Drawing: A free book of 100 hands

Drawing the hands is one of the most difficult challenges faced by an artist when studying anatomy. They are as complex as the rest of the figure. Good reference material can help to simplify the task. Thankfully, the classic fully illustrated text of George B. Bridgman’s Book of a Hundred Hands is available free from Google Books. You can download a PDF, read it from your browser or view the book on any device that supports the Google Books app.

Bridgman details the hand in most imaginable positions, detailing fingers, the wrist. Most sections include simplified muscle groups with labels. Other details of interest are the veins, bones and, of course, short texts. The text quickly tells you information that’s key to an artistic understanding of anatomy.

If you love drawing books as much as I do, check out this extensive list even more free drawing books to download. Great to either load on your kindle or print out your favorite pages.

If you insist on print, you can also buy the published edition book on Amazon for under $20USD
. If you have any other resources, share them in the comments

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

The Internet Versus the Library (Infographic)

More people in the United States use libraries than the internet. While the web is commonly referred to as the repository of all human knowledge, most books have yet to be digitized. This infographic seemed like a great follow up to my “Is Print Dead” infographic. Not only do libraries provide access to tons of books that are out of print, hard to find, or out of your price range but they provide internet access to those who couldn’t afford it. They give computer access to students who need to type their papers but don’t have the means.

My local library allows me to browse and reserve books online. Then I can just go to the front desk, show my library card and walk out with a pile of free books. That always seemed pretty neat and convenient. It’s Netflix for books. If they delivered them to my door, that would be better. But that probably wouldn’t be free. Do you think libraries are important? How do you use the library? And what can we do to save them and make them more relevant?


Courtesy of Archives.com

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

The Journey to Freelance Graphic Design (Infographic)

Tired of your old day job? Even though you’re a designer doing pretty well, you could be more independent and have more control. This infographic by wix.com plots out the steps you need to take to build up your clientele and say goodbye to your boss. Have you made the journey or at least are thinking about it? Tell us your experiences in the comments

freelance to freedomd Graphic Designers Journey: Freelance to Freedom (Infographic)

Courtesy of wix.com

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

Graphic Designers: How to Say No to Clients

The word no made from jigsaw puzzle pieces
Photo by Horia Varlan


You want to be liked. By your clients, your boss, your colleagues. So you take on work that you don’t want to do. You extend deadlines to the point where you’re stressed and can’t think about much else. You can say no.  You must do this on your terms or not at all.  Here’s how:

When to Start

Start today or better yet right now. Write to a client or your boss about a problem you’ve been having. Firmly tell them the terms of your employment and what you’re time is worth.

How to Begin

Think of something small.  It doesn’t have to be a huge problem. No I can’t stay 15 minutes late today. I will not run this errand. I won’t agree to these production deadlines.  No, I really think the color should be red and here’s why.

When to say no

When you believe it’s not fair, it’s unreasonable or downright stupid.  If you have a good reason, start by saying no, express your professional opinion, and wait.  Give the person a chance to speak. This is a negotiation. They might back down. They may counter offer with a more reasonable plan. Start with your ideal scenario, and if you hear a compromise that suits you then consider it.  Chances are if you went to a yard sale or bought a car, you wouldn’t have a problem trying some negotiation.  Why not do it with your business and life?

Why say no?

Because you are an independent person. You can think about yourself, your career, your business, and your family first before anyone else. No matter what your situation, you should think of yourself as an independent designer. We’re not permanently tied to companies or clients the way someone might have been forty years ago.  If a situation arouse where a client doesn’t think you fit their business needs anymore, chances are they would move on without hesitating.  Companies have been laying off employees left and right.  Think of yourself a little bit more.  Value your own time and opinions. You’ll gave a lot of respect for telling people that your time is valuable and they will begin to believe it to.

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

Choosing Graphic Design Work that Matches Your Values

How do you make sure that your work fits in line with your personal ethics? Although this is a post targeting designers and artists, almost every working person deals with this issue at some point. You might have seen a colleague who thinks it’s “just business”. And chances are you don’t trust this person, even if it seems like they’re a fine upstanding citizen outside of work.  When taking a job, full time or client based, do you think about the clients ethics?

What are work values?

These are the set of beliefs that you’ve acquired over your life. Mom and dad instilled you with a sense of right and wrong.  There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to do something you’re fundamentally against to survive or because you’ve agreed to a job you don’t agree with.

Evaluating Your Client

First of all, let’s qualify this by saying you should understand your potential employer. Go in with an open mind.  Sure this company may have a bad reputation in your industry for it’s practices, but without discussing it with them and doing your research you don’t really know if it’s a good fit. If you’re hoping for repeat business, ask your client about any potential for more work.

Core Ethics

Take the time right now to do a self assessment. Figure out what your core ethics are. Perhaps it’s important to you that you have a certain amount of autonomy with your projects.  Accept nothing less.  There are clients out there that will trust you to complete the work.  I’ve designed marketing projects where I’ve heard very little from the client and they’re happy with the end results. Your dream client is out there.  Imagine that you want autonomy and have no part in the decision making process. How upset will you be?  Imagine if you thrive in variety and have to do a monotonous job.

In the end, you won’t be truly happy with your work unless you’re following your own morality. It’s not just business, it’s a huge part of your life.  Figure out what’s really important and use that knowledge in your decision making.  Say no to the clients and career moves that don’t match up.

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