Archive | May 7, 2012

The Art of Freelancing – a review with ducks!

So I thought I’d take the time to do a little review of the Art of Freelancing by Noah Bradley.
Let me begin by giving some background on Noah Bradley, for the rare occasion that you wouldn’t know who he is.
Noah Bradley is an environment concept artist & illustrator. He’s young but has already worked for an international clientele and has been accepted into the industry’s most prestigious publications. Even if you haven’t heard of Noah, chances are you have seen work he has done for Wizards of the Coast, L5R or AEG.

I first heard of Noah as part of an event on Conceptart.org, where he was described with(paraphrased):

This guy came last year to the illuxcon convention, his portfolio wasn’t really that focused but he took the criticism and came back the next year and blew us away with his updated portfolio!

Since then I have seen him around (or rather his work and his activities) on the internet. He is part of Awesomehorse Studios which do a great job of paying it forward to anyone and everyone who want to improve their skills and careers when it comes to art.

You should really check his work out, and generally, I tend to listen to any advice he gives, because he is not that many years further into his career than me, but he has attained success faster. He also seem to be a generally nice guy, which is always a plus.
That was a bit of background on the creator of the Art of Freelancing video.
So for the review-

Specs
For $57 you get

  • a 5 hour lecture on freelancing (.mp4 format in a .zip archive | 422MB).
  • Access to an extensive (and constantly updated) list of freelancing resources.
  • Subscription to an exclusive mailing list that feature FAQs and supplemental content.

Noah also gives a 100% Money-back-guarantee on this product, should we in any way be dissatisfied about the purchase.

The topics covered in the Art of Freelancing are:

  • How do I break into the industry?
  • How much should I charge?
  • What should I put in my portfolio?
  • Am I too old to start?
  • How do I deal with bad clients?
  • Do I need a contract?
  • Should I work for free?
  • How do I know if I’m ready?
  • What if my client doesn’t pay?
  • How do I start networking?
  • Should I go to art school?

The bad
Let’s cut to the bad parts first. There aren’t that many, so let’s get them over with right away.

Video
This is a double-edged sword, really. Noah has made this into a video but beyond one or two websites popping up as text on the screen, as well as headlines in white on a black background, the entire video is void of visuals. On the one hand, this is good, I can work at the same time as listening to the video. On the other hand, it feels a little like overkill to have it formatted as a video when all I really need is in the form of audio. Space could have been saved (when downloading a video it just is a larger size then a pure audio) and the information provided in text could have been provided in an added text-file, or just plain on the resource-website. Granted, sometimes it is handy to have the info of a website pop up directly on screen, it really isn’t that much of a fuzz to go to the resource-website to find the same link there.

The resource-site
This is just a personal note, and probably has to do with that I bought the video quite late, but it doesn’t seem to have been updated at all since I got my copy and access.

Mailing-list
I haven’t gotten any mails from this, though given that this is exlusive content and being a freelance artist myself I know that can be long in between more exclusive material being there.

In short, the three “complaints” I have are really minor and don’t even cause me any trouble because the rest…

…The rest, my friends, is brilliant!
Now before anything else, let me say this: This video wont get you work!
You wont buy this video, watch/listen to it and magically get art directors calling you up with your dreamjobs.

Advice
What it will do, is it will give you clear and honest advice on the things to think about, do’s and don’t’s, suggestions that can make or break your career. It is easy for me to look at the list of topics given and answer some of  them with “Yes/No” or a one-line-answer, but what Noah does goes far beyond this. He gives us reasons behind why, offers concrete examples from his own experience and he covers it all!

Young and old, new and experienced
I believe this is aimed more at the beginning freelancer, but being in the middle-of-my-career I really feel almost every topic Noah bring up are valuable to me. Talking to some of the people who also bought the video, ranging from aspiring to freelance professionals the general feeling is one of being glad they put the money down for this and that it already paid off.

Is it for me? I’m a Conceptartist/Illustrator/Designer!
Yes, Noah takes up differences between various types of freelance artists. He even gives you a heads-up for when it is going to be directed specifically towards certain types of freelancing. I listened it all through, though. It was worth it.

Is it worth it?
YES!

You should buy it as soon as you can. If you do not have the $57 to use today, save up for them! If you live in Europe, think about the fact that the dollar currently is weak in comparison to the Euro = Double gain! (Value plus less costly currently)
Generally, when buying something from abroad, keep an eye on the exchange-market, you’d be surprised how many times you can make good deals just on account of a certain currency being low in comparison to your own, even during recession-times.
You will notice Noah mentioning some key-important things to put money on in the video, you need to save up for them also. Trust me on that, I have had the same experience as Noah with that.

All-in-all review:

Content
10/10

Format
7/10

Value
10/10

 
http://www.theartoffreelancing.com/ Go there, take a look at the 30 minute free part from the 5 hour video. It was all I needed to convince me.

And if that doesn’t make you want to save up for it, here is a review by Jon Schindehette, Art Director at Wizards of the Coast -

Artorder review of the Art of Freelancing

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