Should you freelance for free? A flowchart.

I stumbled on a fun blog entry from designtaxi that featured this great flowchart graphic designed by Jessica Hische. It’s totally hilarious and somewhat accurate I think.

For some reason many people think that what we do as artists and designers we do merely for ‘fun’. While anything creative is fun to do, making money with our art is how we pay our bills.

So next time you want to ask a freelance designer to do a logo for you for free, or someone asks you for free work take a look at Jessica’s flowchart to decide whether to say yes or no.

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Art Licensing, where do I go from here?

Tonight, I’m participating in a Graphic Artists Guild panel on art licensing. This got me  thinking about my own experiences with licensing and how I want to grow this aspect of my business.

Up to this point, I’ve created several lines and illustrations with the intent of licensing and I have been successful with some of these. I originally showed my first collections at Surtex (the trade show for art and design) a few years ago, and from that I licensed to two companies, one for gift wrap and the other for scrapbooking stickers and supplies. Since then I’ve created more art for licensing here and there but haven’t had a major push to show new work to companies since that first Surtex show. I think in part, I wasn’t super excited about creating art just for the sake of trying to get someone to slap it onto a card or gift wrap.

The art I successfully licensed were focused on robots and superhero themes which are subjects that I am passionate about and I like to draw and create. I beginning to think this is will be the way to go moving forward. Just this year I’ve started another series of robots and I have done a ton since I’ve been drawing, so I think that my next step will be to create a series of designs based on the robot/scifi motifs and build a brand around that.

I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences at tonight’s panel and hearing the experiences from the other panelists. Come join me!