Hoping for better daze. Health, passion and freelance artists.

Hoping for better daze.

Health, passion and Freelance artists.

I love being an illustrator, looking for great art and getting angry at poor design. That is what we do. Being grumpy artists who buried themselves in art books and beautiful images and objects. All for inspiration. Our world, the best world. The rest of the world's population is has the privilege to take a peek in our mind. But only when we allow them to. We are kings, overlords, emperors! But also, we like to dream...

We can show the world what bands would like you to hear!

Freelance Illustrator.

Let's talk about business here, aah dirty ass business that breaks the dream. Illustrators and designers are business men although mostly they don't want to see themselves like one. That is why I made a little list about things I do and think about to earn some money. We need to pay the bills don't we?

1. Make sure to be clear!
You approached a potential client. Your email got through and you even got a reply! YES!  You got a new project going. They love your work. But now what? Say yes and start drawing?
Mostly  your client doesn't know anything about how artists make their art. So explain this to them!
I usually tell them what steps I take  to make their perfect designs. These steps are similar to the "8 Steps to make a successful illustration" entry. But let me give you an example on what I do.

Step 1. Sketching.
I make 3 sketches. Three ideas to show you what I have in mind.
DON'T make complet drawings!! These are just your idea's on the project. There is a possibility your client is going to hate them all and even steps back from the project! The sketch has to be clear.
Important things I put in these sketches are:
- Composition
- Where you can find what figure of object
- What the figure of object's function is, so your client should be able to read what is happening.
- Where text is placed.
When color is an important element in the final design and I get payed well I will scan these sketches and put some color in them by using photoshop.
In this stage you can see how important it is to know how anatomy, perspective,your lines and so on, work. The more knowledge you have about these technical aspects of drawing the faster and more clear you can communicate through these sketches.

I can't show you any examples at this point so I putted this scan from my sketchbook over here.
In the sketches I make you can find several things as written above.

Step 2. Second sketch phase.
Client gave feedback on the first 3 sketches.  I put that feedback in the new one or 2 sketches. (I put more effort in these since we are going to work from these drawings.
I mostly explain to my client that they should tell what they think of the three designs. Maybe they like to take some elements from sketch 1 and add them to sketch 2 or they want you to remove certain things.
ALWAYS BE SURE YOU ARE AT THE SAME PAGE AT THIS MOMENT. Put your clients wishes together in a email and ask them if that is it or something. A little effort and you may feel stupid by doing this because you are able to read. BUT maybe you misread something or your client didn't explain what he or she wanted that well. Frustration and more work is hiding at every corner over here.
So here we put some more elements in our sketches.
-All the figures in place again.
-Added all the wished changes
-Adding shadows and more of an atmosphere to the sketch.
-Pay attention to the looks of the character like the faces and position of the hands. This tells you solo damn much about the character. In the study below you can see that the position of the hands are extremely important. And these are just silhouettes!
-Adding color. Here you can show what colors you are going to use when you haven't showed that before.
-Place the text, when possible in the right font.

Silhouette studies Hogarth.
Now you showed your client what you exactly want to create. This is your kind of final piece! Personally I work on these sketches on the final piece of paper like I wanted to finish the piece like that. Since you did this drawing with pencil you can change certain things. Maybe your client didn't like the face of the character or something. Then you change it the way he or she wanted it to be. make a picture of it and email it for a approval.

Step 3. pre-final piece
At this point I almost finish the piece I do all the lines, I do most of the inking and I add the colors in a rough way. But I show the highlights, shadows, light source and so on. To be sure I show this to the client so he or she can reply to it. Maybe the colors are not what they had in mind or maybe there are some other things going on with it. You never know, but it is better than discovering this at the deadline. Also, your client knows everything is going well. That takes a lot of pressure away from both you and your client. Reducing stress and pressure is important to make even better artwork. You know it is going to be just fine so you can focus in a relaxed way on your colors and shadows and maybe even add something extra here and there because your mind is not busy with anything else then making good art.

Step 4. Finished and send.
Here I send the finished piece to the client with all the requested specifications. Be sure you check them and double check them and I always send this to the client with the question: is everything on the illustration the way it should be? CHECK THE TEXT ON MISTAKES. Also, dates and addresses are a bitch for everyone. Pay extra attention to them.

Detail of the finished piece

After I explained all these steps to them they know what to expect from me. I ask money for every step so the client has the possibility to stop the project and I still get payed for the time I spend on this project.

Why in capitals? Because you can sell your design ten times as a poster. That means you can sell your poster design to a venue and now no one knows if they can sell the poster or you can sell the poster, who is the owner? All grey arias. Make agreements bout this. When they are going to sell the posters, how much are you going to get per poster? Do you get a percentage or do they have to pay more to sell the poster so you know you get money. There are positive and negative sides on both of them. Talk about who owns the design and what your client is going to do with it.


Another think I wanted to talk about is passion, I love great design and fantastic illustration. I love to see artwork that kicks my ass. I want to be that artist to other people too. They should feel embarrassed about their own art so they want to work harder! But I don't think I am at that level yet.
So that is why I study so damn hard and reflect what I do all the time. At the moment I think I am starting to lose my identity because of studying all these masters. Technical levels are rising but how am I gong to do it? What are the choices I make? So I have to step back from a while and focus on the story now.
You shouldn't be studying and making technical correct work because that should be the way. We live in a time where you can play with this. It is more important to know the technical elements and you can work with this and then choose what you are going to do with it. Build your own anatomy or perspective. Medieval art was not ugly or bad because they used perspective in a other way. They focussed on other things like telling the story in symbols. If you don't like how the characters were drawn you should adjust that to your own taste. They used their canvas or page in a very smart way. Be smart look around, tell stories, tell your own stories. That is something I should do for my next drawing too. Don't worry about making a correct image but tell the story I have in mind. After that you can look at it and see where you f*cked up.

Personal piece where I just made the thing I wanted to do at that time.
The piece above was a good example of that. There are mistakes in it but this is a good test to see where I have to put more attention to. I like the soft colors and dark atmosphere in this piece. I could do more with this in my next drawing. More simple illustrations are good but that is not something I always liked to do. So I have to follow my passion, maybe it is not the thing everyone likes but that is who I am as an artist and I noticed there are people who like this and even want this. With the passion I have for good and rich illustration I want to bring all these things together now and make a new masterpiece. Even if that means I have to work even longer days. Money is not the thing I am worrying about at that moment. Creating that perfect piece has more value anyway.
But health wise I discovered that it is not always smart to push yourself to the limit.

Health smellth.

Yeah that is what you say now. Less sleep, keep on producing to make better work to show the world what you got. The more you produce without losing any quality the better things will be in the future. "the harder you work the luckier you get". Well that is the case for a while, but I have to take care of my apartment too... and there were some family issues in the past, and there are relationships on every level you should pay attention too and you should make your own food and all those other things. So 4 hours of sleep maximum appeared not to be enough. No weekends are not a great idea either. The stabbing feeling of not having any work that pays the bills at this moment is not a great thing to deal with either. So this week I woke up and discovered that my body had enough. I had to take more easy for a while. (yeah right, instead of drawing and doing other things I am now writing this blog entry to keep you up to date)
So as I discovered, there is always that struggle with balance, wanting to do a lot and working with tight deadlines and put as much effort in your job as possible. On the other side the time when you don't have any projects going. My reaction appeared to be to do even more work and work even harder so things would come to me eventually. Sending emails and messages to everyone who could use me and doing the best I can.
Well, that broke me up. So I cut down all the cleaning and contacts with the outside world and just started to make art I love until I get replies from emails and messages back from people. So be aware of your own body and don't think you can handle everything. You (kind of) live a life besides your work. I know, I am not really in the place to say that but yeah, so is life.


I hope you found this an honest and good read and maybe you even learned something from it. When you have any more questions or suggestions I should write about please put them below in the comment section. I will keep an eye open for everything you will write!

(I missed a comment because I didn't get any notifications from it. Again, Sorry about that)

Have a nice day and make beautiful things!



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