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Production Process: Art Direction

Lesson 19 from: Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Dina Rodriguez

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Lesson Info

19. Production Process: Art Direction

Lesson Info

Production Process: Art Direction

We went ahead and we're talking about, okay, we're documenting, alright, let's go to step one. This is what my art direction looks like. Why would I go ahead and show you thumbnails and concepts before I even know what you want? Because, notice we've talked about the scope but we haven't talked about the art direction. Sometimes, you will be working with art directors, creative directors, that will decide that for you. But, for the most part when you're starting out, you'll most likely be creating your own art direction. So how do I do that? I create a Pinterest Mood Board. That way I can show them different options of what they could have, without having to draw anything. This is really quick and allows for better communication Now, let me walk you through this. I want to show you the example of me doing a chalk mural for a place called East Side Printing. This is local, they're a print shop in Portland, Oregon they have a very vintage appeal to their shop and they're wanting to have ...

that same hand-made aesthetic to this nice graphic that would showcase all of the different services that that printing place offers and they also wanted to include a really cool version of their logo and they're puppy-friendly so they wanted me to include some dog photos of the little pugs and stuff that are running around the office. Those were the client goals, but how do I present what they need in order for it to be a successful project? I went ahead and I got all these different examples. Not only am I using other chalk samples, I'm using typography, MyFonts. That's probably one of my favorite resources for type even though I still hand-letter, I still like to get references and typography, of course, is a great reference and I'm using other people's work. When I have this art direction I actually have a meeting. I go ahead, set it up, we already sent them a schedule they know when the meeting is, we go ahead and we meet up and I share my screen using Skype, or something similar. I walk them through, "Hey! What about this do you like? What about this don't you like?" They pick out things, "What do you like about that?" "Well I like how bold it is." or "I like the serifs that are used" or "I like the color", "Okay". "What do you like about this one?" "I like this and that", you can take notes of all the different elements that they like and then you can take all those things and you can make a baby, right? You can go ahead and take "he liked that style and that color pallette and that imagery". Let me mesh that all and "Frankenstein" it into an art direction so no matter what you create it's original. And, hey, you just saved a bunch of time because it took me an hour to make this mood board, then we had a meeting and that was another hour and now I know exactly what you want. The best part is, I took notes and I can email them back "hey, here is the art direction we've selected for your project. Please reply with approved". So, before I even start I know exactly what I'm gonna make for this client and they understand the expectations of what I'm gonna make so when I do create those two concepts you're damn straight they know exactly what they're getting, there are no surprises. Nothing is worse than when you deliver something to a client and they're like "this is not at all what I wanted". (laughs) That's we're A; doing the art direction, and B; documenting our process to make sure we're staying in line with our goals, right?

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!!

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