Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's been a while...

I wasn't too sure what to do with this blog after school stopped. I'm not really an illustrator by nature and I'm not big on deadlines unless I'm being paid or marked to meet them so I stopped doing Illustration Friday. I've been peeking at the topics and I'd gladly do another submission if the mood struck me, but it's not something I'd like to do regularly.

Instead, I was thinking that I'd like to post things that might be helpful to other designers out there that I'm encountering while setting up my own freelance business. I may still post things that I'm working on, but overall, I think readers get more out of things that help them rather than things that look pretty.

After school, the first natural inclination is to want experience. Once you get the word out that you know how to use design programs and you've got some spare time on your hand, people will come out of the woodwork asking you to do things for them. Rates are up to each individual designer, but what happens when the client needs an invoice and wants you to charge them taxes?

I found this very helpful blog post by Nubby Twiglet giving tips on how to design an invoice, and in that post she has a link to an Illustrator template from Adobe. I found this post extremely clear and easy to follow- thanks Nubby!

As for taxes, they vary from province to province, and I can't even begin to explain the complexities for all of them. I can tell you that in Ontario, as a sole proprietor (aka. you are your own boss and have no one else working for you) you can obtain a GST number without having to pay fees so long as your income will not exceed 30,000 per fiscal year. If you want to register a business name along with that, it costs money, but to use your own name with your GST number is free. You can go here to start up that process and look at the different options for GST registration. I was told that once HST kicks in, your GST number will stay the same for charging HST.

That being said, there are kind of strange rules regarding charging GST on freelance work. For example, you do not need to charge tax on something you are sending over the internet. For all the do's and do not's, check out this document here.

I must have a disclaimer here that I am not a professional, and I am not claiming that all this information is exactly what freelancers should be following- I am just pointing you in the direction of government publications that may be helpful when starting up a freelance business.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

IF: Linked

I don't have too much of an explanation for this one. This is the business that came out of my head when I asked it to think of being linked.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rescue Idea redux

This is the project I originally had that birds/face idea for, and I thought I'd post how the final came out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Illustration Friday - Rescue

This drawing is something I've had in my head for the last little while. This is it's first attempt- I did this drawing quite small with an ink brush, but I think it needs to be much larger...only problem is, how to scan it in?

It's supposed to be a combined image- a woman's face, and a bunch of crows hovering over a dead person's bleeding body. It's based on a book I've had on my mind. I think the woman's face is clear, but I don't think the other image is too clear- I'll have to come back to this one after I think about it for a bit.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hammer Cancer postcard

This is my postcard for the Ride For Cancer Research project. I layered a bunch of imagery together. In the background there are blurred out cancer cells with gears on top and the words "hammer cancer" right below a bike. I didn't want it to be obvious that there were cancer cells in the background- it was more something that was in the back of my mind that should go there. I wanted to make a visually interesting image that would capture someone's attention quickly and communicate instantly the subject matter at hand.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Self Promotional Postcard

I'm a little slow on getting this done- after just finishing up one round of strep throat, I got round two and it knocked me out last week. This postcard was made from a photo I took and altered in photoshop. I'm trying to keep with this collage style I've been developing- I really enjoy building images this way. Please let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

IF: subterranean

This is my image for "Subterranean", this week's Illustration Friday theme.

In regards to the process, I hand drew the bird and the ink squiggles with pen and ink and scanned them into photoshop. The rest was assembled in photoshop using custom brushes and patterns.

As for the idea, I've been reading The Dunwich Horror by HP Lovecraft, and throughout the story he references birds as psychopomps (a psychopomp escorts newly deceased souls to the underworld). I figured underworld was as subterranean as it can get. I tried to reference skeleton parts on the crow to emphasize the death part of it. I actually saw a really creepy pidgeon in Gore Park the other day that had eye markings that looked like a skull, which also inspired this.

I enjoy this style, but I would really like constructive criticism to make it better! Comment if you have something to say that could help. Thank you!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Illustration Friday: Brave

This is my Illustration Friday work for this week's theme "Brave". My friend recently came back from Montreal where he saw Saint Joseph's Oratory which holds the heart of Brother Andre as a reliquary. I made the connection with bravery and a heart from this. I didn't mean to get morbid with it, but it's what came to mind. I've been really interested in old anatomical engravings so I altered it to suit my purposes and went with it. For those of you who would like to read the poem, it's a small one by Emily Dickenson, and it goes...

Not Sickness stains the Brave,
Nor any Dart,
Nor Doubt of Scene to come,
But an adjourning Heart

I'd like to go back into it another time and do different things with it. What do you think?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rick Court Blog Drawings

Rick Court's blog entry reminded me of old stories my dad used to tell me- especially about kingers (he showed me how to play this game when I was little!) I decided to try an illustration style that reminded me of old storybooks from that time.

Here is the big illustration that represents the whole story. The chestnut tree seemed to tie the whole story together, so I used that.

Here are the two spot illustrations: one based on kingers and one based on his working days at Dofasco.

As always, constructive feedback is much appreciated!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Illustration Friday - Adrift

For this week's Illustration Friday theme, "adrift", I thought about what would experience the state of being adrift (without purpose, aimless, off course) and this poor little robot character came to mind. One of my favourite albums, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, tells the story of a robot that begins to feel human emotion, specifically love- not quite a robot, not quite human. Seemed pretty adrift to me.

In a shameless shout out to the nice guys who run Monsters In Real Places, I decided to place him in a a real setting. Plus isn't it pretty bittersweet to see a robot wandering around trying to smell the tulips?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

IF: Muddy

This is my image for the theme of "Muddy" for Illustration Friday.

I started out with something a bit more literal for muddy (a little girl in rainboots and an umbrella) but didn't like it as I went along. After some brainstorming, I kept thinking that soon it will be spring and it will soon be muddy. When the ice melts, you start to see birds around sometime in March. I specifically thought of crows on power lines. I drew the large crow in the foreground on my computer, and used brushes for the rest. In the back there is an old fashioned astral map, because the constellations rotate as the seasons go by. The blood splatter stems from "a murder of crows". This image wasn't so much a literal interpretation of the theme, but rather a big word association stemming from muddy. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Illustration Friday - Focus

This is my work for Illustration Friday. The theme was "focus".

When I saw the word "focus", I started thinking about eyes or lenses (weird that I illustrated one last week). I was recently reading a book where a woman was given a drawing from a medicine man where a person was kept rooted with their hands and legs on the ground, and an eye in their heart to the sky. It reminded me of a favourite quote from Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry: "On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." Loosely translated, it means "one sees well with the heart what is invisible to the eye". I simply liked the look of a more fluid heart, which I created with ink from a dropper. I also tried to improve on my previous attempt at an eye.