Last summer I was hired to work up some rough FPO comp art ideas for a Christmas catalog for Best Buy. The focus was on home appliances (vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, etc.) Here’s a few of the sketches, done under the art direction of Randall Herrera at Olson in Mineapolis. The empty/ghosted areas were for text to be added.
Over the past few months I’ve been doing some FPO comp art illustration for CPC Intersect, a Twin Cities marketing firm that specializes in “experience marketing”. They’re a creative bunch and they’ve got a real spirit of fun that they bring to their projects. I’ve been fortunate enough to help them out with pitches to brands such as Coca-Cola, Dasani, and General Mills.
The deadlines are often crazy tight but in advertising that’s par for the course. I specialize in meeting tight deadlines and I enjoy the challenge.
Above are two samples of recent work I’ve done for them.
Recently I was interviewed by illustrator Bob Ostrom for his podcast “Creative Independence”. The interview is now available online.
Bob’s not only a good illustrator but a super nice guy who’s very knowledgeable about the freelance biz. Since starting his podcast he’s interviewed a long list of successful freelancers and many of them have some very valuable advice to offer on a variety of topics related to freelancing. The Creative Independence podcast is available both on the CI website and through iTunes. I encourage you to browse the episodes and give some of them a listen.
In my interview we discussed such topics as self-promotion, networking, and social media. I hope some of my ramblings at the very least will be interesting and at the very most will be helpful to anyone trying to build a freelance career.
As a freelance illustrator I’m often hired by ad agencies and marketing firms to create “comp art” or “marker comps”, which are fast, rough sketches used to pitch an idea to a client. They can be black-and-white or color, depending on the deadline and budget, but they are a lot of fun to do. Because clients are very protective of their ideas I am often asked not to reveal the comp work publicly. But every now and then someone gives me permission to tell the world what we were up to.
Recently I was hired by the Texas-based Launch Agency to help pitch a mascot idea to The Bramton Company, makers of a line of pet waste disposal products called “Bags On Board”. A few months earlier, Launch hired me to help them update the “Bags On Board mascot. Now, they wanted to pitch Bramton with the idea of having someone in a mascot costume hand out fliers and free samples at pet stores around the country.
I whipped up this color sketch to help sell the concept. It was a large, hi-res image done completely in Photoshop.
After some consideration the client ultimately decided against the costume concept. In the world of marketing that kind of thing is not uncommon. In the advertising industry a flurry of ideas come and go every day. It doesn’t make sense to do a highly-polished illustration just to get across the seed of an idea that may never even get off the ground. So the comps I’m asked to do are usually just glorified sketches, though I try to make them look nice enough to make the concept clear and appealing. Either way I still get paid, and I usually have a lot of fun helping out in the process.
So, you’ve read my recap of the 2009 Creative Freelancer Conference and now you’re bummed that you missed out? Don’t worry, I’m here to help!
The Free Stuff
The conference organizers have posted a ton of free downloads and resources over at their website. Check it out!
The Not-So-Free Stuff
In a few weeks the audio from the conference seminars will be available for purchase. Keep an eye on my blog for the link. In the mean time, you can still purchase .mp3’s, session handouts, and powerpoint presentations from the 2008 conference here.
Several books were also available for purchase at the conference. Here’s the Amazon.com links:
The Designer’s Guide To Marketing And Pricing by Ilise Benun and Peleg Top
The Anti 9-to-5 Guide by Michelle Goodman
My So-Called Freelance Life by Michelle Goodman
Self-employed Tax Solutions by June Walker
Last week I attended the second annual Creative Freelancer Conference in San Diego. The goal of the conference is to help creative freelancers (i.e. illustrators, designers, writers, photographers, etc.) to improve their business skills, get better clients, and increase their income.
We artsy types aren’t exactly known for our business saavy. One thing you definitely won’t learn in art school is how to market yourself. Or write a proposal. Or network, talk to clients about money, etc. This conference fills a huge need. Each time I’ve attended I’ve walked away inspired and ready to take my career to the next level.
It was also great just to spend a few days with other people who get what it is that I do for a living. Who have the same experiences, the same problems, and we can talk shop without the other person’s eyes glazing over. Freelancing can be lonely at times so I really relish any chance I get to hobnob with my fellow freelancers.