Advertisement
Inspiration

New Year's Resolutions for Illustration and Design

by

In the countdown to 2011 I've been thinking about the things I have achieved over the past year and the things I would like to achieve for the next. While I haven't made a New Year's Resolution for some time (let's face it, they're only made to be broken!), I've compiled a short list of creative themed resolutions with a view to a bigger, better and brighter creative output in the year to come.


Blog More

"Regular blogging/writing" is a resolution that's easy to make, but hard to keep. You may have noticed that I'm forever writing about how I have to tend to my personal blog more, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one. One of the benefits to maintaining a blog is the traffic. Without regular updates a blog will quickly lose traffic and start to look abandoned. A well maintained blog will attract subscribers and link backs and, over time, attract clients. So while this is one of the hardest resolutions to keep, it's also a really good one to make.


Earn Some Pocket-money

You're never too old for Pocket-money! In freelance terms, Pocket-money is money that you've made on top of your income which should only go towards having fun! A few ways to earn some extra cash are...

  • Sell Prints: Online or by consignment
  • Run a Digital Storefront: Print on demand services such as Zazzle and deviantArt Prints Shop are popular choices

Be Organized with Tax and Invoices

If you're a freelancer, keeping up with invoices, expenses and paperwork is a massive pain! Make 2011 easier by keeping a regular paperwork schedule. Set aside an hour or two a week for paperwork and you will save days of messing around later. This is a must on my resolution list as the only thing I hate more than paperwork is running around and freaking out.

Illustration by Bucket'o'Thought


Implement a File Naming Convention... That Works!

If you're like me, you will have files all over your computer that can only be found by remembering weird things such as, I saved the file as, "green_finished_14.ai" in the "stuff 4" folder within the "things to keep" folder on my desktop. 2011 is going to be my Year of the Naming Convention. I have lost way too many files due to bad naming. If anyone has a good way to name and organize files I would love to read about it in the comments!


Carry Business Cards

I'm ashamed to admit that more than a few times during 2010, I've run into potential clients and not had a business card to hand them. While a hand scrawled email address on the back of a coaster is unique, it's not going to make you memorable for the right reasons. Even if you don't have a business a small card with your name and contact details is surprisingly handy. If you want to make a resolution that's easy to keep, this is the one!


Learn a New Skill

This year I started to learn a bit about CSS, next year I want to remember it. Learning a new skill is not limited to things that can help you in your creative life, other items on my (over ambitious) list are, learn a new language and take a dance class. All new skills feed into the creative process and can help you unwind after a day hard at work. A happy Creative is a productive Creative.


Have an Eye Check

Yes, this is a weird one. But I'm way overdue for an eye-check and I'm pretty sure I need a stronger pair of reading glasses. For our Australian readers, you can get a free eye check once a year, all you need to do is show the optometrist your Medicare card. Good eyesight is a must. If you suspect you may need glasses, go and get your eyes checked. Glasses are so much better than blurry designs and eye-strain headaches!


Network - The Old Fashioned Way

I'm guilty of spending way too much time behind the screen and not enough time "chatting" for real and I would like to encourage everyone to join me in some old fashioned networking in 2011. While "Social Networking" is a fast way to make a few quick contacts, people you meet in person can become life long contacts, valuable clients and great friends. Get out and meet the people in your neighborhood!


Do You Have a New Years Resolution?

Do you have any New Year's Resolutions? If so, we would love to know about them. Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

Related Posts
  • Computer Skills
    Office
    How to Make Professional Invoices in a Word ProcessorStacksonstacksonstacks
    Starting a business, or doing freelance work? Here's a quick and easy way to create estimates and invoices that will impress your clients and get your payments through, hassle-free, using the word processor you already have.Read More…
  • Game Development
    Business
    How to Fund Your Indie GameHow to fund your indie game
    Developing a game can require a huge amount of effort—and as if that weren't enough, most indie game studios aren't exactly flush with financial resources. Thus, most development teams are resigned to seek outside funding sources. Thankfully, raising startup funds isn't quite the mission impossible it was back in the dial-up age. In this article, I'll explain how to get the funds you need.Read More…
  • Photography
    Articles
    10 Things You Need to Know Before Becoming a FreelancerFreelance pre
    As permanent and contracted photography jobs become scarce, many aspiring photographers are left with no choice but to become a freelancer. However, going freelance isn’t for everyone and there are plenty of new challenges along the way, so here are a few tips on how to avoid falling at the first hurdle.Read More…
  • Game Development
    Business
    Surviving GDC: Tips for Game Conference SuccessWp 20140317 004 400x277 b01
    My first GDC was a terrifying mess. Four years later, I've learned a few things about attending game conferences, and hopefully the following tips will help you on the journey to mastering the art of great game conferencing!Read More…
  • Photography
    Interviews
    Interview With Fashion and Entertainment Retoucher Nick Leadlay0968 nick leadlay preview
    I recently had some time to chat with Nick Leadlay, a fashion, entertainment and advertising retoucher based in Toronto, Ontario. Nick has worked with some big names in the photography industry, and has retouched some of the biggest stars in Hollywood including Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and many more. In this interview, Leadlay and I talked about several topics including how he got his start as a celebrity retouch artist, and even a few workflow tips. Let's take a look!Read More…
  • Business
    Productivity
    How to Track Your Time in HarvestHarvest logo
    Simple time tracking means more billable hours for you, and less stress when turning those billable hours into invoices. Here's everything you need to get started with Harvest, one of the most popular time tracking apps that can run from any device.Read More…