Has been very educational today, whereas Monday was very focused on my work, today was sound, all round advice with Sheldon Bayley, who is responsible for organizing, well, everything this week! So i'm eternally indebted...
After that there was a somewhat entertaining interlude between the morning coffee and meeting today's contact, which involved a roundabout walk to the studio, critiquing all the god awful design found in Birmingham city center, reflecting on some interesting drawing possibilities around Birmingham - The university clock tower, Sarehole Mill, Edgebaston Folly, Moseley Bog (areas which inspired Tolkien), some awesome sculptures and statues to draw (to help with personal stuff), and so forth.
This was quite fun, and today's weather was incredible, so no rain, no coat, and looking at Birmingham from a designer's point of view. Eventually wound up at today's studio; TVS Media/Stunn ran by Karl Baxter - Who seemed to know everything which is worth knowing about business, accounts, and how both of these relate to, and are effected by, design. As is visible from the link, he is also a bit of a photographer on the side, which was pretty interesting to see.
Stunn was more than a one man army - with 5 different people, each with a distinct role, but with overlapping skills, it was good seeing how a job is transferred between different people, and how the whole thing was organized and overseen.
Also, having a fair few people around, the dynamic and atmosphere of the studio was awesome - really light hearted, and quite fun. There was a slot open for a position on the staff, and if I had anywhere near the level of experience required, or the training, or the programmes, or well, if I suited there at all(!) I would definitely apply.
On an interesting side note; I was there to experience how not to inquire about a position. When someone rang Karl, the lead account manager, and their opening gambit was; "y'alright mate, who's the boss, what's this about a job?". Well, I was happy I was in the studio to see the response (10 minutes of bile, venom, hatred and laughter), it made me realize I may sound like a bit of an idiot when I phone people and open with; "Hello, sorry to bother, may I ask who I am speaking to/Is that Mr./Mrs. X?" But I can't be called impolite or informal.
After a lazy walk back through a sunny city center, enjoying a sandwich and afternoon of sketching under a suspiciously part-timing summer sun, I had a couple of hours back in Sheldon's company, looking at some more jobs he's working on, with this all being wrapped up with a meet and greet with the local picture framers, whom I will potentially source for framing images ready for exhibition.
Learned many things today!
- Author's corrections: How much 'overselling' you can actually do, what could be considered a good will gesture, and when companies are trying to use you.
- Always invoice immediately, and chase up any payments owed - it's your time, and your work, money makes the world go round, and if you're owed it it's worth chasing.
- Realized I need to work out how to take payments, how to invoice, etc... Might be something to question tomorrow...
- If you're asked to quote a job, it doesn't mean you're guaranteed it: So your quotes should be responsive - be easy to get in touch with, and respond as soon as is possible. It's only polite, and if you start planning a job before it's a go ahead, you could be in for a huge let down.
- There's a tonne of stuff worth researching, sourcing, photographing and drawing in Birmingham.
- Rotoscoping is an interesting route involving some painting skills, some animation skills, and it's a strange hole in the market, with avenues into film, cartooning, etc.
- The Unity game engine is an upcoming, very powerful piece of software, which supports freeware, so could be interesting in terms of marketing, and a potential client base.
- Mobile/handheld games are sweeping the market - If I can make works to suit the upcoming developers, I can make a living.
- There could be an arena for bespoke and private paintings of historical re-enactors in their gear, or of LARPers, or things like that - Photograph, paint, sell to clients/the group as a whole.
- I really need a dSLR.
- I could do with an A3 flatbed scanner.
The coffee sketch of today - changed Starbucks, so less time drawing and more time travelling.
However managed to make up for that by doing a full sketch at dinner.
More forest guardian folk, could do with getting my arse down to a forest/wood and drawing some actual trees.
Also; spent my dinner buying some air drying modelling clay and brown sketchbooks - so am fully prepped (including my desktop tripod) to model, light, shoot and then record chiaroscuro style any sketched ideas ready for the final paint!