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Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Lesson 20 of 29

Production Process: Create and Revise

Dina Rodriguez

Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Dina Rodriguez

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Lesson Info

20. Production Process: Create and Revise

Lesson Info

Production Process: Create and Revise

So, we made a design baby, we took notes for approval, what's the next step? Well, we start making some stuff, right? What I like to do, so I think it's really important to keep your goals in sight. So, that first piece of paper that I start drawing on, whether it's digital or I'm literally doing it traditionally, I will write down my goals on that piece of paper. Little bullets. "Hey, they liked it bold." "Hey, they liked the vintage appeal." "This is their audience." So that way I keep it in my eyesight. You can either put it on your paper, what I used to do was put little Post-its. If you guys are list makers, go ahead and put a little thumbtack with a list to make sure you're always keeping it at top of mind. And, taking a break at every stage to make sure you're on track. 'Cause again, we don't want to get too far. So, what's a stage look like? Well, mood board. That's a stage. Thumbnails. Rough drafts. High fidelity drafts. Color, or just in black and white. Color. Color with ful...

l details. Each of these stages, you want to make sure that you're staying on the right track. And, this is really important: when you're presenting your concepts, only show concepts that you believe in. Because if you are doing three concepts and the two are really really good and that last one you just made because you told them you'd make them three concepts, they're always going to pick the concept you do not like. Always, always, always, always. Even if you like it, even if you explain why it's so much better than the other. But they're thinking, "Why would you present something that you don't even believe in?" Then what do you say to that? You just got caught. So, if it comes down to it, if you're creating these concepts and they said three, there is nothing wrong with being like, "Hey, I've done the study and the experimentation and these are the two best options I can present, and I actually don't have a third one. I've experimented, but I don't feel confident in showing it to you. Is that okay?" Something as simple as being open. If you can't think of another one, that's not an excuse. But if you've tried tens, twenty other different concepts and they're just not working, then that makes sense. That's something a business owner can get behind. Now, if they want revisions, I think you should always include at least one round of revisions in every contract, just so they feel safe, right? Just in case you mess up, miss the ball a little bit, they want to feel a little bit more comfortable. But, if they want to go ahead and do more revisions keep in mind you're charging more for them for two reasons. I'm going to keep repeating myself. One, the more expensive the revision, the less likely the client is to make it and that's incentive for them to make sure they're communicating to you all their issues beforehand. And, a revision usually has a pretty tight turnaround. Right? When you have a production process, usually it will take you a week or two weeks to design something, but if they want a revision, they usually want to see that revision the next day, if not the next two or three days. So you have to charge a rush fee. So, we look at these two pieces, coming out pretty good. This was the final concept they ended up choosing. Now, keep in mind, this piece was nine feet by twelve feet, which is a very large piece of chalkboard. And, the chalkboard turned, and pivoted, so I did the front and the back. It was a pretty exciting project, but my client did have a few revisions. Now, he knows they're more expensive, he knows they're outside of scope, so he had no problem paying for it. And why would I have a problem with it because I got more money, right? And he was literally one of those clients, like "I want it the way I want it, and I want to see options." And I'm like, okay, as long as I agree with those options and those art directions, totally, I'll make as many revisions as you want. 'Cause understand, that's going to delay our delivery process. Now that's another thing. Only make revisions you believe in. Don't butcher your own work. I know everyone here and everyone who has ever made anything ever has had the experience where they're working with a client and they ruin the project. "Make the logo bigger, make it bolder, add a bevel." "Put a bunch of rainbows in it." Put like the most ugly stock photography ever, right? Ugh! It just drives me insane. So don't give them the option. And it's okay. That's something you can put in your contracts. I'm only going to make revisions that I believe in, that follow and are in line with our art direction. And, you can even say things like, after this sketch phase, no more changes can be made. And you have to make sure that you've presented all of your goals and content to me at that point. Because how many times will you create something and the client just changes their mind? They're like, "Oh, but wait! I want to see what it looks like in this." Or, "My other friend mentioned this." That's the worst. When you have a client, they're like, "Oh, my girlfriend said this would look cool." Oh, I didn't know your girlfriend was a designer! Oh, she isn't? Well, let's leave it to the designers then, okay? And if you wanted to bring on your wife, your girlfriend, your husband, maybe you should have done that in the beginning as stated in our contract. Now, if someone does go against the expectations listed out in said contract, try not to be that guy. Like, "Well, in the contract that you signed, you said this." Always try to explain yourself. And then, as a last resort, you should mention that contract. Because, more than anything, you don't want to be making contracts that can protect you in a court of law, 'cause you hope it never gets to that point, right? You want to be able to have a contract so people understand what they're getting and what the expectations are. And if they read it, and if it was easy to read, then any new things about revisions or concepts they should already understand, right? And, by the way, I wanted to give you guys a quick tip: when you guys are doing your proposals, I use something called Bidsketch. Now keep in mind I use all these apps, but don't worry, it's not like I'm spending more money than I'm making. This is an expense of my business, and I charge for my expenses for my clients. So even though I'm using all these different kinds of apps, I'm still making more money because I have more overhead. So, Bidsketch is really cool because when someone looks at that proposal or if they sign it, you get a little notification. So that kind of gives you an inclination that hey, this client's having some questions, maybe I should reach out and see if they need help. Right? These are all these little things so we can make our clients feel more taken care of.

Class Description

Do you have a passion for drawing and dream of turning it into your next full-time gig? Hand lettering artist and commercial illustrator Dina Rodriguez will show you how to create a career doing what you love. Dina shares lessons learned from her path to becoming a successful freelance artist–so you can grow your business without wasting your time or resources trying to get there.

In this class, Dina covers: 
  • Honing your craft through passion projects and social media 
  • How to attract clients through your online presence 
  • Three ways to make money for your business: Commercial Work , Commissions, and Products 
  • Creating a process that will get you the job every time 
  • How to charge what you're worth
She’ll provide detailed strategies, new ways to repurpose your work, and talk about planning for the future. After this class, you’ll know how to create a successful career and skip all that nasty trial-and-error.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Make Things Make Money Keynote

Make Things Money Money Resource Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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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!!