How do you bridge the gap between creativity and business?

We asked in our recent survey, how can you fill the gap between creativity and business?  When I try and come up with my own answer to this question, I look at my work as an editorial designer.  I’m the kind of person who tries to push boundaries and try to make something as close to art as I can get in a commercial environment. The business side takes over when it comes to selling my concepts and convincing others that people will “get it”. That’s the thing a lot of people don’t get about design. Not only does it take technical skill (knowing how to use programs and understanding design and color theory), but there’s a huge sales aspect to the most successful designers.  It doesn’t matter how artistically successful your work is if no one will buy into it. You have to convince people to be on your side and practically get them out there, selling for you.

Take a look at the responses from our panel and chime in with your own advice and experiences.  If you’d like to be featured in a future blog post and share your advice, take our latest questionnaire.

  • “You bridge the gap by learning about and doing as much as possible in both aspects.”

    Tearra Marie (@AhorashiiKagome) is an inspiring singer/song writer, actress, and novelist who blogs daily her writings and struggles in the music and publishing world at AhorashiiKagome.livejournal.com

  • “Unfortunately, mortgage companies don’t accept stock options as payment. So designing interfaces that convert (into paying customers) is *the* most important thing to keep in mind.”

    Paul Singh (@paulsingh) is an entrepreneur and advisor to startups doing interesting stuff. He blogs at www.resultsjunkies.com/blog

  • “You have to be serious about the business side first. Otherwise, there will be no creative opportunities. Running your own business, you will realize you are more of a business owner than a designer, as you will begin to have more in common with business owners than with designers. This is good, since having your clients as colleagues is very beneficial.”

    Lisa C. Jackson (lisajackson.biz) is owner of a Company Identity Solopreneurship, Lisa Jackson Design, and helps small local businesses to succeed.

If you like this post, you might also want to check out the previous post in this series “What advice would you give to someone just starting out in a creative field?” And don’t forget to let us know how you’ve found a balance between your business and creative sides in the comments.

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

How To Make Your Own Christmas Lights

Drill

Christmas costs can rack up without the extra financial expenditures associated with both indoor and outdoor decoration. One aspect of decoration that oozes with holiday spirit is adorning the house, trees, shrubs and bushes with glimmering Christmas lights, giving the home a glowing and comfortable ambiance. Though traditional Christmas lights bring a brilliant appearance to a home, there are several homemade versions of lights that can separate homes from the pack, differing from more typical appearances lining the neighborhood streets.

One method of dressing up holiday lights is by adding your own special touch. A small clear plastic cup drilled to offer room for a small light to peek through offers a different spin on Christmas lights, offering brilliant displays that can be strung on patio areas as well as within the home. The finished balls of lights can be dangled from almost any safe location in the home or outdoor spaces for a dramatic look that can’t be achieved for such a long cost with one’s own tow hands. Pride ensuing provides an even more beautiful and glimmering appearance from homemade Christmas lights.

Necessary Supplies

(50) 9 ounce plastic cups
(2) Strings of mini Christmas lights (50 count each string)
electric drill
3/8 drill bit

Instructions

With care, each clear plastic cup should be drilled with additional cups available in case one cracks during drilling. After drilling each cup, line 12 of them up side by side, laying on the longest ends of the cups on their sides into the shape of a circle (not sitting up like a cup would). The cups will look almost wreath shaped with the top of the cup pointing outwards. After stapling to hold them into place, place two of the mini lights into each cup. The next layer of cups will consist of only nine counts, arranged just as the base layer was. After that level is arranged, it should be placed on the base and fastened with staples (or soldered). Fix two lights into the cups as previously done. The remaining four cups will be layered differently, fastened to the other cups to create a more 3D appearance rather than merely laying them flat on top.

After the cups are stapled together creating the desired shape, they should then be filled with two lights per cup, being careful during insertion to prevent cracking. The finished ball shape can be hung outside like outdoor ornaments or hung inside for tasteful decor that doesn’t break the bank.

Other Uses and Options

Though it may be more convenient for some to use a drill to make holes in the bottom of the plastic cups that will eventually transform into a Christmas shaped ball, it may be easier for others to use a soldering tool to solder through the bottom of the cup and create a hole for the lights to protrude.

While the ball shaped Christmas lights created above exude feelings of dangling ornaments, lit within the home or yard to create extra feelings of holidays and Christmas, using the same idea, different decor can be created. Cups can be stapled into the shape of a wreath or star for different shapes and decoration. Additionally, different colors of lights can create a different feel, corresponding with other decorations lighting up one’s yard or living room. A theme tree sparkling in front of a living room tree can gain pizzazz from a similarly colored homemade Christmas light ball. Different shaped cups, such as a fluted design can offer a different look and more delicate feel to the design, creating a different shape altogether. Arranging several completed balls together can create a bouquet feel, offering an array of colors and sizes if desired.

This is a guest post by Mark who has been blogging for 5 years.  He currently contributes to one various topics such as savings and ways to utilize qr code generation.

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

10 Creative Ideas for Bargain DIY Wall Art

Create your own wall art with some of these ideas from around the web without needing much of a budget at all.

 

 

Artful Spaces
Artful Spaces: DIY Wall Art for the Home

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.

7 Lucky Gift Ideas for Artists

If your thinking of getting something for the artists in your life, this guide is for you. Birthdays, holidays, or just a gift for Monday and Tuesday. Here’s a wish list:

Start off with a basic A Complete Graphic Pencil Set. The #2 pencils from school were great for filling out classroom exams, but an artist needs a soft 9B, a sharp 9H for details, and all that in between.

Inspire your craftsman with this Green Guide for Artists. If you think he or she will be into creating non-toxic paints, glue, and recycling paper then pass this one on.

This Acrylic Paint & Easel Art Set will get anyone who has lost their painting habit back into the game. Twelve colors of acrylic paint, six brushes, a wooden palette, an 11″ x 14″ Canvas Board, a plastic palette knife, a tabletop easel, and a sturdy portable tote.

If you’re feeling creative yourself, follow these directions to make a Paint Chip Wallet. It just takes a little sewing.

Encourage your artist to get out there in showing prints (or photos) of their work with a Presentation Portfolio Case. The one pictured has ten slots for them to show off their very best work, although it is expandable.

For a more complete way to store all of those supplies, how about a Storage Box with lots of compartments for the big and small utensils.

If bigger is better, then maybe you can help define your artist’s space with a Drafting Table.

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.