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Ask a Pro! YOUR Q&A with a Graphic Designer and an Illustrator Webinar and Resource List

Watch the webinar - buttonIn this 2+ hour webinar, illustrator Ed Shems and design director Rebecca Blake answered questions from students the real-world side of being a creative professional. The archived webinar is for anyone to watch.

Ed and Rebecca collected a list of resources both mentioned during the webinar, and culled afterwards in response to the students’ questions.

About the Presenters:

Rebecca is Design Director at Optimum Design & Consulting, a full service design firm in NYC, and as a Guild board member, has conducted numerous webinars and seminars on pricing and estimating. She also heads a workgroup with ico-D, the International Council of Design.

Ed (edfredned.com) is a RISD graduate with 25 years' experience in digital illustration for children's books, chapter books, magazines, and other projects too numerous to write about in one small paragraph. Ed is the co-founder of Creative Relay and is the special guest coordinator for MICE (the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo).

Resources for Illustrators & Designers

Copyright Information:

Copyright Basics:
An Intro to Copyright Law: by attorney Paul C. Rapp
Complete copyright FAQs: A comprehensive list of copyright FAQs on the Copyright Office website

Registering Your Copyrights:
Registering your copyrights FAQs: on the Copyright Office website
Online tutorial for a standard copyright registration: Copyright Office tutorial for the eCO online copyright registration system
Online tutorial for a single application copyright registration: Copyright Office tutorial for the eCO online copyright registration system
Online tutorial on uploading electronic copies of your work for copyright registration: Copyright Office tutorial for the eCO onine copyright registrations system (be sure your
work qualifes for an electronic upload!)

Working with Copyrights:
To Sell or to Rent: The Difference Between Copyright License and Transfer: Jean S. Perwin’s article on the difference between selling the rights to your work and licensng them
Logo Design Copyright: How Do I Copyright A Logo Design And Transfer Ownership: thelogosmith covers how to copyright a logo and transfer the rights to your client
Who Owns the Rights to your Design Work: Sheila Patterson of Apex Creative addresses whether clients can claim ownership of your original files
Avoiding Copyright Infringement: When an Artist has Infringed: How to avoid infringing the copyright of other creators
Filing a DMCA notice: A DMCA takedown notice – Digital Millenium Copyright Act –is a notification to a company, usually a web host or a search engine, that they are either hosting or linking to copyright-infringing material. It provides them notice to remove the copyrighted works.)
CMI and the DMCA: attorney Leslie Burns on why you should use a © notice on your online images
Your © Notice is More than CMI: Leslie Burns expands on the importance of the © notice


Starting Your Creative Business:

Starting your Own Communication Design Business: Free downloadable white paper on setting up your creative business, by Lara Kisielewska.
Start-Run-Grow Your Design Business: Archived 3-part webinar series (free for Guild members). Lara Kisielewska expanded her popular course and white paper into a 3-part webinar series. Each section is 1-hour long, with a Q&A section.

Shopify’s Business and Domain Name Generator: Enter in your desired business name, find out if other businesses are using it, and see available domain names.

Shopify Business Encyclopedia: https://www.shopify.com/encyclopedia

https://99designs.com/resource-center: Small Business Starter Kit

Domain name registrars:

Promoting and Marketing Yourself:

Portfolio websites:
Graphic Artists Guild Member Portfolios

Other ways to get noticed and make money (register your copyrights before uploading your designs and illustrations!):

Creative Market Lecturing/Teaching
Threadless Kickstarter
Etsy Conferences
Comixology Licensing your Art*

*All Art Licensing offers mini courses, coaching, and consulting, and a great blog on licensing. (Guild members get a discount on all courses and coaching/consulting services.)

Running your Creative Business:

Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines: The print version of the industry bible on running a creative business, including business essentials, professional and legal issues, and pricing guidelines.
The Primer Series– the Handbook as a three-part eBook series:
Business Practice Essentials for Graphic Artists: purchase as iBook or Android from Vital Source or iBook, Mac, or iOS from iTunes
Professional Issues & Legal Rights for Graphic Artists: purchase as iBook or Android from Vital Source or iBook, Mac, or iOS from iTunes
Trade Customs & Pricing Guidelines: purchase as iBook or Android from Vital Source or iBook, Mac, or iOS from iTunes
Rock the Interview: Ed Shems’ article on Creative Relay on treating the elevator pitch as an interview
An EIN: A Simple Way to Protect Yourself: Justin Perricone’s Creative Relay article makes the case for getting an EIN rather than using your Social Security number
Creatives: Unite to Diversify: Ed Shems’ article on Jo Anne’s Art Advice on working as a freelance illustrator

Pricing your Work:

5 Ways to Strategically Price Your Freelance Rates: Genevieve DeGuzman on Tutsplus covers hourly versus flat rate pricing.
Trade Customs & Pricing Guidelines: Extracted from our Handbook, the eBook includes trade practices and pricing tables based on surveys of designers, illustrators, and visual artists. Purchase as iBook or Android from Vital Source or iBook, Mac, or iOS from iTunes
Guild webinars on pricing and estimating: Webinars on how to price your work, negotiating with clients, and creating a proposal
How Much Does a Logo Design Cost: In his video, designer Roberto Blake covers how to talk to clients about logo design pricing.


The Letter of Agreement: The basics of the abbreviated contract you can use to establish the outline of a project with your clients
Contract Glossary: A glossary of common terms that appear in contracts and agreements
Write your Own Contract Checklist: Illustrator Mark Monlux compiled a checklist of factors you should cover.
Demystifying Noncompetition Agreements
: Attorney Phillip I. Frankel covers the noncompetiton agreements freelance and staff artists may be asked to sign.

Software Tools:

oozled: A curated feed of business and productivity tools and resources for designers, web developers, and visual artists.

Estimating and invoicing:
Blinkbid software: generates estimates and invoices (Guild members get a discount)

Accounting software:
Wave apps: free apps plus low subscription for additional services
GoDaddy Online Bookkeeping: (formerly Outright) online bookkeeping and accounting
FreshBooks: online accounting system
Invoice Home is an ultra simple and intuitive invoice generator created with small businesses, startups and freelancers in mind.

Productivity software:
Harvest: Time and expense tracking

Image tracking (find where your images are being used online):
Digimarc: tracks your images by embedded metadata
Tineye: free reverse image search plus paid apps for tracking images
Google reverse image search: free catch-all via Google search

Service Providers:

Overnight Prints
48 Hour Print
4Over: to the trade only (low prices for designers and visual artists to mark up)

Web host:
WP Engine: Managed hosting for WordPress

Website Building Resources:
How to Make a Website: A beginners Guide.

Networking & Inspiration:

Creative Mornings: Inspirational and educational lectures for creatives
Dorm Room Tycoon: podcasts with design, technology & business leaders

Finding work:

Job boards:
Guild Coroflot job board
AIGA Job board: available to AIGA members

Freelance work:
Guru: design, art & multimedia feed
Upwork (formerly Elance)
Folyo: focus on web design and UI/UX, pricing tends to be higher than most jobboards

Online Courses:
A guide to top online graphic design courses, accredited degrees & certifications, self guided and open college courses.

Digital Contracts

Membership is the key to unlocking more than 20 contracts that can be downloaded, edited and customized for use in your business.

Available in Word or Rich Text formats.

View Available Contracts

Member Portfolios

Wines Image
Show your work to potential clients… 
one of the many benefits of membership.

Guild Webinars

Looking to keep up with industry trends and techniques?

Taking your creative career to the next level means you need to be up on a myriad of topics. And as good as your art school education may have been, chances are there are gaps in your education. The Guild’s professional monthly webinar series, Webinar Wednesdays, can help take you to the next level.

Members can join the live webinars for FREE - as part of your benefits of membership! Non-members can join the live webinars for $45. 

Visit our webinar archive page, purchase the webinar of your choice for $35 and watch it any time that works for you.


Join the Guild


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