Now On Facebook

The Art Classroom is now available as a page on facebook. Many pupils had suggested that they would like to access it socially through facebook. I’ll give it a trial for a month or so, my own personal profile is still unavailable for friending on facebook and will not accept any requests (it’s my one place that I can have a little privacy), though I will try to communicate via the fan page.

You’ll find the link below:

The Art Classroom On Facebook

Artwork Invoice

Becoming A Professional Artist / Designer – Part 2

As promised, please find an Artist’s/ Designer’s invoice available for download below from the ‘box’ (bottom of the right hand column). This invoice will let you see how invoices are laid out, to help you create your own, or you can download it, print it out and fill in the details. It is completely free for use. I can’t take any responsibility for the success of your work, your job or the passing of funds, though this should help those who are just starting out, or those that never knew how to invoice properly. As with all exchanges of money, you will need to clear such funds with the tax office and it will be likely that you will have to pay tax on the amount if you earn more than £5000. There will also be National Insurance Contributions to be made. More information on Self Employment and contributions can be found here. This always sounds a bit complicated, but it needn’t be. Most employers will automatically take contributions and tax from you before you get paid, so you don’t need to claim again or you’ll earn so little when you start off that you’ll be exempt from tax. It helps to know how to stay on the right side of the law though.

You should always clear with you client about what they are purchasing. Are they getting complete rights to the work for use and reproduction or are they buying a one-off piece that cannot be tampered with. As with all good invoices, I have left a rights and reproduction line for you to delete as appropriate, though this should not be considered as a contract, that may also be needed to protect your agreement.

I hope this helps some of you out there. Good luck and if you do use it, successfully or unsuccessfully, let me know.

Artwork For Friends

Becoming A Professional Designer – Part One

I’ve recently been working on a friend’s band album art and t-shirt design. It’s always incredibly difficult to work for friends, deciding if you should charge them, what you should charge and if you give away a freebie, will you be stuck providing freebies for the rest of your life. As an ex-freelance designer, I used to find it difficult to say ‘no’ to work, no matter if it was free work or paid. Every job is an opportunity to sell yourself, every job is another step closer to getting the perfect job. Though I have learned to say ‘no’, I can now pick and choose the design jobs I want to get involved in. I don’t need to prove myself, I don’t even need to do them anymore financially, teaching pays my mortgage.

As an ex-freelance designer, I always have time for my friends. Lots of the artists turned professional, that I know, forget about their friends awfully quickly after they’ve had a little bit of success or fame. They start to believe the hype pushed onto them and when that dies down, the fall is so much greater and without your friends there, there’s no one to catch you on the way down. I always have time for my friends, for their ideas, for their trust and for their loyalty in asking me for my talents.

Always make time for your friends, do the best job you can for them, if they are a friend, they’ll see the work and they’ll pay you in whatever way they can. If you’re wondering what to charge, I’d always charge a friend rate of £80 (usually for around £20 an hour for 4 hours work), it’s not a lot, but it’s a little gauge of the work that you have put into it, especially in your spare time. Most of my friends who I have invoiced end up paying more for the work anyway, they don’t want to offend you for paying you pittance for your talents. Friends are friends and time is money, you’ll have to find your own compromise.

If you do the work and you’re not happy with the feedback or payment, next time, just say ‘no’. You can’t feel forced to involve your talents for something that annoys you.

I have been doing these Clay covers on and off for over ten years now, I enjoy pleasing my friends and giving them what they what, while staying true to myself and producing something I’m still proud to attach my name to. It’s a tough thing to do in design. It’s a very fine balance to keep.

This week I’ll upload some forms to help you handle your design work professionally. Tomorrow I will start the whole thing off by featuring an invoice form for claiming your cash.

Do Judge A Book By Its Cover

This week’s AOTW comes from Hanna M (S5,OLSP), I’d shown her work around a year ago. It’s developed a lot since then. She’s currently working toward finishing her expressive and design units for her higher. The image above is actually her final piece for her design unit. It’s based around a book cover design on ideas that she has developed herself. Hanna uses her drawings and her creations in Photoshop via a graphics tablet to produce her work. This gives her work an incredible finish, one of the most professional I have ever seen for someone her age.

You can follow her through her Deviant Art Profile:

Danger Doppelgängers!

I first introduced you to Narin300‘s work around a year ago. Since then, her ideas have been developing and her skills have advanced tenfold. I was so shocked at the publication of her new images featuring her interacting with her own doppelgänger that I had to show them off as soon as possible. The images remind me of work that was featured in Saatchi’s ‘Sensational’ exhibition a few years back, though they hold no pretension.

The trick is simple, though Narin has pushed it into something far more than the visual magic. It takes a while to notice that it is the same person, that’s because she has been very clever in developing slight different personalities for ‘herself’. Even when the characters are wearing similar or identical clothing, by changing her emotions or interactions, Narin has developed two different people. You could even be forgiven for thinking that these photos are of identical twins.

You can check out more of her artwork over on her deviant art profile:

Building A Better Portfolio

Kaitlin G (S6,OLSP) applied for an Architecture course and had to submit her work on CD. We took her images into Photoshop and presented them on signatured design sheets. These sheets were then brought into iPhoto and a slide show film was made using the slide show maker available in the software. As you can see from the small film below, it has been very successful and Kaitlin has been offered a place within the course. (Details have been removed to stop spamming or contacting the pupil).

More Than A Photo

If the next three sheets are not proof of why artistic skill is much more successful than portrait photography could ever be, then I do not know what is. John L (S5, Gleniffer) is an ex-pupil and he kindly sent me some pics of his final sheets of expressive portraiture work. I’m so glad he did, so I can share them with you.

His first investigation sheet show a real skill for observation, I love the colours used in the bottom eye drawing, it shows that John can not only mix analytical skill, but he can also experiment with style and colour. It looks like it’s been attacked with a multitude of Photoshop filters… really great work.

This is where John shows that he is a very confident artist, his use of media, the oil pastel, the pen, the chalks, the paints, each piece as successful as the last. I really love the painting in the bottom right corner, the daubs on the hands is such a fine piece of work. Truly staggering.

You thought it couldn’t get better, didn’t you? Look at this final piece… honestly… just look at it… the pose… the staring eyes… the greens and blues used on the skin, the variety of textures and colours to form a surface that has more life than skin itself… honestly… just look at it. I’m speechless… it’s just great. It’s just great…