I prefer to do this at my kitchen table, away from the studio.
What’s the future of digital marketing?
I then go out with my dogs for a good walk. If I am in my studio by 9. If deadlines are looming, I get up super early and just bolt downstairs in my pyjamas and put in a couple of hours before doing all the above. Cups of strong tea do help a lot!
I find the more I have on, the more efficient I am with my time and I try to set myself mini deadlines throughout the day to get tasks done, so 30 minutes of drawing for one job, 15 minutes of scanning, 1 hour of ideas bashing, stuff like that. Of course, I have days when I faff about endlessly too!
The House On The Borderland
Overall, I do make a conscious effort to not sit at my computer for long stretches of time and so have planned my studio around that - my drawing desk which I stand rather than sit at is at the back of the studio and I have to get up from my desk to answer the phone too. The best days are deadline days, when the adrenalin is high and all the drawings and planning and sketching come together and the final piece emerges! What mediums do you create your work in? I love the fluidity and various permutations of it I draw with ink in many ways - from a very traditional dip pen and ink dropper to Chinese calligraphy brushes, Japanese brush pens, vintage calligraphy pens and some quirky home-made tools too.
I also create texture sheets with crayons, paint, pastels and colour pencils and now have a library of these that I adapt digitally and use when I build and create my illustrations and lettering in Photoshop. I try to make my work a seamless blend of traditional and digital elements and really enjoy combining the two together in different ways.
Would you say your illustration style has changed over time? Of course it has, though the core drawing aesthetic has always been there, even from my childhood. I think when you are at a more impressionable stage, such as starting out at art college when you are learning so much and seeing so many things for the first time , your style can change dramatically - mine did! However, when you eventually filter out all the unwanted and untrue influences, you come back to a more honest and personal way of drawing and observing the world around you, which I believe is very like your fingerprint - unique.
Do you like to listen to music while you are working in your studio? If so, who is on your playlist? Every so often but I do tend to work in silence. If I have a tight deadline to meet there is nothing like a bit of old school electronic dance music to quicken the drawing pace However, I have recently discovered the joy of podcasts - years after everyone else, I know.
How do you get inspiration when doing commercial or corporate work? I like the problem solving aspect that comes with any job, whether it's personal or for a corporate client. I really like working with a designer, answering their brief, often questioning the brief and creating beautiful artwork which also solves a particular creative problem - be it conceptual or just by hitting the right note for the product or service you are illustrating. I love the pressure of working to deadline and having certain restrictions to work to, such as dimensions or colour palette.
I am inspired by reallife situations and juxtapositions, so keep a constant eye or ear out for things like that and see if they can be adapted to that particular job.
H H Helen Hunt Jackson, First Edition
Observation of the world around me is a key part of my work. Why is bookbinding so appealing to you? Thanks for the great article. Time to make sure I consistently implement your advice into my blog posts. I like to utilize CSS to design unique looking lists for different posts.
I also have specific callout paragraphs designed for notes, info, downloads, alerts, etc. This post is really about structuring the words themselves so your reader finds them easier to get through, but using design to add pizzazz is another great way to draw them in. But many bloggers might have difficulty with the technical details. True, but basic CSS is incredibly easy to learn. Thank you these were great tips. I was happy to see I already do some of them and they were a good reminder to focus my style content on our site.
Excellent advice. Great advice. And I notice you ended with a question to inspire comments, another great tactic I use on my blog to inspire people to chime in. Excellent article — the tip about photo captions is a new one for me. Please come back and let me know if it works, Rececca. Up until reading this article, I had been doing at least a few of the points in my content. Use a compelling image, and write a long caption to go with it: sentences is good.
Allude to your content, and make the caption intriguing. That explanation help a lot and greatly appreciated. Looking forward to the great tips and content at Big Brands. Just signed up ;-. It was great to get confirmation.
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Question: Is the attraction of the caption strongest when the caption is above the image — or below the image? Glad you liked the post, Dian. These are all great tips and I probably use them all, more or less.
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I need to be reminded about this all the time. As an ex English school teacher I continually fall back into the exact opposite. I wish there was some way to flick the switch for good. I had no idea unlearning something was so much harder than learning something. I suspect following these tips to write your English papers would be a bad idea …. I think most of these points apply to email as well.
I just started writing more lists — I like the idea of breaking up paragraphs and writing shorter posts. I am going to have to try that. Maybe on days that there is a longer blog posts it could be broken into part one and part two? I submitted this with a boring headline and she jazzed it up! Brian has slowly managed to drum a few things into my head about headlines.
He still needs to tweak them for me at times, though. Most of the first commenters are scanners, not readers, although they may share a point related to the idea of the post. Striving after wind.. Nice post. I had slowly started to learn this by my own experience. You have put it quite succinctly. Pamela, quality points.
Thanks Pamela. Thanks for the great reminders. We write for the benefit of our readers, so our focus should be on making our ideas more accessible. Writing is more about organizing ideas than about writing deathless prose. The disciplines that you mention force you to organize and tighten your writing, making it easier to write clearly, and easier for the reader to understand.
You have made a several good points. All good tricks to keep in mind, but nothing engages readers more than giving them the content they are looking for with personality. My favorite tips? People who think you sound cool and interesting in miniature sometimes wander over to see more of what you have to offer. My other favorite tip is to mix it up a bit. Add some pictures or video clips to your blog.
The Animaniacs ice cream song, even if you like it, is not appropriate unless you can tie it back into your content in a way that makes sense to your readers. Randy is incredible! Always the first to comment! Have you developped a software? No kidding! I know posting comments in a popular blog is a strategy to drive traffic to your own blog, but how that dude gets the first slot every single day is either genius or obsessively psychotic. Keep it up, though, Randy… it would be weird without you.
Great post. Once I mentioned to a client they needed more white space and they responded with larger margins and denser text. Will start using points 4 and 5 more often in my blog. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and expertise. Pamela, I agree heartily with all of your points, except 5. I think links can be useful, but every link is a distraction for the reader.
She has to decide whether or not to click on it, and even though it may take only a tenth of a second, it pulls her away from your content. So I say any links in a blog post should be there for a very good reason, and that bloggers should decide carefully whether or not adding the distraction of a particular link is worthwhile or not.
All those links leading the reader back to Copyblogger make it easier to tolerate the scrapers. There are lots of good reasons to put them there, though. PS: Your Design Course is great! Great tips!