Graphic Design and Illustration.

Archive for ‘November, 2013’

Image of the Month – November 2013

November_2013

Remember this picture of Sir Aiden? Well, this guy may look like a big grump, but he has a huge heart and is a staunch friend of the Giraffe people. He’s Enrol, King of the Yeti people from the far, frozen north. And he’s sporting an impressive ‘stache for this Movember (and pretty much every month as he is a Yeti after all.)

Initially sketched out on paper. Then shot with my iPhone and then drawn out in colour in Adobe Ideas on said iPhone. It’s quite the thing to draw these out on such a small canvas. Interesting challenge though.

Enjoy.

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A quick, creative use for Evernote

evernote


Shortly after I started using Evernote, I started up a notebook for just blog post topics or projects I could do for my website. Inspiration can hit at any time, and it may not be practical to jump on any idea that comes to me right away. It may be days, weeks, or even years before I start projects once I’ve come up with them. And of course when I DO have some spare time to work on something, I usually cannot remember most of my older ideas. Keeping a running list of stuff is handy to have around. If I have some time and can’t think of anything to do, just consult the list.

For this list, I started up a new Notebook in Evernote to stash all my ideas in. This notebook mainly consists of just one note. Its a big list of ideas that I can quickly jot down. Using Evernote is nice as I can use a checkbox to start off each item of my list and can then check them off as I complete them, giving me a small sense of accomplishment. My list is quite long and ever growing.

Evernote List

My Evernote Blog ideas list. This is just a small portion of the list. It’s quite long.

And I’m not too worried about trying to finish my list. It’s not quite a to do list or bucket list‚ as I’m not supposed to finish it. If I do, that means I’ve run out of ideas. And for a blog about creative design, that’s a bad thing.

And with it being Evernote, everything is synced to all my devices, and I can cross reference my list of stuff with various other notes and web clippings I’ve stored up over the past few years of blog reading.

This list idea could work for anyone, be it a visual artist like myself, a writer could use it for a list of topics to write about, or even cooking ideas for a budding chef to try out.

Simple but effective. [Evernote for iOS]


For those interested, the iPhone mockup I used for this post came from here:

www.pixeden.com/psd-mock-up-templates/iphone-5s-psd-vector-mockup

It’s a free download and was quite nice!

Free Novelty Photoshop Action

Free Photoshop Action


A long time ago, I set about creating a Photoshop Action that would make a selection (most likely a font) and make it look like it was made from a slice of Pizza. I posted an image made from that action an put it on my portfolio, with a brief explanation regarding its creation.

Recently, it appears that particular post has been getting a few hits. As it was only for my portfolio, there was no download of the action available. I have since rectified the situation. It is now available on my DeviantArt page. You can find the link here.

Enjoy.

A Designer learns a few things about Social Media Strategy

Chalkboard, back to school


Time for a change.

After two years of blogging, I’ve decided to try to take blogging a bit more seriously. It was a great way to get my portfolio up to date, and has given me the pressure I need to work on projects outside of work. But if I want to do something more with my blog, then I’m going to need a plan to get more traffic.

So I took a class on driving traffic to blogs. My local bookstore set up a Community Classroom with classes available on a range of topics. They offered several classes on blogging. The class for driving more traffic to your blog thru social media seemed like a natural. And the class was being taught by a professional blogger and social media consultant, Cendrine Marrouat.

A Designer needing a class on blogging?

So why does a long time Graphic Designer need to take a class on blogging? One of the problems with being a designer is non-designers tend to think that designers can do just about anything computer related. Print design, web design, photo retouching, writing, proof reading, blogging, social media, photography, video editing, 3D rendering, and many more hats get put onto a designer’s head. I’ve even been this close to having to do media buying and planning!

Most designers get a little overwhelmed with all the extra responsibilities that sometimes come with the job. Designers are pretty comfortable and confident behind a computer and even at this late date, there are plenty of people out there who feel intimidated by computers and may latch on to those who aren’t. It also doesn’t help that creatives tend to be people pleasers, and that makes it hard to turn down all the extra responsibilities that sometimes come with design gigs.

But no one can know everything about design and its related fields. Even an old veteran like me has to draw the line somewhere. All the ins and outs of actually running a blog is all new territory for me. And marketing strategies have always been one of my weaker areas.

Blogging and Building Traffic.

So I signed up for the class with some trepidation. I had attended a class at the bookstore once before on a very different subject, and while that presenter was very knowledgable, they were also a very poor presenter.

This class, however, was great! I guess it helps when the presenter is a professional. The intro part to blogging and the design of blogs I was already conversant with, but Cendrine was able to show me a few things I could be doing strategically both thru social media and a few Wordpess settings that can help drive more traffic to my blog.

Blogging as Customer Service.

I don’t want to give too much away (take her class or hire her as a consultant) but the best advice she gave was to treat my blog as customer service. That is, serve the needs of my audience and not serve strictly my own. Means more design tips and talks about design and fewer (but only fewer) posts talking about my art and design projects.

And I need to get more involved with my audience. And there was plenty of advice on how to use services like Mention.net and Scoop.it to help identify and engage my audience.

So armed with these tips, we’ll see just how much traffic I can generate over the next year or so.


For more info about Cendrine Marrouat check out her website at:

www.cendrinemarrouat.com

Or her blogs at:

Creative Ramblings

Social Media Slant

Curation Galore


More info about McNally Robinson’s Community Classroom can be found here clicking here.

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A Quick Sketch

Female_Face_Cartoon

Starting November off with just a quick vector image. She’ll deny it, but it is loosely based on my wife.

She says it looks like this girl is ready to fight crime or solve a mystery.

Who knows? She might be right.

Drawn with Adobe Ideas with my iPone and a stylus. Enjoy.

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