Freelance Freedom

Meanwhile…

by ncwinters on April 17, 2009

…back at the ranch.

Full disclosure: this will be like, the longest and most rambly post ever.

So I’ve been realizing its been far too long since I’ve updated anything on my various websites. This strikes me as odd as it seems like I’ve been typing away quite a lot on Twitter (yes, I’m on there, too) and commenting on other blogs which I get quite a bit of pleasure from reading, far more than I probably should. One of these is The Economy Isn’t Happening by the fantastic JohnnyBTruant (also on Twitter). That’s not his real name, but I don’t care. I will accept his lies as long as they bring me humour and the occasional motivational lesson. He recently mentioned me in his blog and it reminded me that A.) I should return the favor even though B.) He’s a total ass-kisser and probably wants free art and C.) It’s been far too long since I’ve updated this thing and it’s disrespectful to have him send readers over here when there’s nothing to read.

So here we are. Let’s see, a lot has happened over the past few months, including a move to a new place, a move out of my old art studio at Distinction Gallery, showing in a fantastic group art show in LA, getting my picture with Mr. Belding from Saved By the Bell at said show, my 100th comic strip Freelance Freedom got published, and oh yeah, my wife’s pregnant.

Guess I should start with that.

Yes, Ginger is pregnant, about five and a half months worth. She is very much ‘showing’ and one of my favorite things is to see her on the couch or somewheres with her hand gently on her belly. I’m not sure why, but it makes me smile. I’ll try to take a photo for you at some point. No, we don’t know what the sex of the child will be, but we’re both pretty sure it will be a boy or a girl. We’ll find out in a few days. Yes of COURSE we want to know the sex of the baby. Those of you who would rather keep this a surprise much like what you might unwrap at Christmas are out of your minds. It just isn’t how we roll. And by “roll” I mean: Type A OCD plan everything out to the letter folk. That nursery needs to be fully functional before the kid pops out, and we need to have it done in advance: He-Man, zombies and Voltron if it’s a boy or My Little Pony, unicorns and Pepto-Bismol pink everywhere if it’s a girl. No, most likely we just want to know as it will make the naming decision that much easier. We’re super excited about having a baby. I’m realizing how much I’ve changed since I used to use the phrase ‘when and if I have kids’. I chalk it up to getting unbelievably incredibly old. Yes, I’m under 30, but I figure once you start hating teenagers, you’ve become old.

What else? Oh yeah, so in preparation for the swelling fetus, we decided we’d had enough of apartment living and needed more space anyway for said fetus. Ginger scored an amazing find in Carlsbad, and we are almost 100% totally unpacked by now. Many thanks to Scott, Nick and Chris for their amazing aid. Nothing like having burly friends to help the job get done. Especially since my skinny ass is out of shape and my wife isn’t supposed to lift anything heavier than a teaspoon. We love our new place with its wood floors, upstairs and downstairs patios, room for our eight thousand books and the grill can finally go outside again instead of in the living room. In planning the move, I realized the studio at Distinction would have to go, as the need for more room combined with the added expense of the priciest studio in the Gallery added to an economic recession did not make for a wise financial state. Sad news, but for the best, as the increased room and lack of apartment jackassery will make for a better living arrangement. Kurt Lighfoot, an amazing photographer involved with the gallery, took this awesome photo on the last night being open:

I’m not actually this much of a douche, I just take the best photos this way: surly and aloof. Otherwise I have a giant shit-eating grin on my face, see the upcoming photo.

What else? Oh yeah, took part in the Idiot Box show at Gallery 1988 in LA a few weeks ago. The show was fantastic and themed around gulity pleasures television. Of course, who could be a more appropriate host than Cheetara from Thundercats? Since she’s a fictional cartoon character and apparently has a real attitude about hosting art shows, Dennis Haskins AKA Mr. Belding from Saved By the Bell volunteered instead. He was an amazingly gracious host and made a point to be social with everyone and offered signatures and photos to all. Nice guy, check out my photo with him.

Again, note the contrast in my face to the photo above. Would you buy art from this kid? Only out of pity. I never thought that in a few years, I’d be standing with Mr. Belding getting his approval for my art. Kind of a cool feather in my hat. I left the hat at home for this photo. Yes, that’s my painting in the background, but here’s a better shot of it:

Anything else? Oh yeah, as you may or may not have been paying attention, I write and draw a weekly comic strip called Freelance Freedom for freelanceswitch.com. This week featured my 100th Freelance Freedom comic, for which the editor and I came up with a special treat. Basically the avid readers were presented with a forum to ask questions and “get a straight answer” from me. While I thought that was asking a bit much, I did my best to be truthful about the process, my methods, and my morning eating habits. It was a fun interface, and I got to do a quadruple length strip which is always fun and I get paid four times as much to boot. Enjoy it here, as the website keeps publishing rights for a set period of time after the comic is published.

Well, that’s it for now, there’s more I need to post about, but there’s some unspoken rule that blog posts are supposed to be short or something due to short attention spans. I forget why. More soon, including four places to see my artwork in July in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.

*NCW*

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Some minor revisions…

by ncwinters on January 23, 2009

…also known as ‘throw it away and start over’.

Freelance Freedom #6 is taken almost directly from my experiences in New York at my old advertising job. I worked as production manager with a great company and amazing art department. Everyone there was a lot of fun and we got the most insane criticisms from clients. I actually can’t take credit for “fonty”- it one hundred percent for reals came from a client. We all had frustrating fun interpreting some of the direction, but always made it happen in the end. I’ve had my own share of crazy client comments, but never as many as back in The City. Enjoy.

*NCW*

Freelance Freedom #6

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You get what you pay for…

by ncwinters on January 17, 2009

…unless you’re paying crap, and I try not to deliver crap.

Freelance Freedom #5, ah how you were a powerful venting of the spleen. This was in the height of our first few months in California, and I was working freelance full time for the first time. Needless to say, it was stressful, and I was on countless job boards, guru.com, craigslist and various other terrible ideas for freelancing. Not to totally dig on these specific two sites (even though I just did) but you really have to accept that 90% of it is going to be unreasonable demands for work for very little pay. Unfortunately, this is because young, fresh out of school designers are caught up in wanting to “build a portfolio” or “getting exposure” so badly that they’ll sell their skills for pennies just to have a chance to shine. While building a portfolio is important, and everyone needs to start somewhere, the important thing to realize is that it tends to poison the whole industry and many start to think that’s how designers work across the board. I would love nothing better than to load up on tons of small jobs and show my stuff, my the reality is that bills, debt, a mortgage, family and in general, life costs money.

Whew.

I’ll get off my soapbox now and let you enjoy the comic. The halftone screen is making a comeback and it looks like I’m finally starting to get Freelance Guy to his final look. The chin is still a little weak, but the hair is the right length (at least for now). Also, a note: Freelance Guy is not necessarily supposed to be me specifically, though the comic is of course based around my experiences. In general Freelance Guy is taller, more successful and better with clients than I am. I also again, sadly do not own bunny slippers. Enjoy.

*NCW*

Freelance Freedom #5

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