- 2 hour Q&A session – Covers every possible topic from user-submitted questions. If there was anything you were still wondering about after listening to The Art of Freelancing, it’s probably answered in here. (.mp4 format in a .zip archive | 397MB)
- My notes for The Art of Freelancing – These are the notes I worked from while recording AoF. Might interest some folks. (.pdf)
- Interview with Darren Yeow – I interviewed fellow concept artist, illustrator, and entrepreneur Darren Yeow. During this two hour discussion, we talked about how he got started, how he started going freelance, and how he manages things currently.
- Download the audio (.mp3 format in a zip archive | 124MB)
- Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines – It’s a bit of a dense tome, but if there’s a technical detail about the field you’re still wondering about, this is a great resource. It’s also excellent at giving you some general numbers if you’re wondering what to charge. Naturally, these aren’t steadfast rules by any means, but it helps to have a guideline like this.
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich – Finances are important in life–and all the more so when your income is as erratic and unpredictable as a freelancer’s is. While some of the information in this book is focused towards people with a steady paycheck, it’s got plenty of useful stuff for people like us. Oh, and don’t worry about the somewhat cheesy-sounding title. It’s actually a good book, I promise.
- 10 Books Every Artist Must Read – The title pretty much says it all. I wrote this article and stand by it 100%. If you want to be a concept artist or illustrator, you really have to read these books.
- Should I Work for Free? – If you’re wondering whether or not you should work for free, this site has the answer.
- I Hate Your Portfolio – 10 tips to making me not want to strangle your hideous portfolio.
Encouragement & Advice
- Keep Going – It’s a hard road. Don’t give up.
- Consume, Create, Recharge – The three things you should be doing.
- Do one thing – Every day, just do one thing.
- Muddy Colors – A collective of some of the best fantasy/sci-fi illustrators in the business. Pretty regular posting with killer content. Not to be missed.
- FreelanceSwitch – Really good site with a lot of great articles for freelancers. Must read.
- Duct Tape Marketing – Also wrote a good book by the same name. A smart guy with a lot of smart things to say about business.
- Get Rich Slowly – Good blog on frugality. It’ll help in freelancing so you can more easily survive the lean times.
- The Simple Dollar – Another of the best finance blogs around.
- Seth’s Blog – The blog of Seth Godin. An incredibly smart and inspirational guy. Writes a lot of quick, to-the-point posts. Read if you ever need an injection of energy.
- Moo – Moo has the claim to fame of letting you print a ton of different images in the same order of cards. That way you won’t be stuck with 250 business cards with the exact same image. One sidenote: their business cards are European standard size, so you’ll notice that they’re slightly different than your average American card. Print quality is great and the paper stock is nice and thick. I had a bunch of these out at a convention and they were all gone in a few hours.
- Overnightprints – I’ve done postcards and business cards from these people. Some seem to have trouble with their prints coming out too dark, but I can’t say I’ve had much of an issue. Print quality is quite good, though the paper stock isn’t quite as thick as I’d like. Prices are dirt cheap when they have a sale/coupon.
- Uprinting – Little more expensive than overnightprints, but really nice paper stocks. Again, they have tons of sales/coupons, so look out for those. I’ve also done some extremely large scale canvas prints through this site and had great success.
- Blurb – This is where I get my portfolio books printed. I’ve also tried Lulu.com, but I was honestly not impressed. Blurb ain’t cheap, but the quality is really, really nice. Also some really nice customer service in the event that they screw up your book.
- inPRNT – These are the folks I use to sell prints of my art. If I need a really high quality reproduction, this is where I go. You have to be approved to have a gallery there, and they’re also a bit slow to upload your new images, but I still like them. You get 50% of the total price.
Sites & tools
Just a few of my favorite tools.
- Dropbox – Dropbox has saved my life on a number of occasions. Please, please back up your stuff. Don’t wait. Don’t do it tomorrow. Do it now.
- MailChimp – This is a great tool for managing mailing lists, and it’s what I use. It’s free, pretty easy, and a fairly nice interface. It requires a subtle little ad for their site, but considering how much it does for you… I think it’s worth it.
- Mint – This is how I keep all of my finances in order. Great tool.
- WordPress – Start your blog today. It’s so easy. If you want, you can also go to WordPress.org to download and install it on your own server. This is what I use to manage all of my sites. Hell, this one right here is run on WordPress.
- Livestream – It’s free, it’s easy, and you can broadcast to the world. It’s also a lot of fun.
- 13 Apps I Use Every Day
This is a small selection of conventions… there are a ton out there, for every possible field. So do some googling.
- Illuxcon – This is the convention where I got my start, so it’ll always have a special place in my heart. It’s focused towards traditional fantasy & sci-fi illustration (and by traditional I mean original paintings). The main show has some killer artists in it every year, and there’s also a one-night-only showcase event that anyone can sign up for. Really fun convention. I attend every year, so pull me aside and say hello if you see me wandering around.
- Spectrum Fantastic Art Live – A new con, but it’s put on by the same people who put out the Spectrum annual (doubtlessly the best fantasy/sci-fi illustration annual out there). Looks to be a really solid convention. And yes, I will be there.
- Gencon – One of the biggest gaming conventions of the year. Focuses on analog games, mainly, but there’s a huge artist showing here. I haven’t done this one yet, but plan to. Artists who have attended usually say good things about it. A fair number of the ADs from the gaming/RPG companies attend.
Social Media, Forums, and Online Communities
To show just how many different sites I have profiles on, here are (most) of my different profiles. Feel free to connect with me on any of these sites–I won’t bite.
- Facebook – This links to my fan page, I also have a regular account here.
- …and many more
People always ask me what sort of stuff I work with, so I figured I’d give you a listing of some of the great toys I get to play with. If anyone asks me about a specific tool I use I’ll throw it on here for the curious.
- 27″ Dell Ultrasharp monitor – It’s almost scary how much I love this thing. It’s huge, it’s beautiful, and it comes pre-color-corrected. Exact same stuff as the Mac monitors, but for way less money.
- Samson Meteor Mic – This is the little guy I use for all of my recording (and livestreaming). Not too bad of a price and pretty darn nice audio quality.