Monday, February 22, 2016

Random Picture Design

The other morning as I was getting ready for work I couldn't help but take a picture of my wife and baby sleeping in the bed. I'm a photographer. It's what I do! Anyway. . . as I was looking at the picture, my wife's favorite quote popped into my head and I got this inspiration for an amazing picture. So, I got too work. 45 minutes later I had a photo designed that my wife is having printed on canvas to hang in our home. I love what I do! Inspiration can come from anywhere. Capture it!

Friday, February 19, 2016


As a graphic designer I never thought that I would be called names. But there are certain people that feel they need to express their feelings whether you want them to or not. Whenever you post something online you are opening yourself up to criticism. There will always be someone out there that doesn't like your work and will let you know about it. This picture is something that I was experimenting with using my 7 month old, at the time, and some different effects. As you see, the design turned out a little. . . dark. I posted this to my Facebook page and was instantly ridiculed by a lady stating that I was insensitive. Insensitive? I asked her why she thought that. I was a new designer at the time so I was curious! She said it was because I used a child's face in something so dark and disturbing. At first I was apologetic saying that I didn't mean to offend anyone. Then a good friend called after he had seen what she put and told me not to worry about it. If she didn't like it she could keep scrolling. From that day on I have lived by the "if you don't like it keep scrolling" rule. This had saved me a lot of grief when it comes to ridiculing. If you don't get ANYTHING else from this blog get this. . . don't let other people dictate whether or not your work is good. If you like it and are satisfied with it then publish it for the world to see!!

Inspiration From My Kids

Every once in a while as I am interacting with my children I will get inspiration for a design or photo from something they do or say. The idea for this picture came from a time when I was holding my, at the time, 2 month old boy. As a father I believe there is no greater responsibility than protecting your children. So, i took the picture, edited it and added my favorite quote. BAM... Wall art for the baby's room! 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Never Give Up

Owning a business gets very discouraging at times. Especially in the photography and graphic design industry. Living in a small town there isn't a whole lot off business in my field. I rely a lot upon social media and the internet to boost my revenue. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do but there are times when I wonder if it is worth my time and effort. The thing that keeps me going is the satisfaction I get when I know I have created something that someone loves. One of these days I'll be able to quit my full time job and Persue what I love. Until then I'll Never give up!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Advertising Woes

When it comes to advertising social media is one of the top places to get your name out and product seen. But. . . if takes time to build up an audience that is truly interested in what you do. That and there are so many other people that might be doing what your doing that you need to step up your game. The problem with Facebook in particular is that the "fan" of your page has the option to"follow" your posts and receive them in their news feeds. What most people do is like your page and then turn off this option. Now the posts that you think 5000 people are seeing are only being seen by 100. Dirty little trick Facebook!!! This is murdering advertising. Now you have to work twice as hard to get your name out there because more than half of who had already liked you is no longer seeing or promoting you. Social media can be a great tool for advertising but it can also get your hopes down when you see the stats.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Picture is Worth a Thousand. . . Lies??

What is up with the title of this post?! I'll tell you what's up. . . the phrase "a picture is worth a thousand words" used to have a lot more meaning than it does today. Anymore you can't trust a picture. There are to many people out there who edit pictures to what they want to perceive rather than what the picture is actually capturing. Photo editing software has taken a toll on the integrity of a photograph. Now, Before you go and label me a hypocrite let me throw out a disclaimer. I will edit photos and I have edited photos. I am big into photo manipulation! But. . . I will ALWAYS disclose when a picture is edited. Far to often you see people posting pictures that are clearly Photoshopped or have had some kind of filter placed on them. These pictures are then followed by #nofilter or #noedit. I'm calling BS! To the untrained eye the picture looks holy crap amazing. But, to the seasoned professional it's a good laugh and on to the next one! A picture is worth a thousand lies. Yup. . . sounds about right!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Time to Think

Wednesdays at work are my days to sit and think. About what? I use this day to think of designs that people will love. I spend the day scetching and jotting down ideas that come to mind. I then spend the rest of the week putting together my thoughts. Not many people can take there thoughts and put them into a computer and generate a piece of art. This is one of the many rewarding factors about being a designer and photographer. The "slogan" that I live by is, "if you can dream it, I can design in". My recommendation to all designers and photographers out there is to keep a piece of paper and a pencil, or pen, close by. When you have these thoughts or ideas come into your head write them down. Trust me. Telling yourself that you'll remember it when you get home never works. I've lost many great ideas because I didn't have anything to write it down on. Take time to think. Locking yourself in a quiet room with nothing but your thoughts is very therapeutic. Try it sometime!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Trusting Your Designer/Photographer

More often than not when a person is looking for a graphic designer or photographer they will Google it. I would say about 75% of the results that they will find are what I like to call "clipart" designers or "cellphone" photographers. Let me explain. . . a clipart designer it's someone who has a very basic knowledge of a designing program and uses clipart to make things work. A cellphone photographer is someone that once took an awesome picture on their iPhone 6 plus and called themselves a photographer. They will both claim to have education and experience in the field. When in reality they do not. Now. . . I'm not bashing on the people that do not get an education in the field because their are some that do amazing work. But, for the most part these people are phony. A person should have a certain expectation of trust In their photographer or designer. A person should see at minimum a Facebook page where the designer or photographer posts some of there work to show you that they know what they are doing. Do yourself a favor and research the designer or photographer and make sure you are getting a good quality person that Will do a fantastic job. Like me!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Wasted Time

A little while back a local band approached me about a "symbol" that they wanted designed. I got all the info and thoughts on what they wanted this thing to look like. The next several days were spent pencil drawing rough designs. After what seemed like one hundred sketches I finally came up with something that would be amazing. I called the bands front man and ran my idea past him. He loved it! So I started to put it into the computer. Thirteen hours I worked on this symbol and finished what I thought was a perfect depiction of the band and their meaning. I sent them the design, watermarked of course, and waited for their response. They loved it!!! I wrote up the invoice and sent it their way. NOTHING. I got nothing. I waited a week without any communication before I tried contacting the band to see about payment. No returned phone calls, texts, emails, nothing. To this day I still have not heard a thing. Thirteen hours of design plus countless hours of sketches waisted. This experience alone it's what made up my mind to require a deposit on large projects. FYI, the design is up for grabs!!

Owning a business

One of my biggest dreams is to some day own my own business. I want to be my own boss, answer to myself, and make my own schedule. The biggest problem I run into with this is freelancers! Heck, I am one! I've said it once and I'll say it again, competing with freelancers is tough work. It's hard to make a profitable business when there are people that offer the same services at a fraction of the price. Quantity vs. Quality, that's what it boils down to and most will always choose quantity. So, all you successful business owners. . . how do you deal with the low ballers?

Saturday, February 6, 2016


A client recently contacted me wanting birthday invitations designed. I asked this person if they had an idea in mind and they said, "you're a designer. . . I'll let you take control on this one". Perfect! I love doing this. I can put my creativity to work and design something AMAZING! I spent 7 hours, 7 HOURS on this birthday card and then sent it over for critique. Within the mininute this person replied and said, "I was thinking something more along the lines of this". And sent me a Disney Frozen card that they had found on etsy. If you know what you are looking for, or have a certain idea in mind. Please do not Tell the designer to "have at it". It takes a lot of time and effort to create a piece of art!

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Critique

One of the most stressful times for a designer is the critique. The moment that you send the product to the client for review is a very satisfying yet stressful time. It it's a time where the designer gets into a mental battle with themselves thinking about the "what if's". For me this it's a time to air back and look at the design through a different say of eyes. I typically ask my wife to study the design and give me feedback. I use her because she doesn't hold anything back. She tells me how it is!! Now it's a waiting game. I've waited anywhere from 2 hours to 2 weeks for the client to respond with their critique. SWEATING BULLETS! 90% of the time there Will be changes. Don't take if personal. I used to take a clients critique to heart and get very upset that they didn't like my design. As I became more experienced I realized that it's not that they didn't like it. It's not what they had pictured in their head. Now it's a good time to use the suggestions from the second set of eyes. Moral of the story. . . use the critique as a building block, not a chopping block!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I am currently designing a logo for a new construction company in the area. One of the things that I pride myself on is the fact that all of my logo designs are 100% original works of art. I don't use, and will never use clip art! As I was working on this logo my wife was looking over my shoulder inquiring as to what it was I was designing. "Legos dear, those are legos"! She couldn't see it! It brings a sense of satisfaction knowing that you can take a plain white canvas and design whatever you can think up. "Legos dear, those are legos"! If you can dream it, I can design it.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Shipped or Emailed?

Lately I have been dipping my toes in the world of invitations. Birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, you name it! The problem I have been running into is when it comes to getting the product to the client. The cheapest option it's to send the digital file so that they can print however many they need. However, most people would like the invites printed and Shipped to them. The issue with this that most don't realize is in order for me to design, print and ship the invites to them I have to charge upwards of 2 bucks a card to barely break even. After sending a quote of over $50 for 20 invites I get the old "I'll chat with the significant other and let you know". We all knew how that one ends! So. . . my question to you is. . . would you rather have a custom designed invite printed and Shipped for a higher price, or have the digital file emailed to you for printing at your convenience?