business project

Anyone who knows me could tell you I’m no kind of artist. However, as a professional project manager, I frequently work with artists, and one of the most frequent challenges we end up dealing with is lost work due to technical issues, unforeseen circumstances, or just plain carelessness. I’ve seen projects that have lost dozens, in some cases literally hundreds of hours due to lost or damaged artwork needing to be redone - which isn’t great news for either a budget or a timeline!

Of course, this is an even bigger issue for artists who are working solo, since you typically won’t have anything to fall back on when things go south. Lost or damaged art may set back a big project’s timeline, but when you’re working for yourself, it can be an absolute show-stopper; most solo projects that suffer significant lost work never recover at all. So here’s a basic disaster mitigation and recovery plan that anybody with a working computer can set up:

1. Sign up for a Google account if you don’t already have one. The free version gets you 15GB of storage, which should be more than enough for your current projects unless you’re working with ungodly huge files; if you are, the 100GB version is only like twenty bucks a year.

2. Download and install the Google Drive sync client - I believe they’re calling it “Drive Everywhere” these days.

3. Set up a special folder on your hard drive that you’re going to keep all of your working files in, and point the sync client at that folder.

4. Configure your art program to autosave every 20 minutes or so. How exactly you do this will vary depending on the program you’re using - you can Google for instructions easily enough.

Blam. Now you have continuously updated offsite backups; hard drive crashes, lost media, or even - heaven forfend - stolen equipment will no longer wipe out your work in progress.

Plus, go into the web console for your Google Drive and right-click a file. See that menu option that says “Manage Versions”? That’s right: Google Drive keeps separate copies of every individual version of the file that’s ever existed (or for the past 30 days, if you’re using the free version). Unwittingly saved over your lineart two hours ago? Working file irrecoverably corrupted because your questionably legal copy of Photoshop barfed? No problem: just walk backwards through your version history until you find a version that’s still good.

Now, this is by no stretch of the imagination a particularly robust offsite backup and version management scheme - I’d certainly recommend additional measures for anyone who’s doing digital art as their regular paying gig - but it’s better than nothing, and it has the benefits that a. it requires no particular expertise to set up, and b. it’s free.

HOW ABOUT THAT EPISODE 66 YO

I’ve been pretty busy lately so here’s a vent Taako I drew a few months ago that I never posted~ Back when the boys’ adventures were a lot less…heartbreaking…

Something I’ve run into quite a lot while doing the whole “project manager” thing is artist who are openly hostile to the idea of engaging with the “business side” of what they do. There’s this broad perception that that business side of art means advertising and merchandising and selling out, and while it certainly can mean that, a lot of it is much more basic - and it’s stuff that’s absolutely not optional if art is anything beyond a personal fun-time hobby for you.

Stuff like:

1. Having reality-based metrics for time and resource commitment - or, in plain English, making sure that what you’re charging for your commissions is actually based on how hard they are to do.

It’s downright shocking how rare this is. I’ve encountered digital artists who routinely charge less for a spec that takes them much longer to do based on purely abstract notions of how “complex” the piece is, without reference to their actual, demonstrable time commitment. Heck, I’ve run into a traditional artist who ended up making nickles per hour for a major commission because she hadn’t correctly tallied up the cost of the art supplies expended in producing it!

The only way to arrive at appropriate metrics is based on evidence; your off-the-cuff estimates will always, always be wrong. Literally time yourself as you work on pieces of various types, and write down how long it took you. And never assume that it will be quicker next time; that’s called the planning fallacy, and it will eat you alive if you let it.

2. Having a lifecycle management plan for the tools you need to work.

Tablets don’t last forever. Neither do computers. Even software can become so outdated and incompatible as to lose utility over time. Basically, your tools have a finite lifespan, and you need to have a plan for replacing them as needed.

I understand that many independent artists don’t have the means to save up for new and replacement tools, and rely on second-hand hardware, gifts from friends and family, or donation drives on their blogs to fill the gap. That’s fine - artists relying on patronage has a long and distinguished history. The important thing is that these avenues be part of a plan, not a desperate scramble after some 100% foreseeable circumstance has rendered you unable to work.

Data on average time-to-failure for your hardware is readily accessible online; if, for example, that particular brand of tablet tends to last about three years, then you need to start organising your donation drive or dropping hints for your birthday at two years and six months, even if your equipment seems perfectly fine. The same goes for software; the vendor’s support window (i.e., the time after which they’ll stop publishing bugfixes and security updates) for your version of the software is a known factor.

3.  Having a formal requirements-gathering and signoff procedure.

I know that sounds like a lot of boring paperwork, and to be honest it kind of is, but it’s also critical for anything you’re not drawing for yourself. Language is an imprecise medium; based on a few minutes of casual conversation, you can easily end up in situations where you and your commissioner have totally different understandings of what the job entails, yet you’re both convinced you’ve understood the other perfectly.

You should have a detailed written description of what’s involved, and your client’s explicit, documented confirmation that they’ve read, understood and agreed to it, before you draw a single stroke. This includes timelines and deliverables as well as content; I’ve run into numerous cases of clients who’ve alleged non-delivery of services based on their understanding that they’d be receiving a traditional, ink-and-paper piece where the artist understood the commission to involve only digital work, and more than one case where a client started hollering about breach of contract less than 24 hours after signing off because they honestly thought it would be done already.

You have to nip that in the bud; this level of documentation is a bare minimum for anyone who takes money to do art, not a nice-to-have.

we’ve always taken shelter in our unhelpable pride

I have seen way too many really promising creative teams crash and burn because not only are none of them interested in doing project management or public relations, they actively resent the implication that these things might be necessary in the first place. Like, planning and communication aren’t optional, folks. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it; if you don’t have somebody on your team who’s willing to a. set deadlines and hassle people about making them, and b. talk to your audience like they’re actual human beings, you’re probably not going to make it!

6

These are the moments of newfound hope, extreme joy, intense passion, wishful thinking, and in some cases, unthinkable letdown.    - T. S.

for @stileslydiah , from your positivity partner and your ts anon

Project management tips #137: if you’re running a Kickstarter or other crowdfunded project with physical rewards, don’t forget to account for the cost of the packing material as well as the cost of the shipping when pricing your physical reward tiers. Seriously - I’ve seen successful crowdfunded projects go broke because they forgot that boxes and bubble wrap cost money.

10

If you remembered me going on short breaks near the end of June and start of July, saying I was doing some big project, then hint hint (I have been translating a whole loooooot lol( ´_ゝ`)

Hopefully, the QC will be done soon~

Some more preview (x)

2

30/08/17 (August 30th, 2017)

  • My stationery haul from Muji and Walmart
  • Been forever since my last post (I’m gonna try to post more regularly)👊🏼
  • My summer breaks been busy with personal projects and studies

[Listening to: Surrender by IAMX]

anonymous asked:

ITS BEEN TWO DAYS SINCE A NEW POST, PLEASE DONT TELL ME YOUR WIFI IS BAD AGAIN

it’s kinda that;

but mostly, just busy with group project and such