* good book to look at/read - 'the illustrators guide to law and business practice' - Simon Stern

* finding clients - find ways of finding them - contact them. eg. magazines - find publishing houses because theres loads more magazines than you see in shops.


* choices to make between what you like/want to do and what pays well - good work vs bad work

*be wary of "exposure" but no pay. - people try to persuade you to do something because it will get you "exposure" - mostly not worth it.

*establish good habits - confidence to ask for more or to say no. Asking for more cant hurt!

*business cards!

mail outs!!!<-- do this!!! pick best of your work and send to clients that you want to work for.
use as a teaser to get people to your website.
- phone potential client - ask to send work. - get name and address
- send pack of work
- ring them on day it arrives (work out when its meant to arrive) makes
them look at it, rather than it just sitting in their inbox.
- "can i come see you" / " send you more work?"/ "show you my website"
- might not call back or it might take ages
- if no response after 6 months call them back and send another mail out.
Keep it going!

*make own compliment slips to say thank you - all the time!
*youve got to be available all the time - dont miss an opportunity!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Evaluation, Employment and Enterprise Unit

Within this unit I will be thinking about my work as a whole, thinking how I can fit into the illustration business and how my work compares to others - making sure I am offering something different and original. I will look at how other illustrators work, and what makes them successful and why (or why not).
I will also start getting myself ready for finishing this course and ready for the working world. To do that I will continue building my website, create business cards and find other ways I can get my work into the eyes and hands of potential clients.
We have a number of lectures and talks by a variety of different professionals so these will help me and I will use their knowledge and advice to make the best I can of this time.

Friday, 16 April 2010

All handed in!

I handed all my work in yesterday! 2 sketchbooks, 3 frames showing some of my little card characters, and my final softcover book! exciting. I have ordered the hardcover version of my book ready for the examiners. with the final tweeks. ( making font darker in second to last page)

Feels so wierd to have handed it in!

Now I need to check when the deadline for the macmillians childrens book competition is, because I would quite like to enter my book into it.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Book has arrived!

My softcover book that I will be handing in for the deadline has arrived! Im so happy that I chose to get my book printed with Blurb because it is of much better quality that previous books I have ordered with Lulu (it is more expensive though, but worth it)
There are only a few tiny things that I would change for when I order the Hardcover version of the book for the examiner.
While I was waiting for my book to arrive, I have been thinking about how to present my work for hand-in and for the end of year show. I have been thinking of framing each of the individual card characters, because they look like little final pieces in themselves, as they are so delicate and tidy.
I have got a dark wood chunky frame to see how that looks, and it look really nice with the characters. I got this from Ikea, but looks really nice. I am going to look in Habitat this week for frames, because they make frames of higher quality.
I think I am going to make a book of this learning log blog for the examiner and end of year show as well, so all my workings and developments can be looked at alongside the final pieces and sketchbooks.

     Here is an alternative cover for my hardcover copy of the book. I had to change it for the imagewrap hardcover because some important parts of the other cover would have been chopped off because they stretch the image quite alot for imagewrap. Im hoping this one will cope better with the chopping and stretching. I think I prefer this version, it seems a bit more sleek and professional. 

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Recently I have been meticulously editing my images, zooming right in to get rid of blemishes, and sort out the text (which all needed to be bigger). I hope I havent missed anything. I have ordered a softcover version of my book. I do want to order an 'image wrap' version, but thought as the softcover was so much cheaper, I would do that one first, just incase something is wrong with it. It SHOULD be here in time for hand in, and then I can order the other version for the end of year show and examiners. I always wanted two versions; one for people to pick up and read, and one for display and to be kept nice. A softcover version might be nice to send to people as an example of my work too.