Art

Reddit Subreddits Artists Should Be Aware Of

Reddit is a fantastic place. It has something for everyone. Without further ado, here are recommendations for subreddits I think artists should be aware of.

Crappy Design

https://www.reddit.com/r/CrappyDesign/

This one subreddit honestly makes me laugh when I have a terrible day. Not everyone hires a designer, and we get some pretty funny moments. I suggest checking the top of all time for the top-rated laughs.

SketchDaily

https://www.reddit.com/r/SketchDaily/

Suppose you can’t think of what to draw visit SketchDaily. They give daily prompts, and it’s incredible what people think of on the fly.

I Can Draw That

https://www.reddit.com/r/ICanDrawThat/

You can visit this subreddit if you feel charitable with your time and are in a giving mood. Here you can fulfill the requests of Redditors.

Art

https://www.reddit.com/r/Art/

This one is pretty much on the nose. Art is posted here daily, and they are amazing. I go here to get inspiration.

Crafts

https://www.reddit.com/r/crafts/

For the DIYers of the world! I love seeing people creating amazing things.

Graphic Design

https://www.reddit.com/r/graphic_design/

Graphic Design is a worthwhile subreddit to look into if you are starting in it.

Low Poly

https://www.reddit.com/r/low_poly/

3D is everywhere, and low poly is one of the most popular styles! It has a charm that I can’t explain.

Imaginary Slice of Life

https://www.reddit.com/r/ImaginarySliceOfLife/

People love art because it can ‘paint’ a picture of a moment from this reality or imaginary!

Art Fundamentals

https://www.reddit.com/r/ArtFundamentals/

Get started in art if you are a beginner!

Alternativeart

https://www.reddit.com/r/alternativeart/

Fandoms spark people’s creativity! See alternative styles of your favourite tv shows, movies, comics, etc.!

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Ideas for Marketing & Graphic Portfolio if you have nothing

If you find yourself in the unenviable position of having no work for a Portfolio, there is a solution. Do fake projects. Here are some ideas you do yourself to start building your portfolio.

Social Media campaign for a brand you love

Pick a brand that is in the industry you want to work in. It can be makeup, fashion, construction, etc. Whatever you want you can build a social media campaign.

Examples are:

  • New or Relaunch of a Product
  • Contest
  • Spotlight on the company
  • Awards

Influencer collaboration strategy

The influencer economy is growing and you can show you have your finger on the pulse. Choose a well-known influencer in your industry and create a fake campaign collaboration. For marketing, you can outline a strategy to generate leads through the use of discount codes and show a fictitious strategy.

Develop a business pitch for stakeholders/clients

This can be a presentation deck you would create to show how you would pitch a fake company to an investor, partner, supplier, etc.

Make a hypothetical business plan

Use a fake company. There are many business case studies you can use to base one off of. Here is one https://guides.library.ubc.ca/businesscases/free

Rebrand an existing business

This can be a fake company you made up or an existing one. You can go on Behance, and many people have done.
Examples are:

  • Redesigning packaging
  • Redesigning their website
  • Redesigning their logo and branding

Target market consultation pitch

  • For marketing show how you would break down a target audience and your outreach plan for them.
  • For a graphic designer, design for example a post for three different target audience.
  • This shows you understand personas.

Video campaign plan

This can be a variety of things. For example

  • Tutorial
  • Commerical
  • Company spotlight
  • Social media videos

Plan a seasonable/national awareness day campaign

You can use http://unescocenterforpeacenys.org/international-days-celebration/ or https://www.daysoftheyear.com/ to pick a day and build a campaign around it.

Develop your own personal brand

This is your chance to show who you really are and articulate it.

Hope that helps and I wish you the best of luck!

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Tips for University Students in Graphic Design or Marketing

Setting yourself up for success in school is difficult. No one talks about it in high school or university. However, the internet is an excellent resource to help steer you in the correct direction. Here are my four top tips to help you do just that.

Get an Internship, Co-op, or Work Study

When choosing a university, many consider it obvious to look at who offers the best program for their desired major, such as the best teachers, equipment, facilities, etc. However, many fail to consider choosing a university if they have an internship, co-op, or work-study for their major. I think this is a significant consideration. Getting experience early is critical in building up your resume and your expertise.

Bonus, you will make some extra money and get a reference. A tip is to look at the internship/co-op/work-study requirements. I had to be a third-year student at my school, have a certain grade average, and take specific courses. It varies, of course, but you need to keep that in mind to qualify.

Some may argue you can get one outside of school. You can, of course! However, there are extra benefits. The schools have agreements with these companies that often have to fill those positions with students from a specific school. Your odds of getting that position increases significantly. They also sometimes offer help in interviewing and writing resumes and cover letters. Either way, you need to build up experience.

Start a Portfolio

This may be common sense, but it bears repeating. I would advocate having a physical and online portfolio if possible. There are many free websites you can take advantage of. Such as Google websites, Wix, and more. Here is where you can brand yourself, set yourself apart from others, look professional, and get experience building websites.

You may find yourself lacking projects. My answer, make fake ones. There are a lot of great ideas online for fake portfolio ideas. However, make sure it relates to your industry. Building a body of work will take time, but it is well worth it.

Start social media.

This is an easy and cost-effective method to get your name out there. Again, it’s building your brand as a secondary way to show your portfolio and participate in the community.

Another benefit is that you will become familiar with social media management. This is a skill many companies are looking for in regard to marketing.

Join a reputable registered group/certification

There are many organizations out there that offer certification. Bonus, they often offer a reduced price for students. Many companies specify a destination or certification for their candidates. Go on Linkedin, indeed or another job board and search for what kind they are looking for.

One I recommend for graphic designers, specifically in Canada, is RGD – https://www.rgd.ca/

It will be a boon for your professional if you can get it. It will increase your prestige and validate your experience and skills, and you again can connect with like-minded individuals.

Volunteer (Optional)

This one is optional because I understand not everyone can pursue it due to financial situations. This is a way to build experience, a portfolio, and a network. I would recommend trying to find a contract or project-based position. Short-term is better, allowing you to make a clean break.

These are my top tips. If there are any I’m missing, let me know below. I wish you all the luck in your future development.

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How To Create A Custom Brush in Adobe Illustrator

  1. Create your brush. What works best is to make it “line like” and make sure the ends are STRAIGHT Here’s an example one one I did.

2. Highlight/Select the entire design.

3. Go to the Brush panel. This can be accessed by Windows >Brushes
Then go to the bottom and click the + icon.

4. A panel will pop up and choose the “Pattern Brush” option.

5. You will now see a preview of the brush. You can rename it, and the boxes I highlighted further customized the look of the brush. Once you are satisfied with the look, click “OK” at the bottom.

6. Now, it will be in your brushes panel, and you can use the pen tool to create fantastic designs.

7. You can control the thickness of the brush by going to the stroke option.

I hope that helps! Happy creating.

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Why is My Wacom’s Pen Pressure Not Working?

When getting a Wacom Tablet second-hand the pen pressure may not be working. It could possibly be due to faulty hardware, but before you throw it out try this.

1. Install the proper Driver.

There are specific product drivers that enable the pen pressure. Check out https://www.wacom.com/en-ca/support/product-support/drivers to find your tablet and install the driver.

This was the problem in my case and now I can do the digital painting!

2. Replace the Nib

Just like a pencil, although not as frequently, the nib does go through wear and tear. You can replace them. Go to https://estore.wacom.com/en-US/accessories/accessories-nibsc.html

Happy creating.

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5 resources for non-designers

In today’s world, it’s easy to design beautiful and professional assets easily. There are many resources, both free and paid that are a godsend. Here are my top 5 recommendations for resources to use for non-designers.

Canva

Freemium

The number one resource in my opinion. They are a ton of ree options along premium ones. You do not need to download any design program likes Adobe. You can edit right in the platform, and it has a low learning curve. I highly recommend this resource to start with to learn and play around with.  You can do almost anything from graphics to videos. 

Pricing starts at: Free -> Pro (149.99 CAD) -> Enterprise (Custom pricing) for the year

Envato Elements

Paid Subscription

You will need a design program like adobe to use the templates, but by far they are one of my favorite paid resource. They have so many different types of assets you could use. From Music to even 3D! That blew my mind. The pricing is reasonable, their UI is amazing (Filtering!) and I love the quality.


Pricing starts at Team (129 CAD) -> Enterprise (Custom pricing) for the year 

 

Adobe Stock

Paid

You will need adobe programs to use this resource. This is pricest by far, but they do have unique assets that can be only found on Adobe Stock. They also split their resources in interesting ways. They also offer a couple of freebies if you have an adobe creative subscription. So take advantage!

Pricing starts at: 10 Assets (38.99 CAD) -> 40 Assets (104.99 CAD) -> 750 Assets (261.99 CAD) for the year. Or you can get credits from 5 – 150 ranging from 65.99 to 1600 CAD.

Vecteezy

Freemium

They have a ton of vectors and photos in their library that I don’t see anywhere else. They have a ton of free ones alongside their premium ones. 

Pricing starts at:  Unlimited downloads (109 ) for the year -> Monthly subscriptin at  (14) each month

FreePik

Freemium

They have a good amount of free assets of vectors, photos and psd. Very paired down but they have a vast library. You will need Adobe programs to use their resources. 

Pricing starts at: Free -> Monthly Premium (10.49 USD) -> Yearly Premium (83.99 USD)

See my other recommendations of applications and programs here.

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How To Create Numbered Tickets InDesign: Method 2

This method uses the numbered List in Adobe Indesign. See method 1 here. Let’s get to it!

Step 1

Designed your Ticket and then create a text box where your number will be. PUT A SPACE in the text box. Otherwise, this method will not work.

Step 2

Go to Type > Bulleted & Numbered Lists > Define Lists…

Step 3

Clicked “New…” It will then open to give you some options. Name your list, and click all the options. “Continued Numbers across Stories” & “Continue Numbers from Previous Document in Book”.

Step 4

Make sure you click the text tool and click into where your numbers are supposed to be.

Step 5

Click into the top control panel, or go to the Window > Control, to get it to show up. Make sure you are in the Paragraph section, and then ON YOUR KEYBOARD CLICK ALT + THE LIST SYMBOL AT THE TOP. (See circled items below).

Step 6

It will then open up into the “Bullets and Numbering” panel.

Choose:

  • List Type: Numbers
  • List: The list you defined earlier
  • Format: Choose whatever format you want
  • Mode: Continue from Previous Number…

Check the preview to make sure it works, and then click OK.

Step 7

You can see that it now shows the first number! You can remove the period by changing in the Bullets and Numbering Panel “Number:” It currently says ^#.^t. Just take out the period.

Step 8

Copy/Duplicate the elements onto the page as desired. InDesign will automatically count them for you.

Step 9

You can create more on pages, just by right-clicking and either click “Duplicate” or “Insert Pages”.

See more tickets yay!

Hope that helps! Happy creating!

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How To Create Numbered Tickets InDesign: Method 1

This is a simple method that I’ve used before and is doable if you have a printer vendor. See method 2 here also!

Before you start make sure you have facing pages turned off.

Step 1

Create a single ticket design on Master Page. Keep the same design on both pages.

Step 2

Create a text box where you want the number to be

Step 3

Go to Type > Insert Special Character > Markers > Current Page Number

Step 4

Get out of master view to normal view. Then add as many pages as you would like either in the document set up or in plus + sign in the bottom right corner of the pages panel.

And tada you should have the numbers on the tickets!

Note: If you would like to change the way the numbers appear go to Layout > Number & Sections Options. Then change the Style under Page Numbering.

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Indesign CC: How To Get Equal Spacing

Getting spacing right when you have multiple objects is difficult. Here’s how you do it.

One Method: Use Smart Guides

  1. At the top go to View > Grid & Guides > Smart Guides

2. When you select all the objects and move them you will see green guides to match the spacing of the previous spacing.

Second Method: Through The Align Panel

  1. Open the “Align Panel” by going to Window > Object & Layout > Align or by Shift+F7

2. You have to group the objects first before you could use the spacing tool (Distribute Spacing) in the “Align Panel” or you will end up with this mess.

3. Fix this by grouping the objects into a group. To do that select the objects you want to group. Then right click and choose “Group” or press CTRL+G

4. When you finish group all the objects. Then click “Distribute Spacing” at the bottom of the panel.

5. It will automatically space! You can also define the spacing at the bottom by checking the “Use Spacing” and put the specific spacing you want.

Hope that helps! Happy Creating.

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Mori Building Digital Art Museum

I went to Japan, and I visited the Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless in Tokyo. I highly recommend it if you plan on going to Tokyo to make this place one of your stops.

It is a digital art museum that has interactive components. It was amazing to experience. The museum was a massive 10,000 square meter space with 520 computers and 470 projects. With that much work and effort, they have truly made it a unique sensory experience.

The art was dynamic, it is changing, and they also even vary it by season! Like this year, they are doing cherry blossoms for their forest of resonating lamps area. The lamps are pink during that season. I wish it were pink when I was there back in October.

The art moves from one room to another, and it’s a great place to go for pictures, which is encouraged.

There is a space for kids too! There was this section where I coloured my artwork, and it appeared on the screen. It’s blowing what they can do with technology.

Honestly, I spent three hours there with my friends, and I know I could have spent three more hours there.

It’s a must-see museum for art lovers, and you must go if you are in Tokyo in the future!

You can book your ticket in advance on their website. I recommend looking through the website to pick out what exhibitions you want to see.

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Protect Yourself Against Choosy Beggars

I am sure you’ve experienced being asked for free Art or not getting paid for artists from any discipline. Here are five tips to help protect yourself.

1. Barter

Friends and family will ask you for free Art. It is tough to say no to them. Saying no makes things uncomfortable, I know! Next time they ask, barter. It is one of the oldest forms of trading! Find an equivalent exchange if possible. Is your friend a baker? Makeup artist? have something you want? Ask! 

If you are on social media, a common complaint is people asking for free artwork in exchange for exposure. A common tactic is to call them out passively. Tell them that if X number of followers give them a discount code to use or tell them to get your business first through referrals by x amount of people is another example. Specify the number of people, and if they do follow on their end, their artwork will be free. 

2. Contract

You do not have to be a lawyer. Although I wish I were one, I am not smart enough, but I digress. Some main things you need to confirm before working are:

Set the numeration/payment: It is so important to know what you are charging. There are a lot of great videos on youtube advising on how to set pricing, including deposits.

In the movies, when some assassin, or illegal work, they would always ask for 50 percent or a deposit. It is a good rule of thumb too, and standard practice among many professions. Though, with less blood and crime. 

Getting the deposit helps to mitigate the cost, and even if the projects fall through, you still were able to protect yourself and not waste your time. That is just one way. Of course, if you do not have to do this. Just make sure you price your hours as best you can and have that number on hand.

Set the number of revisions: Revisions eat into your profit, so set the number of allowed modifications. Ensuring the client thinks about the piece they want you to create and does not waste your time.

Set the timeline: This is good for both parties; it sets expectations and allows you to schedule yourself properly. 

3. Watermark your artwork

If you have Photoshop, Paint, Microsoft, heck, even online, there are many free programs you can use. Watermark. Watermark is when you place text all over the Art in a low opacity. Reducing the chances, they will not just run off with the Art.

Although, there will be people who just use the watermark artwork. 

Yeah, the point is to place enough barriers between you and getting ripped off.

4. Send LQ version of the Art

In the same vein, send an LQ version of your artwork. Again, with any photo editing program, make the file smaller, stretch it out, reduce the quality. The goal is to render the artwork primarily unusable. 

Scammers may use your artwork, even with the watermark or LQ version. It has happened before, but at least it isn’t the HQ version. 

5. Just say no 

Your time and artwork are worth something, not nothing. It will be uncomfortable to say no, but the more you say it. The easier it gets. It is something you just have to get used to saying, unfortunately. In an ideal world, everyone would be honest and friendly.

6. Send an invoice for $0

An additional tip! If you still want to give free Art, may I suggest one last thing? I saw this tip on Reddit. And Oh my gosh, is it such a good tip. When you send an invoice for $0, include the original costs and the discounts. It shows the client what your work is worth, especially useful in non-profit.

These are just some tips you can implement. Good luck on your art journey, and I will see you next time.

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