Little Freelance Gig
For the past month, I’ve been helping my aunt with a light box menu redesign for her Mediterranean fast food shop at the Great Mall food court down in Milpitas. She needed new photos of the dishes and a more attractive design to improve her business. I’m supposedly done with all the designing, and now it’s out of my hands and off to wherever she sends them to have the designs specially printed. When it’s all done, I will post an entry about the entire process.
There have been many challenges with this little freelance gig. I’m not gonna elaborate on the details, nor will I reveal the numerous updates on my private Twitter page, but I’ve learned plenty about being a freelancer as well as a graphic designer in general. There were technical lessons like setting up my first makeshift photo studio at the back of the store (with my trusty light tent!), and then there were client-designer relationship lessons, including overcoming a slight language barrier, understanding a difference in communication medium preference (phone vs. email), and enduring a hearty dose of scope creep.
I guess I will elaborate more in the official post, but two important things I learned from this job: 1) don’t promise you can do things faster than you can actually do them, and 2) get a contract before starting any work, even if it’s a job with your family or friends.
Another thing that happened recently is that I finally received my new printer. It’s an Epson Photo R1900. It prints up to 13” in width and 44” in length, has individual color cartridges, and prints on CD/DVD’s! Those were the three main selling points for me. I’d been wanting to get a nice printer to print my portfolio pieces since the beginning of this year. I took about half a month to research decent wide-format individual-cartridge inkjet printers, including the price, reviews, ink costs, functions, etc., and then I hesitated a whole month before finally deciding that it would be a worthwhile investment in my still budding career.
My next purchases now will include backup ink cartridges and Epson photo paper.
The Beta Site
I have not given up on the beta site. I’ve just been busy with everything else. I realize that my last update was April/May, but the site will be built.
In the mean time, take some time off your work and find a way to watch season 1 of Mad Men on AMC. It’s about the advertising agency culture of the 1960s in New York. Lots of cultural references, lots of smoking everywhere, lots of drinking, lots of political incorrectness (compared to now), and lots of good writing. Check out the show’s site and watch the first episode.