Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blando's Freelance Illustration tips

Apparently every Tom, Dick, and Harry can do a guide of tips to think about or follow when trying to make it in the illustration biz. I am a small fry, but i am still able to make it as an illustrator and nothing else, so i guess i have something to say about my experiences. In the 3 years i have been freelancing so far, i came up from living on 385$ a month for half a year and eating beans out of a can, to being able to pay off my credit cards, afford health insurance, and generallylive the life i want Here are some things i have learned along the way, thought i might share them.

Blando's Biz Tips

1.) Always know that there will be somebody better than you. It is always good to be competitive, but you must know that being friendly and open, especially in helping other illustrators will repay ten fold.

2.) You must be open to Critism, and willing to accept and then change your work. We are the hand that illustrates the idea after all. We are all imperfect, accept it, and accept the fact that we are all learning every day. Being stubborn or arrogant will block you from improving and getting better, and less able to tackle certain obstacles and weaknesses in your way.

3.) You must be punctual and reliable. It is very difficult to find good workers in any job because people suck. Don't be one of those people. If you hit all your deadlines, it will be a feather in your cap, especially since art directors talk to one another and often times a good experience for them will lead to more work in the future.

4.) Get in touch with who you want to work for. Whether this requires mailers, emails (which i think is much more efficient), posting on forums, or going to conventions to meet people in person (which is ALWAYS the best thing to do), make sure your presentation is clean, you look and speak well. After all you are your business.

5.) Remember things take time to get started, so at first the work may trickle in, but slowly it will grow if you keep at it and continue to evolve.

6.) Keep drawing, especially from life. I think it relates to most other art forms, and keeps you in touch with all those skills. Also finding the local Life drawing class or session may get you connected with the local art community. Its always good to get out there and have some support.

7.) Get inspired by looking at other peoples work. It will effect you and keep you open minded.

8.) Remember to save money for your taxes. Learning how to do your taxes effectively, while organizing and keeping on top of your finances can be a bitch, but its an essential set of skills that you will have to work at.

9.) do whatever you need to do to feel or be comfortable while you work. Watching movies and shows is great, or listening to music, int he end this is highly personal. Just make sure you have a good posture or you will have back trouble.

10.) Health insurance is very important, but doesn't have to break your bank either. There are a good amount of companies that will offer fair prices for decent coverage. Lets just say if you get into an accident, you dont want to be 80,000 dollars in debt from the hospital bill. Also any health care premiums you pay during your year are tax deductible. Yep, you are a tool, and as such, your a business expense:)

11.) You should always strive to be better, and to learn. Experimentation is a very good thing, and you should NEVER be afraid to paint or draw something you are unfamiliar with. Things may look like shit, but you keep working, and the fruits of your labor will show if you stick to it.

12.) Always be polite, but direct, and willing to be flexible in your dealings with clients. You cant be stepped on, and you will in time develop a talent for being flexible but with a tough interior. Hardlining clients will usually drive them away, but being to mushy may invite them to step all over you. Its always safe to have things in writing, but dont be a douche about a couple hundred bucks, its not worth losing a possible source of income for what amounts to very little money in the grand scheme of things.

Well thats about it for now, hope it gives a little insight into the illustration biz. If you agree or disagree, or have more points, i would love to hear them:)



Saturday, December 5, 2009

Episode #1:Republican Roman Legion.

Episode #1:Republican Roman Legion.

Listen in on my thoughts of the early roman legion, its structure and make-up, as well as key differences to the phalanx. Also covered are the enemies of Rome at that time and some other interesting facts i chose to talk about. Enjoy, hopefully you learn something and it doesn't stink. Please post any comments you have:)


Sunday, September 13, 2009

For the honor and the glory...

So i have come back from GenCon a man most in demand for my maps. I was successful in wooing many clients to my work, and they were happy to have seen another cartographer who appear to be relatively few and far between in the industry...lucky for me!. Still i feel over whelmed with the amount of work and responsibilty. I am frequently frustrated, and long to work on my own personal stuff, whether it be art, or miniatures or whatever. I constantly find myself thinking about far off things, distant places, or imaginative doings. The south is nice, but i am far from my friends, and its starting to wear on me i think. Still i remember the of the Empire, stand fast!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Tide... A short story i wrote.

The soldiers fought like mad men, each one swinging his weapons wildly at the enemy who had surrounded them. The link had been closed and the band of soldiers was far from their allies to the West. Though each man knew that survival was but a slim chance, the ranks were maintained as best they could, and the men of Eior' Onaln held fast under mounting pressure. Some were terrified, others were invigorated, the battle degenerating into a fight of self control and willpower. Under such pressure instinct took over, and Maurice was no different, his body reflexive and open to all the sensory information that could help it to survive. He thrust out wards with his heavy halberd and bit deeply into a Possessed's leg, feeling that he had notched the man's thigh, and cracked it through. He went down heavily, and was finished off with a chop to his chest. Another quickly stepped forward eager to engage the soldiers of the Old Guard and kill them. The blighted ones commanded them, the terrible masters of the lost empire of Allipsia, those demons who had passed through the gateway before it had been sealed with the lives of Maurice's ancient ancestors. Though a valiant act, it was originally they who had opened such a gate, allowing the destruction of the worlds strongest empire, and its usurpation by evil's almost too horrible to describe. It was they who made an eternal war against all the peoples of Hyranden, and it was the burden of Maurice and his fellows to try and right those ancient wrongs with the blood of his kinfolk.

Ordered to the attack in an almost suicidal fury, with almost no thought of defense of their own frail bodies, the Possessed, for that was what they were called, suffered heavy losses. Still, such ferocity was not without merit and the unquenchable rage that drove them forward to assault the wall of disciplined steel was taking its toll. Though The Old guard was better trained and better armored, they were not enough to resist the tide for much longer. The man in front of Maurice went down, and as he tried to pull him to safety he was killed anyway by a longblade thrust into his stomach. Acting without hesitation, a fresh wave of anger and frustration swept over him, and Maurice jabbed him in the chest, piercing what little armor he had and killing him instantly. All around him the line was being pushed back, and his comrades being cut down. But the regimental colors in the center of the line stood fast, fluttering unbound in the wind. Even with the fighting there being the thickest, the thought of his fellow soldiers fighting to the last rallied around the ancient war banner of old Allipsia renewed his determination to fight on till slain.

Left and right his heavy blade smote, his realization that this may very well be his last moments alive drove him into a sort of frenzy, cutting men down as they scrambled to attack him. He fell to one knee, his thigh stabbed through with a dagger of some sort, but ignored the pain, and killed the man who had stabbed him in a clumsy but heavy stroke over his head. Again he rose, the very picture of some demonic visage from the elder sagas, covered in mud and gore, his eyes like burning coals, his body like rigid steel despite a number of bleeding wounds. The enemy actually fell back before him, imagining that somehow one of their brutal masters had betrayed them and was now punishing them for their insolence. Yet it didn't last, and they flooded around him, suddenly realizing that he was alone and cut off from the line, he himself hadn't noticed he had broken rank in his anger. He made his peace with the ancient gods quickly and hoped they would tend his soul in good keeping, that his end would placate the gods of battle, and they in turn would save a seat for him in the halls of the slain. This thought and that of his imminent demise filled him with sudden vigor, and his tired limbs felt nimble, somehow his fatigue draining away. He burst suddenly into song, hewing down the the men around him, even as they were blown to pieces or destroyed by bursts of bright flame that seemed to come out of nowhere. He himself was engulfed in flame, though it did no hurt upon him, and when it had dissipated, he stood in the midst of charred bodies of the enemy. Unable to hold himself upright any longer, he dropped to his knees, praying to the furies for the miracle that had allowed him to survive this day.

In his revelry, he was not immediately aware of a solemn looking man standing before him, clothed in an ancient tabard and mailed in heavy armor, though Maurice quickly realized that he was looking upon a battle priest of Mor. The man laid a gauntleted hand on his shoulder, saying an all but silent prayer upon him. At length, he spoke with a deep resonating voice. “It is a miracle that you survived, Son of Mor, and it is good that you pray to the old Gods for thanks. The flames have swept back the enemy and have given them pause to attack the men of the Old Guard for the moment, and my reinforcements will bolster the line, but they will not be contained for long. Most men, friend or foe would have been consumed by my magiks, and yet you were not. This makes me think that you are much more than what you seem.” He gestured to two of his body guards, who gently helped him to his feet. “Take him to the back of the line, I have much to discuss with him after we finish this.”

As the Priest turned, his lips turned upward into a slight smile. Men of such heart were rare indeed, like a diamond in the rough, and were not to be taken lightly. His Order would train him to be as he was, a knight of the elements, wielding destruction to preserve what wasn't already lost to the legions of the damned. Though the day was dark, this one act was a bright light that shown in the midst of dark times. This gave him hope for the struggle ahead, and as the enemy surged forward, they burned brightly in the darkening night.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Update on the Red

So i updated my sire a couple days ago, with about 2-25 new pieces or so. Its took the better part of a day and a half to do it though! I love the new dreamweaver however and have found it easier than ever to update now.

Check it out...

Friday, May 29, 2009

The East...

Hey All,

Here is a new map that i did for a good friend, check it out.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Map for DGS, the rise of the Traazorites...

Hey all,

I'm new to blogging and thought it would be a neat idea to have people be able to check out what i am working on, how i work, and updates on my illustration career and the like if they wish too. I am working on some maps for DGS, basically world maps for there new setting. Here it is...