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From Practicing to Posting

Lesson 4 from: Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Dina Rodriguez

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Lesson Info

4. From Practicing to Posting

Lesson Info

From Practicing to Posting

I started to practice, and then I transform that into posting. I think the hardest thing for people to not only practice, but also post what they're practicing is they don't have time for it. Life is always gonna get in the way of everything you do, but you have to keep in mind that we all have the same 24 hours. These people you see on social media, these idols you have in your industry, they're not better than you. It's not even that they're more experienced than you, maybe they're just better at organizing their time. But I think most of us, if we don't have time to work on our passion, you make the time for it. There's this thing called the power of 20 minutes. 20 minutes is all you need to go ahead and set up a habit for yourself. Now, none of you have an excuse to not take a break for 20 minutes. You can either wake up 20 minutes earlier, or you can take 20 minutes out of your lunch break to practice, or you can go to bed 20 minutes later. Even if you have kids, even if your sche...

dule is crazy, even if you work two jobs, you can find time for yourself to draw. Now, right now, I want everyone to pull out their phones... I mean it, pull out your phones. Mhm. And if you're not making time for yourself to make, I want you to set an alarm. I know you guys all have alarms on your phone. Put it daily, even on the weekends. And think of the time of day you can fit your 20 minutes in. Whether it's in the morning, maybe you're a night owl, it's something you could do while watching Netflix, I don't care, just make time for yourself. And set an alarm every single day so you can be reminded to make. Now, making the alarm is one thing, but following through and not hitting that ignore button when it does go off, is another. But, you're making yourself accountable. You're saying, "I'm going to make time for my business. "I'm going to make time for myself." 'Cause if you're not happy, it's really hard to make the people around you happy. Okay, now let's talk about accountability. You made you little alarm clock, but it's more than just tell yourself you're gonna do something, you have to tell the people you love, your friends, your family, maybe your social media presence, maybe you just have a personal Facebook. There's something about announcing to the world, "I'm going to make thing for a living! "I'm gonna do it, I'm not just gonna say "that I'm gonna do it, and we get drinks at the bar. "I'm not just gonna talk about it "when I see my mom on our weekly phone calls, "I'm gonna do it! And I want you to make me accountable." So, if you live with people, roommates, family, maybe try putting a list on the fridge, putting a little check mark. Did I do my 20 minutes a day? Just being able to have something like that in public will make you practice more. And, you might be thinking, "Well, 20 minutes that's not that long." But, like I said, "If you like something, "you lose time," right? So who's to says that 20 minutes can't turn in to 30 minutes or an hour, or the whole freaking day. But what's the hardest thing about doing something? Starting it. So let's fix that. Now, how can we stay consistent? 'Cause consistency is key. If you just practice Monday and Tuesday, and you never practice again that's not really gonna help you. And you also have to keep in mind, when you're posting, people are only gonna remember you in your post. It's not like Stacey's sitting in front of her Instagram like, "Oh, I hope Dina posts something today. "Oh my God, so excited." No, everyone follows usually more people than are following them, so they can't remember you. They're only gonna remember you when they see that you're actively posting. And the whole point of social media is so people notice you, and more importantly, remember you. So that way, you're creating your niche, you're creating your services, and when they think of that service they think of you. That's the whole point. Now, why do I think it's important to post things on social media? Well, it's the easiest way to build and audience, and anybody can sign up for a social media account and it's totally free, why wouldn't you use it? This day and age, you have to have a twitter sometimes even to get a job. So why would it be any different for an artist trying to land clients, right? And, another thing is you get to watch where you came from. Let's look at my stuff. Okay, this piece is garbage. This is the first piece of letting I ever did, and it was actually for a logo. Now this is why it's so important for you guys to spend this first quarter of this first phase in your life, just honing your craft and practicing. 'Cause I would've definitely done a client a disservice by turning that in as a logo. Now the client probably would've been like, "Oh that's awesome, I love it so much, it's great." But as a lettering artist now, there's a couple balance issues, you can't really read it, the kernings off, it that a T is that a J, I don't really know. There's all these mistakes with it. So this is why it's important for you to work on you craft, so you can more desirable, but more importantly more hire-able. And you can feel like you're ready, and that you can freaking rock out that project for that client, so you can get the big money at the end of it. Now, this tells a story of my evolution as a designer. So this started probably in about 2012, where I was starting to just draw. And just notice simple things, I'm just taking pictures of my sketch book, using way too many filters. And I started to design my first shirt while I was working in Portland for that first job that I got. Then I'm starting to create graphics for my blog. Okay, now I'm starting to practice my cursive. Now I'm playing with inline and outline graphics, like drop shadows and line drops. Now we're doing full on compositions, starting to feel a little bit more comfortable doing multiple words, instead of just a few. Now people are hiring me to do commissions for their wedding. Badger and Bear, that's a really cute nickname for each other. And I'm even starting to get people like InVision reaching out to me to write articles on lettering. So I'm creating feature graphics for that. And then I got a book deal with Penguin, to write a book called, The Big Awesome Book of Hand & Chalk Lettering. And this one of the projects that's featured in it. And, I'm doing lettering adventures, where you guys are learning one new style of lettering every month. You guys, when you get those things you also get an accomplishment sticker. Each of those stickers is in that style, and I got to really focus on my filigree, in my Victorian lettering, on all the kind of beautiful vintage styles that I could add to my skillset. I'm even able to use my own lettering to promote myself on things like Twitch. Being able to see the story, I don't feel ashamed of my work, even though the everlasting tan, compared to the awesomest lettering stream on Twitch... They're a little bit different, but maybe someone else can see my feed, and scroll all the way down to the bottom and feel better about themselves, that "Maybe one day I can be as good as that, "if not better."

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Make Things Make Money Keynote
Make Things Money Money Resource Guide

Ratings and Reviews


Wow! This class was fantastic! Dina did a great job at providing relevant information that I can use right away. I was particularly impressed at how she was able to explain licensing and royalties, she really broke it down into easy to understand pieces. I think this course would be a great foundation for any artist/freelancer but I liked the focus on lettering and illustration. Creative Live must convince Dina to provide more classes!

Elizabeth Matzen

This class is full of excellent information, and Dina did a great job covering everything from building a webpage to working with clients. She has a engaging delivery style, presented the information in a succinct and well-organized manner, and the pace of the course was perfect - not too slow! I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to start or boost their creative business - great info!

Sharnika Blacker

Awesome class! Inspired and excited to improve my business with the processes and knowledge gained. Thank you Dina!!

Student Work