Books Every Freelancer Should Own

It seems every month or two I get an e-mail from an eager young artist who would like some tips on getting started as a freelancer. I’m happy to give a little advice and encouragement when I can, but there is just too much information to pass on in one quick e-mail. Besides, a lot of people have written excellent books that say it all much better than I ever could. So my advice is to read, read, read. Absorb as much as you can before starting out on your own. Why make your own mistakes when you can learn so much from the experience of others?

Here’s a few books every aspiring freelancer should read. Click on the image or title to order the book from Amazon.com:


Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer (Revised Edition) by Micheal Fleishman
The author does a terrific job of laying out the basics.


The Business of Illustration by Steven Heller and Teresa Fernandes
Insights and interviews on making it as a freelancer.


2005 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market
This book gives you the contact information for over 2,000 companies that hire freelancers (updated yearly). Or, if you want a really big mailing list check out www.adbase.com.


The Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines (11th Edition)
Quick and easy charts to help you figure out what you should charge. Also a lot of good info on writing contracts and dealing with legal issues.


The Graphic Designer’s and Illustrator’s Guide to Marketing and Promotion by Maria Piscopo
This is probably the best book I have ever read on marketing yourself as a freelancer.


Legal Guide for the Visual Artist by Tad Crawford
Detailed info on issues such as copyright, contracts, taxes, etc.


Business and Legal Forms for Illustrators by Tad Crawford
Comes with a CD. You can copy the sample contracts in this book, modify them (or leave as is), and then slap your logo on them to make them your own.

Evolution: The Case of the Exploding Bugs!

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Call me crazy, but I believe evolution is a poor explanation for the origin of life. Evolution says nothing became something which exploded and became everything…all by itself. Nobody knows for sure how it happened, just that it took a very long time.

To me that kind of thinking requires more faith than Christianity. Look at any building. The buidling itself is absolute proof there was a builder. Similiarly, a painting is absolute proof there was a painter. That’s science in a nutshell–look at the evidence and draw the most likely conclusion. When you think about the incredible complexity of nature, it seems reasonable, even scientific, to conclude there was an intelligent Designer (God) behind it all. The odds of it all happening purely by chance are just too remote.

Anyway, I came across this fascinating video clip from a series called “Creatures that Defy Evolution”. These little bomb-throwing bugs are truly an incredible feat of nature. There’s just no way they could have evolved. This clip is pretty amazing. Check it out!

Awwwwww…

Jennie (my fiance) has been helping me remodel the bathroom. We’re ripping out cheap tile from the 70’s and replacing it with white panelling. Today I walked in to find this poem written by Jennie on the wall. When the bathroom is remodelled again some day in the future, someone will read this and know we were there. I’ve got the coolest fiance ever!

Animation Podcast

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I am so excited! There’s now a podcast devoted solely to animation. So far there are four interviews with animators Andreas Deja and Nick Ranieri, with more to come. This is a professional sounding podcast with meaty content, unlike most of the amateur-sounding podcasts flooding the internet. Very inspiring stuff! http://www.animationpodcast.com/