Tag Archives: graphic design

HOW I BECAME RICH

cheddah.jpg

is that a digg worthy headline or what, by the way fuck digg, i don’t need you, i think. this title might be a little misleading because although i feel like i am rich, my bank account definately does not reflect this. being rich does not require having millions of dollars…let me say that again because even i am having a hard time believing it, being rich does not require a lot of money.

i’m rich, bitch

i guess dave chapelle said it best. i’m rich bitch. today i woke up at 9:30 am (i normally wake up at 6am, but for purely selfish reasons), got the kids ready, then went swimming with the family all afternoon, we then went out for a late lunch with friends, and then i went to the gym for a workout. at the gym i could hear people talking about their shitty day at work and how much they hate their jobs (not everyone was complaining). at that moment i realized that i was really lucky, i have decided to live a lifestyle that allows me to enjoy the really important things in life.

what makes me rich

time: i own my time. i don’t have a boss that tells me to come in from 9 to 5. because of this i can work at anytime of the day and actually schedule work around my family and not the other way around. you can always make more money, but time is a limited resource.

location: i don’t have an office. i am not stuck at a certain location, granted i do most of my work from home, but come summer i can work from the lake house (the inlaws, not mine, i may be rich but i have no money). my wife and i have discussed relocating to the south pacific for next winter, we can’t stand this fucking cold.

career: maybe this should be lack of career. i don’t feel that what i do is a career, this is freelance. i don’t have a boss, i have clients that i work with. it’s a partnership, they may be paying me, but they don’t own me. as a graphic designer all i need is my macbook and my creativity.

family: this is not only the reason why i do it, it is also the reason why i am able to do it. having two young ones is motivation, they need food, clothes, comfort and shelter and if you’re a parent your probably like me, you would rather die then see your kids go without. my wife, i have said it many, many times, but it is so important, she is my biggest fan. she won’t let me fail.

possesions: i put this at the bottom of the list because i truly feel that it is the least important, but still important. what good is working if you can’t reward yourself occasionally? you don’t need the mercedes in the driveway (but you can if you want) you don’t need that million dollar mansion (but you could if you want), but you can have pretty things if you make sacrifices, research and don’t give in to impulses.

the end

so there you have it, this is why i’m rich. what makes you rich (besides tha cheddah)?

Advertisements

14 Comments

Filed under Daily Grind, life

I’M GOING TO (GRA)FUCK YOU UP

middle finga

I always wanted to read a blog post that had some sort of threatening title. I should have probably called this one dealing with clients or lessons learned from my two year old on how to deal with clients in the field of graphic design, but you wouldn’t read it and I’m sure I’m going to fuck you up is a more popular search term with the search engines (look at me, thinking about SEO).

Two year olds

Being the father of a two-year-old boy has taught me a lot. I am not going to go into detail because that would take way too much time (and I am extremely lazy, I’m actually surprised that I am typing this today, it’s sunday for fuck’s sake). Raising Anthony has actually made me a better person (not necessarily a good father, but I’ll get it right with Isabelle). The qualities that I have been able practice are patience (lots of fucking patience, never shake a baby, never), understanding, discipline, routine, and how to have fun.

Clients

Clients, can’t live with them…ummm, can’t pay the bills without them. I like most of my clients, some of them I consider friends and attend orgies with, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t difficult to deal with sometimes (always).

So what the fuck do you do?

I treat my clients like I would treat my two year old without talking down to them or making them feel like idiots. clients don’t like being treated like idiots, especially when they are acting like idiots.

Patience

client x: When can I expect this? Kind of a rush.

me: Okay, well as long as I can get everything from you that I need I can have this to you pretty quick.

client x: What stuff?

me: Copy, logo, pictures of your product, and anything else you want me to use.

client x: Oh…I don’t have any of that stuff, could you do it?

Ahhh! I get this a lot. I have nothing, but was wondering if you could put together a million dollar campaign for the same price that you quoted me when you thought I would provide this stuff to you, oh and by the way, can I get it tomorrow.

What I’ve learned is to communicate effectively. Instead of getting frustrated and blowing up, I take a minute to explain to the client what my role in this partnership is and what their role is. I let them know that it is important that we each do are own role so that the project runs smoothly and in a timely manner. If the client doesn’t have something I need and refuses to get it to me then i let them know that it can still happen, but the price quoted will change and that it will take longer to complete.

They don’t always get it and trust me this will test your patience, but remember they don’t know better and if you don’t try and educate them in the process, they’ll just frustrate some other designer.

Understanding

client x: Can I give you a jpeg of the logo? Why does it need to be vector? What’s vector?

This is related to patience. You as the designer need to understand that not everyone knows the terms that you use. Once again it should be your responsibility to educate the client. It may take more of your time, but if you’re planning on having this client for awhile it might be a good investment.

Discipline

client x: Sorry, but I need these files to the printer by today. I knew about this for a few days now, but you have done last minute jobs for me before and they turned out great.

You should have let them know before that their request was unreasonable, but you let it slide. If you were to say to them now that you can’t do it, 9 out of 10 times you’ll lose a client. I have rules (sometimes pretty unreasonable, why do people still want to work with me?) and when someone challenges those rules I have to make sure that I am consistent, firm and in extreme cases administer spankings.

Routine

Pretty straight forward. People like routine (for the most part) if I can make things easier on my client by approaching all my projects the same way then why wouldn’t I do that. Not only will the client be happy, but I’ll be happy because the project will be done quicker.

Fun

client x: How’s my logo coming along?

me: Let’s go get shit-faced and talk about it.

client x: It’s 10 am.

They may piss you off, but so does my 2 year old and I still manage to have fun with him. Next time a client pisses you off, blow on their belly. Everyone loves that shit and remember never shake a client, never.

And if you had fun reading this very informative post you should subscribe, after all you don’t want to be an interweb reject.

4 Comments

Filed under Daily Grind

SPEC WORK: YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO!

This is a conversation I had with some douchebag that was “interested” in having me develop a logo and identity for his company.

Douchebag: I like your work. I would like to see what you could do for me and my company.

Me: Sounds good. I’ll send you a questionaire and a contract and we’ll go from there.

Douchebag: Whoa, wait a minute. I don’t think you understand. I am asking for you to submit a logo and then I would choose from a group of submissions from other designers. Feel free to send more then one submission.

Me: Oh I see. So basically what you want me to do is spend my billable hours working on a logo for you, which I may or may not get paid for. Sounds like a great idea! How many other stupid designers did you get to agree to this?

Douchebag: I can sense your sarcasm. Hey, don’t do me any favors. I was simply providing you an opportunity to do some work, get paid, get exposure, expand your portfolio and potentially work with us on future projects, but if you don’t need the money that fine with us.

Me: Wow I never thought of it that way…FUCK OFF!

I am a huge believer in burning bridges, that way assholes like this can’t get back to you. Better yet, burn the bridge with this guy on it.

Spec work

Spec work is when you do work for a client. That client has other designers doing the same thing. He then chooses from a number of logos and that one person is the lucky one, the only person that will get paid for their work. If this sounds good too you then you will love this post, 5 reasons why you should do spec work.

1) Exposure Exposure Exposure

If your design is choosen think of all that exposure you will get. Everyone (soccer mom to corporate ceo) knows who the designer is. Like that guy who designed the home depot logo or those guys who did the starbucks marketing, they’re practically household names.

2) Get paid for what you like doing

…but only if the design is choosen. Look on the bright side though, if the design isn’t chosen all that time you spent on research and design is like personal development time. You’re sharpening your skills. I have a dentist who is homeless, he is so passionate about his job that he refuses to accept money for his hard work.

3) Expand your portfolio

This is a great way to get more work in your portfolio. Clients love seeing work that was never used and when you tell them that you did it for free, you may just score that new client, but the bad news is they can’t pay you, good news, at least you’ll have a portfolio piece.

4) Future Work

So you do this work for a client, they love it, you’re the only designer out of a group that gets paid for it. Now the client needs something else and guess who they call? That’s right, you get another opportunity to submit a design for their approval, which you may or may not get paid for.

5) You get to work with douchebags with high expectations and tight wallets

This is the best part. You get to work with people that have these extremely high expectations and will occupy most of your time. I don’t know about you, but I love spending time doing stuff that I most likely willl not get paid for.

Conclusion

Spec sucks! Don’t forget to subscribe because I drop knowledge like gravity be dropping apples. PEACE!

9 Comments

Filed under Daily Grind

5 WAYS TO KEEP THAT SHITTY JOB

or Getting Fired a Month Before Christmas is Awesome! So, here we are a couple weeks away from christmas (I hate christmas, but with two kids I have to fake it, is this what my wife feels like?) and I don’t have a job, but you know what I do have? A mortgage (well actually I have two mortgages, the house I live in and one on my rental property, which I need to find a tenant for), a car payment, and bills. So I’m doing alright.I do have a job lined up for January (and possibly another one) and it pays more then the crappy graphic design job I had before. I have also been able to take up some freelance, so the bank shouldn’t be taking back my house (maybe they’ll take one of the children instead, what do you need two kids for anyway). So I have decided to make a list of 5 ways on how not to get fired. 1) don’t be an employee 

Once you rely on someone to provide you with a paycheck you lose any power you have. You could be the shit (awesome), but if you are working for a paycheck you need to realize that it could be taken away at any time.          

2) be a yes man (or woman)

Your boss is more likely to keep you around if you kiss his/her ass. Hey, who’s willing to do some overtime this holiday season, if that’s you, congratulations, you’re the yes man.          

3) don’t ask for a decent wage 

Now this point is probably best directed at unskilled laborers  like graphic designers. Truth is you could pay me more or you could hire someone fresh out of school that is willing to work for practically nothing because they live at home still with their parents and their only expense is that $200 per week weed habit.          

4) don’t have an opinion 

Question: your boss asks you “what do you think?” do you answer a) what you really think understanding that he is asking for an opinion, therefore he can’t be upset for what you really think or b) what you know what he wants you to answer? If you answered “b”, congratulations, you still have your lousy job.          

5) be invisible 

You’ve heard it before, “the squeaky  wheel gets the grease”, the grease in this instance is a pink slip. If you ran a business would you keep someone around that kept stealing attention from you (if you answered “yes” hey I’m unemployed, hook me up)? I have learned a lot working as a graphic designer, one of those things is that this industry is filled with egos and when the owners of the company are graphic designers as well it’s probably best that you think inside their box (even if it smells like shit).          

There you have it, did I miss anything (no), sure you probably can’t come to work drunk and shooting your boss in the leg may get you a round of applause, but it’ll also get you fired. This is a list of techniques that i have read about that is supposed to help you climb the corporate ladder, but try them and lets see what happens.Do you agree, disagree (stupid), leave a comment, but don’t leave a comment if you don’t want me to respond. You should also subscribe because i will be dropping knowledge. PEACE!  

9 Comments

Filed under Daily Grind