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Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Lesson 21 of 29

Production Process: Presentation

Dina Rodriguez

Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering

Dina Rodriguez

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Lesson Info

21. Production Process: Presentation


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1 Class Introduction Duration:15:10
3 Hone Your Craft Duration:05:41
4 From Practicing to Posting Duration:06:34
6 Q&A Duration:13:36
7 Choose a Niche Duration:12:26
8 Choosing Your Demographic Duration:16:00

Lesson Info

Production Process: Presentation

We went ahead, we did a concept, they approved it. I went ahead and I did the digitalization phase. Now, for me personally, I don't get approval again. You approve the sketch, you approve the art direction, now it's time for me to do my job. I do the details. I go ahead and I make the piece digitally. And, for this, I actually went on-site and then did the chalk piece, right? Now, as the final piece of the pie, I created an entire presentation. Which was really easy to make, because I've been writing them down this whole time. So, this page is so long, I didn't even have room to show it to you all. (laughs) But, there's a lot of good stuff in here. Not only do I show you a big, beautiful picture of the main focal point of the piece, I actually have a time-lapse video. 'Cause I went ahead and I'd streamed my process on Twitch. I was using social media to promote this product, this project that I'm working on so I could get more and, since I already filmed it, it was really easy to turn ...

into a time-lapse. A little iMovie action, nothing to fancy. And then I'm actually able to explain my design decisions. Look at that big, chunky paragraph under Mood Board. That gives you an idea of the amount of content that I'm writing per phase. Nothing too crazy, just enough for me to actually show you my art direction. And because I was able to eloquently write out said art direction, to my client, that's just a copy and paste of what I emailed them. I already had the content, I already had the goals. Is this what you're creating in the bit sketch or where are you creating this and how are you presenting it to the client? Okay, that's an excellent question. So, this is on my website. So what I do, when I create a presentation, so WordPress and Squarespace, I think all the major players, they have password-protected pages, right? This is a functionality of every single WordPress post. So, I went ahead and I created this piece and I used that page builder app in WordPress, it's super easy, no code was needed to make this beautiful presentation. And I'm actually creating it as I went. And so when I go ahead and I finish up my project, I don't just email them a picture. And go, hey what do you think? Because you've already approved it. Now, it's more of, here's what I made, here are the design decisions behind what I made, now pay me. There's no, do you have revisions? Are you okay with this? No questions, I've done my job. You've given me your approval. I feel confident, this is what you get. I've never, ever had a client look at this presentation and get to this point and have them be, I hate it. How would I get to that point? They approved the sketch. It's not like I just randomly changed it mid-project. I just made it better. I made it clearer. I made it have more contrast, there's more details. Obviously, than the rough sketch. So, this isn't anything new. It's not like I'm shocking them, right? And they have something they can present to their friends. So when I go ahead and I email them, I email them a link to the presentation. Hey, in order to access this presentation, go ahead, here's your password. Usually something like the client's name or something. And then I go ahead and I give them a link to the invoice. And then at the very, very, very bottom of this presentation Hey, I would love to get a review of my work. You can go to my questionnaire to fill out your review form. So, they love the presentation, they paid their final payment and I got a review. Now all I have to do is take it from password-protected to publish, and now I have a case study. So not only are we using our steps to create a better presentation that makes us look more like professionals so we can charge the big bucks. Hey, now I can already use this as a promotional tactic to get more clients. So, it's a presentation turned case study. And you can get paid and use that stuff to promote. We've got a couple questions about making iterations and critiquing it if somebody follows you on social media and they see something that they don't necessarily like. How do you differentiate between a paid revision, not paid revision, can you just review that? Okay, well I think it's a designer's job to go ahead and do all those revisions, mostly internally. Now, if you are going ahead and you're posting your work and you are able to get critiques, make sure that they're constructive critiques. 'Cause saying something sucks or looks great, isn't very helpful. But if they're like hey, that e, it doesn't, but could look like another letter. Or I can't read it, or hey, did you know that your kerning is a few pixels off? 'Cause having more eyes on your work is always helpful. That's why I like streaming on platforms like Twitch. I can't tell you how many times they've helped me come up with a better idea. And also, someone could always give you a critique, but if it's a bad one, they're like, oh, I think you should make it purple with rainbows and kisses. (laughter) Thank you so much for your input. I'm gonna pass. You can still make your own informed design decisions. But, if the client is requesting something. So we're talking about the difference between different kinds of revisions. And he's like, hey, I said I wanted this, you didn't make that. You wanna make sure that's not an excuse. Now, if it's something like, hey, I've changed my mind. That's different. 'Cause they agreed, they signed the contract. They know they can't go ahead and change their mind mid-project after they've already give you your goals. So they know they have to pay extra for that revision, because it's their fault, not yours. And I think that's the difference. Do you ask permission of like Eastside Printing Company before you publish the case study? Like whether or not they care if you do or? Yeah, so obviously, if you're signing a non-disclosure agreement, like for bigger companies sometimes, they won't even allow you to put it into your portfolio until it's live. Which could take a few months. But in my contracts I always state two things: I have the right to showcase your work in my portfolio. I also have the right to showcase that process on Twitch. And, I use my Twitch not only as a way to promote my work, but, hey, the client gets to see me working on it live. They literally get to look over my shoulder. Every client's dream and every designer's nightmare. But, I've learned how to handle it. And they're actually pretty, if you tell them, hey, you can't give me critiques while I'm working on it. Or hey, you can't change your mind. Then, you don't get those weird chats. Being like, hey, try the color purple. Or hey, can you try this word instead of that? It's like no, you already know the rules. So, it's mostly, anytime I've ever streamed something online the client's are always like, first of all, that was really cool and I like your personality, you seem fun. Let's get drinks, right? (laughter) And then also-- (laughter) Say hey, if you're in Portland let's get coffee or brunch with dogs, something like that. Bring plaid. (laughter) Sorry, comedic tangent. But, I'm able to actually, better inform, they actually, it's one thing to read a case study, it's another thing for me to present to you, live on the internet.

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.



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!!