Design is endless; print is not

I don’t know how many people read my blog, and I don’t care. The only reason that I have one is because of an assignment for school. But after what happened to me yesterday I feel the need to write about it.

 

I’ve been working at my design job for exactly 6 months. Yesterday I got fired.

 

Now, I am not going to sit here and write that I was fucked over blah blah blah. I was the one that fucked up. I worked in a print shop.  There was not a lot of designing involved. About once a week I would get a job that required a little design, nothing special. The rest of the time I was making sure the files we got were correctly set up for print and stepping them with the correct cut and fold lines. It requires a lot of math and ruler skills. Both of which, I am not the best at. I tried to improve those skills and I did get better at them. But long story short I did not update a job correctly with the right pages for a book. A page from last years book did not get replaced with a page for this year. It went all the way to print and to the customer before anyone noticed. I thought I was being extremely thorough and making sure all the pages were correct. But it wasn’t enough.

 

I understand the dilemma I put my boss in. He lost a few other jobs because of this mistake. It still hurt nonetheless. Not because I was let go but because I had been under so much stress because of this job and tried to work through it and I still couldn’t succeed at it.

 

When I got home I tried looking up some advice for situations like this and found nothing.

 

Granted, its only been a day but there was a since of relief being fired. My stress level is half gone. Now granted, I’m stressed how bills are going to get paid till I find another job, but my fiancé and I always manage to get through it.

 

Working in a print shop can be extremely stressful and my boss always added to it, his stress became my stress. Everyday I would go to work and say to myself before walking in the door, “Don’t fuck up.”

 

Nobody should have to tell his or her self that before going to work.

 

My point is, really think about it before applying for a job in a print department. I’m not saying don’t try, because at least I tried.  That’s more then what most people do. But really think about if your ready for a job like that. I wasn’t but I’m grateful for the experience.

 

There were just some things I could not wrap my head around, printing and design are really too totally different things.

 

Design is endless; print is not. There are a lot of things that can’t work in a design once it needs to be printed. I was taught graphic design not print. Print is something that isn’t taught anymore. It’s learned through experience, and that’s what I have now. I now have a more extensive knowledge of print, which will guide me a long the way through my career.

 

One day I will find my dream job. I knew right off the bat that the one I had wasn’t but it was job.

 

If you find yourself in my situation don’t give up and don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens just make sure you learn from it. That’s all you can do.

Great resources

One of the hazards of being a graphic designer is finding quality stock images, Photoshop brushes, vectors, etc. So I decided to compile a nice list of great resources and their uses.

1. Stock.Xchnge– a great site that offers an endless supply of high resolution stock photos. Most are royalty free. All you have to do is make an account and start downloading the images you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Brusheezy– free photoshop brushes. There is quite a collection on this site. Most are a high resolution but not all. Beware of really grainy and pixelated brushes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Vecteezy– From the same people that make Brusheezy, they bring you Vecteezy. Vecteezy lets you find vector images for your design. The selection is not as big a Brusheezy but it doesn’t hurt to try and find what your looking for on Vecteezy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Lost and Taken– This site offers mostly images of different textures to give your work a different feel. Some are for purchase but they do have free giveaways that are usually worth the download.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. VectorLib– If you really like designing stuff that revolves around video games, then this site site is just for you. There is huge variety of different vectors for all types of video games. Old or new there’s a good chance this site as it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best pieces of advice I can to someone just getting into graphic design is build up a stock photo library. Keep everything correctly labeled and organized. That way eventually you probably won’t have to do much searching online for photos. In the end it’s a great time saver.

 

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One of my favorite creations.

A few years ago, I created this when I had a revelation of creativity.

I’m a huge Batman fan and Harley Quinn is one of my favorite characters. I wish she would have been portrayed in one of the movies that have been made throughout the years. Her portrayal in Arkham Asylum was brilliant. But anyway, I’ve always considered Harley one of those ironic sex icons. Most of the female villains in superhero stories are ironic sex icons. They’re crazy women but you can’t help but love them and want to be like them.

I thought it would be really fun and interesting to put Harley on a Maxim cover. It actually took me awhile to find an image of Harley that would be sexy enough to put on Maxim. There’s a lot of portrayals of Harley that are sexy but none had like a high end quality look, until I found this one.

I looked up actual covers just to see how they are formatted and the type of wording the use for the article tag lines. I wanted to keep up with the batman theme so I mentioned Bruce Wayne and Poison Ivy for other articles. But I didn’t want it to be covered with the names over other character’s and I wanted it to seem like it was filled with the type of articles that would be in a Maxim issue. I know Maxim and a lot of similar magazines have countdown lists, articles that provide different tips for things so I thought up some good taglines that would resonate with the premise of the cover.

One of the covers I would looking at as an example had a sub headline for some award ceremony so I thought it would be clever to have the Gotham Awards.

But my favorite details within the cover are the issue date and issue number. I used the same date and issue number that Harley Quinn made her first actual appearance in the Batman comic books. It’s small details like that, that I really enjoy. Only passionate people who love Batman as much as I do, if not more, would notice the reference and understand it. When a design is already good and I see small details like that it makes me admire the design and designer even more. So I try to do the same things in my artwork, when I can. I hope the people that have seen this think the same of me as well.

I was hoping to have a full cover series. But I’ve lacked the time over the past few years since I’ve done this cover. Here is list of the different heros/villains and the cover’s I was going to put them on. Hopefully I’ll find the time one of these days to complete it.

Poison Ivy- Home and Garden

Bruce Wayne- Forbes

Bane- Health and Fitness

Cat Women- Cat Fancy

The Joker- Time

The Riddler-  Puzzle book.

Alfred- Good Housekeeping

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Maybe, just maybe…

The initial reason for starting a WordPress blog is for school. But I might actually keep up with it. I am hoping that I can finally find time in my life to keep up with the things I start. So, here going nothing…

-T

A year later…

As I mentioned in my About Me section. My father passed away December 5th , 2010. So in two days it will have been a year without my dad. I was not allowed to properly grieve my father’s passing. There was a family feud going on at the time my step siblings only allowed me 5 minutes at his funeral. How cruel! I was his family for almost 20 years. His kids only came around when they wanted something and now that he was gone THEY WANTED EVERYTHING!

But I forgive them. I refuse to let their cold hearts and soulless consciences  keep me angry at them. Anyway, here is some things I learned from dad growing up…

• Always defend yourself.

• Don’t throw the first punch, but you better throw the last.

• Give people the benefit of a doubt.

My dad was a simple man. The first time he was ever on a plane was 6 months before he died. He did not do what some would consider extraordinary things in life but he was extraordinary to me. He raised me as his own, when he wasn’t asked too. He made sure I had every thing I needed in life. He tried to give me normal childhood even though he was in 60’s.

He died 11 days before my 21st birthday. He won’t get to walk me down the aisle next year. He won’t ever see the tattoo I was hoping to get for him before he passed. He won’t meet my kids (if I have any). But he did see me graduate high school. He witnessed me raising a child that was not mine either. That’s more than some people get and I am eternally grateful for the time I was given with him. My only regret is that he passed away alone. I love you Daddy. I will always love you and miss you more with each day.

Tool for inspiration

So, like many designers, I sometimes hit a wall when trying to create or design something. I try and pick away at it , but usually when that happens anything I come up with I hate. One of the best tools I use to bulldoze that wall is Stumble Upon. For those that do not know what Stumble Upon is, it is an add-on tool bar that takes you to random websites. Well, not completely random. When you install the add-on to your Firefox browser it will ask you about your interests such as Business, Entertainment, Politics etc. Then they sub-categorize even further. Then when you are ready to start stumbling all you do is click the button Stumble! in your browser and you taken to site that matches with your interests. If you are a creative person, such as myself, most of my interests are art, history entertainment, etc orientated you will be taken to a lot of tutorial sites, design blogs (like mine), ad agencies, stock photo sites and much more.

I’m always finding myself bored with nothing to do and using Stumble Upon. But like I said before it’s a great tool to allow yourself to step away from what your working on during a creative block. It’s a great way to gather inspiration from other sites and get the creative juices going or find other designers and possibly befriend them.

Another great thing about this nifty little tool is that you can connect with your Facebook and see if your friends are using Stumble Upon and see what type of websites they like. You can also like a site that you have been taken to, and every now again Stumble will take you back to that site to see if anything has been updated.

I have found so many stock photo, Photoshop brush and vector sites using Stumble Upon that don’t normally show up if you use a Google search.

So, I really recommend you put this add this to your web browser. It will defiantly get rid of your creative block or cure boredom.

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