I got a couple nice write-ups recently & I just wanted to say thanks!

chrisarrantfeature
Chris Arrant is a rad dude who writes for alot of awesome publications. Thanks chris!

designismine

I know very little about the folks at Designismine, other than that they have a fantastic blog you should read. thanks, Designismine!

Thank you to Designismine & Chris Arrant

Posted on

July 25th, 2007

Category

Press

whois

The best thing I ever did for myself was building this website.

That may sound like a rather weighty statement, but it’s true!

Being able to promote myself digitally has been my number one most valuable resource, as a freelancer.

Here’s how you can do it too!

Get a domain name.

First, find a site to register your domain at. I use godaddy.com & I’m really happy with it but I’m sure that there are a bunch of other excellent websites out there.

Once you’ve found such a site, see if the name you want is taken already. Give alot of thought to what name you pick, because this will be your main identity on the web. It should be easy to remember, and easy to spell. Also, be conscious of other websites with similar names.
You don’t want to be confused with another site, especially if that site is affiliated with something unsavory.
A friend of mine picked a domain name that was one character off from a popular adult website’s name. He ended up having to change it.

You might also want to consider the possibility of buying several domain names. If you are purchasing a .com, you should look into who owns the .net and .org of the same name. If nobody owns them, then you might want to consider buying them yourself before someone else does. A friend of mine owned a popular .com site for several years, and another group bought the .net without his knowledge. He didn’t like being affiliated with this group at all, and it quickly became a fight over who should own the name. It might be wise to avoid this possibility altogether if you can.

A quick note on the Whois database.

When you register your domain name, you are required to fill out a form with your name and address. This information goes into a database that is open to the public. You can check out who owns any given website at whois.net. If, like me, you are freaked out by the idea of total strangers finding out where you live, I would highly recommend making your info anonymous. Many of the domain registration websites (including the aforementioned godaddy) provide services to do this, however, it does cost extra. If you don’t want to pay extra to be anonymous, think about getting a p.o. box.

Hosting.

Once you’ve purchased a domain name, you need to find a place to host your site. If you’re unfamiliar with how this works, think about it like real estate. Your website takes up space, and you need to find a place for it to live.
There are many, many different companies that provide hosting. Often times hosting can be bought as a package along with your domain name, so check out what your domain provider has to offer.

Make your site look good!

Once you have a domain and a host, you have the daunting task of building your site ahead of you.

This is perhaps the most difficult of all the steps to starting a site. If you have either design or programming skills, as well as a fair amount of time, I’d recommend trying to do at least part of your site yourself. If you’re short on either skill or time, then hire someone to do it. There are tons of really talented webdesigners out there who would love to work with you. If you can’t afford to pay much for it, consider trying to find a design student who needs to expand their portfolio.

Think about branding.

Your website should have a visually recognizable look to it. This look should also be present in any other marketing materials you have, such as business cards, postcards, even your myspace page. I change my branding every time I redesign my website, but there are elements that always remain present.  Perhaps it’s a consistent color scheme, or maybe a re-occurring theme.  Find something that works for you!

Don’t let your domain name expire!

Accidentally having your domain expire is a terrible thing. Losing ownership of your digital identity is no small thing. You can spend a lot of time promoting yourself, only to have all your work undone in seconds.

Sometimes if this happens, you can go ahead and re-purchase your domain. No harm, no foul….just a matter of setting it up again. Other times, however, somebody else can buy your domain out from under you. If this happens, you have little option other than to buy the domain directly from them….and they can charge whatever they want.

Thankfully, most domain providers give you a heads-up if your domain is about to expire. However, you should always check in before the one year anniversary of your domain purchase, just in case.

Building a home on the web.

Posted on

July 24th, 2007

Category

Articles

The last in progress image I posted was something that I drew in a very straightforward and logical manner.
I thought it might be interesting to show you something that came together in a more haphazard fashion.

A few months ago, I visited San Francisco and posed for photographer Jacob Appelbaum. He is the world’s authority on infrared photography, and also my friend. 🙂

My favorite from the set was this photo:

I thought it would be really fun to work from this photo (or any of jake’s photos for that matter) because the color scheme is so weird & interesting.

train1

I dove into the outlines & kept going until I had enough of it done to move onto putting in any of the heavy blacks.

train2

Then, I put in any large sections of black, and put in some of the outlines that I missed.

train3

Next, I added some smoke & splatters, then started doing some of the fine detail work on the legs.

train4

This is the point in which I got incredibly impatient & jumped into doing the coloring without finishing any of the inking.

train5

& then some shading. I imagine it will take me a super long time to go back and ink everything I missed…and even longer to get a good handle on matching the colors on Jake’s incredible photo.
There were a bunch of other photos from this set that I’d like to incorporate into a larger composition, so the next time you guys see progress on it, it might be a panorama with other people & things in it.

It might be a while, since I’ve sort of stopped working on this one in favor of client work…but hopefully my schedule will clear up a little. Maybe posting the progress will get you interested…which will in turn get me interested.
haha.

xoxo,
Star

KSW Infrared in progress. (part 1)

Posted on

July 19th, 2007

Category

Work In Progress

Typically, this post would be full of all the things that inspired me in a given week…
But I’m so smitten with the film I watched last night that I felt the need to give it a whole post.

Tekkonkinkreet is the story of two orphan boys trying to protect the only town they know.
It’s got enough symbolism to satisfy James Joyce, and enough surrealism to make Michelle Gondry weep.
& the icing on the cake is the beautiful score by UK rockers, Plaid.

The animation in the film is a flawless combination of traditional and 3-d, which is executed in a manner not unlike Ghost in the Shell: Innocence. While it is based off the manga by Taiyo Matsumoto, it reminds me more of a Jaime Hewlett drawing, or an American indy comic book than anything else.

This film was brought to us by Studio4°C (that created the Animatrix), and is the first feature length Anime to be directed by an American (Michael Arias).

However, in America, it’s screening only in LA or NYC & it’s only playing for 4 more days.

In LA, you can see it @ Landmark West Los Angeles, The Westside Pavilion, 10850 West Pico.

In NYC, you can see it @ The Quad Cinema, 34 West 13th Street (between 5th &6th Ave).

Check out the trailer:

Or this rad chase scene:

Extra:
Official Site (American)
Official Site (Japanese)
IMDB page
Soundtrack by Plaid on Amazon

xo,
Star

c3c2b2b4a7a5d2d5

Getting new business cards always makes me think of that scene in American Psycho.
While embossing might get Christian Bale excited, I think that showing yourself off should be a lot more fun than all that!
Eggshell? Bone? Pale Nimbus? These are not colors, but rather, things that would crumble beneath my mary-janes.

My cards are from Moocards, a service that works with Flickr & enables you to put your flickr photos on your cards. I’m super into the small size card, but I know that’s not for everyone…So here are some other types of decidedly un-traditional cards for you to check out!

Rounded Corners!


Stuart Frisby


Dave Blank

Metal Cards!


National Greyhound Adoption Program (design by Laurie Demartino)


LODGE (design by eric kass )

Reflective Cards!

Le Reflet Restaurant


Digitopotis

Some other helpful tips:

Remember them!

The other day, I met a prospective client & realized I forgot mine. I had to write my info on a napkin in paint marker. embarrasing!

Don’t be stingy!

If someone asks for two, give them up! Even if you’re at the end of your pack. If someone wants extras, they’re probably trying to refer someone else to you….which is the whole point!

Ask for a card if you give someone else one.

It’s always in your favor to be interested in other people & what they do. Plus, remembering people is key, and having a business card to remind you makes it even easier.

Follow up.

Drop people an e-mail after you get their card, especially after a conference or other big business event. You are one person in a sea of faces, and it’s important to make your impression stick.

Extra Info:
Wikipedia entry on business cards – In case you wanted to know where they come from.
Overnightprints.com – Quick & affordable printing.
Jakprints.com – Less affordable, but more options.

What does your card look like?

xo,
Star

Business Cards

Posted on

July 11th, 2007

Category

Articles