Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Mandy Trolley/ Mando Manderin

Today I went to a talk by Mandy Trolley, I was told about it by the surface design tutor, Hazel Hewitt, as she thought it would help me with putting my designs onto surfaces.

She showed us a full range of textile products and her sketchbooks. Mandy uses a lot of embroidery and mixed fabric. Mandy's style involves mixing and playfully using a range of themes, bears eating fast food, framed dogs, ducks and scented gremlin creatures. She introduced us to Hot Bed Press, in Salford where she teaches workshops and where she learnt about of her techniques and Fab Lab in Manchester, which I have wanted to go for a while, this was really helpful to me as one of my fears during my 3rd year was not having access to the print room, now I know there is space out there. I was really jealous to hear about all the fancy equipment she was able to use as she studies embroidery at MMU and the programme where post-graduates can still use the facilities there up to a year after leaving.

After watching Mandy’s presentation and seeing her images I thought a lot into setting up a photography corner in my studio for photographing my 3D pieces, a simple while corner will do with some good lighting because now a have a professional camera I don’t need to make arrangements for somebody else to photograph my work. 
I also noticed her attention to branding her products, soft labels, packaging and stamping where ever necessary. I think packaging and labeling is things a definitely need to look into fro myself, boxes for my mugs and soft tags for cushions and bags. 

 I was mostly interested in her print workshops, some work that people have produced from these lessons are really inspiring.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Student - Designer.

Today we had a visit from two accountants from all the way from across the street. The showed us a useful presentation and gave us advice for after uni and making our brand a business by:
1. Having a business plan
2. Manage cash flow
3. Research potential market
4. Research changes in market

They told us about Tax, NI  (to set aside 25% of income a side to cover all tax costs), VAT and PAYE. Types on accountants we will need as illustrators and their costs.

It was a lot to take in for one morning, lots of numbers and abbreviated words and tax codes, although it was all useful information and made me question whether I would want/need an accountant after uni.


That afternoon our tutor Ian had a follow on presentation guiding us for the transition from student to designer.
1. Safety in numbers (virtually/studio space)
2. Work with other artists, galleries and clients.
3. Be adaptable and versatile (new media/skills)

we are 310 blogspot.
”nobody will call you, you call them. Meet as many people as you can networking”

John Ferry – 7 C’s
Concept-Colour-Craftsmanship-Commitement-Contemporary style- Consistent-Confidence.

We were advised on how to work with an art director.
Make sure you are aware of everything before starting a job.
1. Size of image
2. Colour/ B&W
3. Print run- Context
4. Fee
5. Deadline
6. Time scale for roughs/feedback
7. Their contact info (all)

and while undertaking a job.
> Be realistic with deadlines
> Then stick to deadline
> Ask what they have in mind
> Work with them, not against them
> Be flexable, but not a push over
> Think as a team player
> Add notes to roughs
> Expect changed
>  Keep art directors informed (any problems)

*avoid signing all copyright to people, unless the money is right *

*send client notice of copyright after accepting job*

Base fee on time scale, print run, exposure, profit of client, your want to work with image and going rate. Ian then gave us some rough guidelines for price listing work. Book cover and  advertising sound the best :)

> Send proper invoice 
> Include any job number that the client has gave you and short description
> Commissioners name 
> numbering system and date
> Only send invoice after work (give a few days) 
> Alteration fee?
> Keep all copies
> Keep a record in spreadsheet/book of outstanding balances
> Don't be afraid to call accounts department and chase payments, not client
 *it can take up to 3 months to get paid *

We discussed pro's and con's. 
1. More effective 
2. Jobs I wouldn't  necessarily get myself
3. Broader range- other countries
4. Secure higher fee
5. Clients may trust more/attract lazy clients
6. Do all leg work - invoice and chasing
7. Negotiate better   

1. Take 20-33% of commission 
2. Think of the money rather than brand
3. Misunderstanding due to not having direct contact with client
4. Confine you.

*Pros out number cons but I think that cost of handing over 20-33% of commission counts as 3 cons so then I am back to square 1!*


- stick to guidelines
- take comments from visits
- make memorable

Create a client/wish list

Make appointments
- compare their commissioned images to your own first
- make 2/3 appointments per day
- be confident  
- don't be late
- samples, cards of leavables

- update regularly
- links to blog etc 
- get listed on illustration sites/portals

Mail outs
- be selective 
- make noticeable/not spam
- mail chimp / PDF

Credit name
- ask for website to be displayed next to image, not just name
- put images on AOI site
- enter as many competitions 
- exhibit 
- agents