#How do horses work
#Why did I do this
I had a few idle moments and happened to hear that today is Tumblrnational Draw-a-Centaur Day, and thus did this majestic creature come into existence. Pictured here shortly before being taken to the knackery and turned into glue and inexpensive pet food.
#yadda yadda yadda
#Sorry for all the text posts today
#more art soon
All right, so I’ve been asked for advice on pricing and the business of freelancing, and rather than try to somehow telepathically communicate links via Tumblr’s message system that doesn’t allow links, I thought I might as well put together a post of resources for figuring out the practical side of being an artist. Because this is stuff everyone needs to know anyway, right?
First off, a super-useful book for freelancers is “The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines”. The prices may be skewed to the USA, but they give a good ballpark idea of approximately what’s expected in the market. So it’s a good starting point for figuring out your own prices and not ending up with something completely whacked out. The book also has tons of sample forms and information on best practices, which can be even more useful than the prices.
Here’s some sites that often have good articles on the business of art and the finer points of freelancing:
Potentially useful forums (mostly concept art oriented, but they sometimes cover more general things too.)
CGTalk (AKA the forums on cgsociety.org)
* Yes I know ConceptArt.org has had a lot of political and technical turmoil lately, but the archives have a wealth of useful material. What I usually do is use Google to search the CA archives: type the topic you want + “ConceptArt.org” + optionally the section you think the topic is in (the “Art Discussion” section used to have a lot of stuff on the practical side of art.)
CGHub used to be another one, but it’s officially dead, alas. There’s a new one called "DrawCrowd", but right now it looks like it’s mostly for art sharing/eye candy and not so much for discussion/info.
If you’ve got the money to spend, this is supposed to be pretty good:
And it looks like there will be a useful video or two posted here (coming soon, but I have my eye on it:)
And a spot of all-around good advice, with cartoons!
I’m sure I’m missing a lot more resources, if I think of more I’ll add them!
So the wonderful queengwenevere came to my rescue with a novella-length note full of supremely useful advice, and also threw this collection of helpful links in for good measure. Reblogging in case anyone else out there is in the process of trying to convince prospective employers that they really, truly are an honest-to-god Professional despite the fact that their shoes are held together with duct tape and their last major project consisted of designing a concert flyer for their housemates’ funk band in return for three bottles of Miller High Life and an understanding that aforementioned funk-band-having housemates will cease to filch the artist’s fancy organic tea.
Also, you folks should really check out queengwenevere’s fantastic webcomic when you get a chance. Stunning art, wonderfully eccentric characters, fabulous hairdos, giant robotic bats — it’s got the lot.
#yadda yadda yadda
This is just a shot in the dark, but I don’t suppose anybody following me has experience doing freelance character design work? Say for animated TV series, feature films or computer games? I need a bit of business advice from somebody in the know. I’ve done a little of this kind of thing in a semi-professional capacity in the past, but I’m still pretty ill-equipped to deal with the financial side of the enterprise. Thanks in advance!
I haven’t gotten the chance to actually work, but I have had people in the business (And I’m talking Nickelodeon and Cartoon network business) give me pointers for when I finally stop being a boob and send in my portfolio.
1. Your portfolio should have turn-arounds (Front back side, and emotions) of about 3-5 characters, and each character should have an illustration of them in their environment/world interacting in some way. Illustrations help show your ability to colour and world build, and can feature more than one character design. I would also suggest your portfolio have about 15 or less pieces, so if you find yourself with the space, make doodle sheets.
2. It helps a LOT to have one or more of those characters be characters that exist already (like from cartoons that are establish) I plan on doing some adventure time character sheets and illustrations of the old-world of Ooo (Simon and Marcy days ahhh)
3. Have a few pages of doodles of various monsters, creatures, or throw-away characters. You’re REALLY great at creating characters that vary drastically, I think that a page containing like 4-6 of your animal-women would be amazing!
4. Apply for companies that are up and coming: Frederator and Cartoon Hangover might be a really good place to start. They’re constantly growing and looking for new talents. I would say to apply some time after school gets in after summer. A lot of college students who will do unpaid internships will flood the market out— but then leave when school comes back!
5. After your initial portfolio sendout, check back in about 10-14 days. A lot of people will say “we’ll call you” but they’ll forget, it’s really hard to make an impact unless you open a direct line with someone.
Make it your job, after the first check up, to call back once a week. What I strongly suggest Is sending in your portfolio to gaming companies, cartoon companies, and the like but make it expressly clear you’re looking for critique on how to make a better portfolio. 7/10 I get a reply and open a line with someone on that alone, and it gives me a lot of advice on where to go next. It also leaves a good impression on people when you’re actively showing interest in furthering yourself along that career path.
Hope this helps!
Aw man, thanks so much! Reblogging because there’s some terrific advice here. This is definitely going to help me spruce up my tired old portfolio.
I’m still looking for a few pointers on negotiating pay rates, though, if anyone can point me to some helpful resources. My inbox seems to be eating more than its usual allotment of both incoming and outgoing messages lately, so apologies if it seems like I haven’t replied to any recent communications.
I’m so incredibly behind in my tumblr correspondence, sorry folks! I’ll try to clear up my message backlog soon — thanks for being patient with me.
… Of course, I probably could’ve answered several messages in the time it took me to doodle this, but, well…
Hello there, I'm not sure if you've been asked this before, but I was curious: do you listen to music whilst creating the fantastic fantasies we are eternally lucky enough to be exposed to; and if you do, what sort? I'm gasping for new toe-tapping tunes and I get the feeling yours would be an excellent taste. Please and thank you and good day x
Firstly, thanks for being so dang nice (I get the sweetest anons, I swear. Or perhaps it’s just one extraordinarily prolific anon, I don’t know). Secondly, yes! I listen to all kinds of stuff. I recently tried to round up some of the tunes I used to have on vinyl back when I was living in Australia (I had a small but treasured record collection and a very temperamental old turntable). And since I had a playlist going, I just ended up throwing a whole mess of old favorites and recent discoveries on there. It’s here, if anyone’s curious.
There’s an awful lot of banjo, so consider yourselves warned.
Here’s Barnabette, proprietress of the Popinjay Dance Hall and former endurance foxtrot champion. I tried and tried to fix that fringe on her dress, but sod it — time to shelve this small failure and move on to bigger and better failures.
lettydraws replied to your photo“There are so many things I screwed up in this drawing, but I think…”
this is the best ibis I want to watch it pick up and swallow small items of food forever.
Wish granted! Also, in the quest to fancy up the ibis, I may have inadvertently made the ibis less fancy? Hm!
I miss ibises. I grew up in a city full of the critters. I have vivid memories of feeding a peanut butter sandwich to a flock of ibises when I was in primary school.
There are so many things I screwed up in this drawing, but I think I’ll just quit futzing around with it for now. Here’s Janiveer and her as-yet-unnamed ibis. The ibis isn’t nearly fancy enough. I’m definitely going to have to fancy up that ibis.
Hullo tumblr, here, have a whiskery old lady. Her name’s Tertigone. Her friends (on whom more later) call her Tig.
I’m chipping away at a new batch of character designs and am coming to the realization that just about everybody in my main cast is over thirty and well under 6’, so I really hope you folks like short, middle-aged-to-elderly people…