How-To: Pricing Your Design Service

Hi! My name is Dallas … I’ve noticed quite a few people asking how to price their services. For many freelancers just starting out, it’s a HUGE question. They see these well experienced designers charging hundreds per hour … thousands for logo and branding projects. On the flip side, they see people willing to do large design projects for only a few dollars. Experienced designers know what their time is worth, and have much higher costs than someone with a laptop on the kitchen table, and in some areas of the world you can live on only a few hundred a month.

Deciding what your time is worth can be difficult, especially when just starting and with no information to go off of … however, much easier numbers to find are published by the bureau of labor statistics, census.gov and things of that nature. Average income for designers was something like $60,000 I think last I looked but, just starting out … or in higher or lower than average economic areas, how do you judge what you can, or should charge for your design service? We’ll dive into that in this guide. To follow along download the sheet from https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14ZI5xl07SGNYHkbCvxSlzoOHjimA_-rmwPKqkQWmQHo/edit?usp=sharing

First, what should you make? This is more of a general question and can vary widely based on your location and experience. I’m located in nowhere Utah and though, I’m educated and have a significant amount of experience but, my business is new … Federal Poverty Line for 2017 in a 5 person household for 2017 is $28,780 … We’re going with that because it’s the most ambiguous, yet accurate number I can get and because I believe that anyone that is working full-time should be at or above federal poverty level.

annual income and hours
Edit your annual income and hours as needed

Next, we need to figure out how many hours that you’re working. In the US a regular workweek is 40 hours but, the real question is … how many of those are “billable” hours … in my instance, I check work related emails for around … 20 minutes per day, and then check my bookkeeping on Friday’s … I try to get a new blog post up every week or so and on the 23 of the month I spend an extra maybe 30 minutes pulling funds from different accounts to pay bills. The reason why this is important, is because even though you aren’t billing those hours, you are working … and it needs to be subtracted from your billable hours so that you can arrive at a decent cost per hour.

fixed expense
Edit your expenses as needed, these are rough guesstimates of mine

I’ve broken fixed cost into monthly and annually. These numbers can be a bit deceiving actually because, if we don’t meet our fixed costs we aren’t making anything at all however, accounting for them in our bid per billable hour is the easiest way for me to break the cost down and spread it over clients throughout the year. Otherwise, you’d just charge your first client in January the $3,000 of your fixed cost, and enjoy profits all year. You can see on the sheet, I’ve got some subscription costs, I kick out some money to Adobe and Lynda, then I’m just guessing $20 on some pencils, paper … that’s probably more like $10 but, whatever. Marketing, I’ve been trying the Facebook ads, they have some very affordable options for about a buck a day. Every year I buy some camera equipment, I have some computer upgrades, you can only run on a hard drive for a few years before it starts to get scary. You’ve got to account for backup equipment too. This stuff adds up quite quickly. Now, add up all of our fixed cost, and divide that by the annual working hours. Which gives us a “Machine Cost” of $1.93 per hour

variable expense
Edit your variable cost as needed, mine are very low.

On to my lowest cost but, I’ve talked to people in Texas with power bills in the thousands. You might need to do either, some hard core math, or some pretty decent guesswork here. My power is $0.05 until I hit so many kwh, and $0.08 after that per month … but, my computer tower alone uses 800 watts, and each monitor uses a couple hundred. I also have photography bulbs that burn 100 watts each while on, and charging camera batteries and such? My guess was just to go at the 8 cents per hour … it seems pretty negligible but, that stuff adds up quite a bit after the years, and should be included … Some people even get 10 cent raises and get excited.

Project expense … I’m going to pretend that I’m printing a $40 business card project $10 shipping. Business cards don’t generally take long but, sometimes I can get a bit fussy with layout, kerning, color and things. So, between taking the order, sending it in and everything I’m going to say 3 hours.

project expense
Add on your specific project expense

Notice the numbers to the right. The first one, Break-Even, is what you need to get before you make any money, this is the amount that is going to pay the costs of ordering the cards, paying your 3 hours of electricity and the contributed fixed expense. Billable project income is what we make given our target income of $28,780 divided by our billable hours.

target based bid
This gives you your target based bid, this is what you need, this is the number that you need to achieve your income.

This gives us a target based bid of $102.15. This gives us the amount that we need to charge for the job to achieve our target income, assuming we can fill all of our “Billable Hours” with paying work.

Now, I often see people talking about Value Based Bid, and I’m actually going to entirely avoid that. If we’re “Value Based Bidding” for a mom and pop antique store who is making little to nothing, you’re adding value but, it’s not going to matter much. If it were truly value based, you’d be paid $10.

What I will talk about however, is a what I’m calling a “Value Added Bid” now, this might seem odd at first but, hear me out. If you’re designing a business card for Nike, or some huge organization, spending 3 hours of time and only $40, you aren’t going to charge the $102.15 … Well, that’s what you need to hit your revenue target, right? However, Nike brings in millions of revenue per year. This is an area where you’ve been sought out for your expertise from a business whose pocketbook deserves high quality work at a premium price tag, so you add monetary value on to the project.

value added bid
Value Added Bid

This might be an area where you’d want to look at some prior income statements to arrive at a number. Nike had revenue of $32,376,000,000 dollars in 2016. Did a business card generate these numbers? Probably not, but, I’d be willing to guess that business cards do play a role in helping generate those revenues. Let’s add some value to that, I’m going to say that maybe … $100,000 of their billions is contributed to by business cards. Now the question, how much should you gain from that? Well, firstly I wouldn’t only be spending $50 on this card anyway, I’d be getting the best beautifullest card I could find but, 10%. My guess is that they’d take this bid of $10,102.15. If they didn’t they’d either counter offer or you’d be negotiating in some way. You’ve got numbers now, you know exactly what you need to break-even, you know what you need to generate as your own income. Rather than guessing and throwing numbers at clients, you should be able to more informatively negotiate your value, cost and price. Good Luck!

As always; like, share and subscribe via e-mail or any of the social media buttons above. Have a wonderful week!

Fiverr; The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Yes, I’m on Fiverr … No, I’m not doing your $5 logo

I just got an invitation to “Share My Success Story” on Fiverr … I can’t entirely say that it’s a success story but, I have made some money and found some clients through Fiverr that are irreplaceable.

I set up an account on Fiverr a year and a half ago now, I hadn’t seen any work for a while and was getting very discouraged but, I set up a few gigs and … waited … It took I think 3 months to even get an order, and within a week or so afterward I started getting an order a day and it became a fairly regular source of income. Which, when just starting freelancing, it was impossible to even break even some months.

I’m not designing logos, in fact I’m not designing on Fiverr at all. I can not afford to design anything effectively for $5 or even $10 (the prices most Fiverr users have become accustomed to) but, there are many things, that some people can’t do themselves. Like re-sizing images and things … basically, anything I could think of that takes less than 15 minutes between downloading, working, and uploading. So yes, quick work, and work that doesn’t require ongoing relationship or direct knowledge of the business though, the work does lend itself to relationships and such.

It was fantastic, things were going swimmingly, I had at least some sort of consistent work daily. It was pleasing to be working when there was no work. The troubles started a few months in, and I really started to see the system as … what it is … Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly … of Fiverr.com

The Good

customers

The range of buyers is fantastic. I’ve worked with all sorts of people working on app development projects to all the way to print projects … odd sorts of things like coloring hundreds of silver jewelry gold for what I’m guessing was his drop shipping business, helping him expand his offerings (and probably earnings). People from all over the world working on all sorts if things. It’s pretty neat really.

Website

The website is pretty straightforward, at the base it’s like … a reverse job posting, you put in something that you’re willing to do, and people hopefully search for your service and buy it. The site has a forum style chat interface, where you can review messages from clients in basically a chronological fashion.

forum and podcast

The actual forum, is for the most part a friendly and helpful atmosphere. Obviously, there will be trolls everywhere but, for the most part the forum is clean.

easy money

This seems silly, easy money … but, how much time and money do you spend LOOKING for new clients, like … probably a few hours a week or more when it’s slow, when you have a steady stream of small projects, you wake up some days and are already at a gross revenue of $20, during a time that you’d normally just be sipping coffee and checking emails.

easy payment

Incredibly simple, you just put in your bank or Paypal information, and you’re set. The third party direct deposit thing does take an extra buck per transfer but, that’s a pretty minimal fee compared to some.

variety of projects

I don’t know about you guys but, I get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. If you’ve got a couple different gigs, you’ve got some variety … you can be getting new different projects all the time.

Promotion

Spending on advertising and spamming your website and things is basically done for you on Fiverr. They’re actively posting a variety of advertisements and services pretty much 24/7.

 

The Bad

Now that we’ve gotten the good out of the way. Let’s move on to some … unfavorable bits.

Buyers

Yes, buyers are a good and a bad thing. Like anything public there are some bad seeds. These buyers are after the absolute best quality product for the absolute least price, and will screw your Fiverr seller experience if they don’t get it. We’ll get in to some details a bit later so … Let’s keep going.

 

20%

Fiverr takes 20% of EVERYTHING, in fact there have been times that I’ve flat out moved a project off of Fiverr. Which does break the TOS but, when you start talking hundreds of dollars and thousands of images, there are just better ways to work than a slow clunky forum with limited uploads and such, so not only does the bid increase but, the pain and time factor increase at least 10% on large projects. More on the pain and time factor later.

limited control of orders

This seems odd, since I just talked about the awesome variety but, when people are just browsing around clicking on Buy Now, you’re likely to get someone who doesn’t know what the hell it is that you’re even offering. Guess what, then you’re left to mutual cancellation, and that affects your search ranking and your percentage of completed orders. So you lose. More on this in a bit.

 

Hold on Funds

I’m not sure that you guys have researched the time value of money, or if you guys have bills that need paid but, sometimes getting paid yesterday would have been great. Fiverr takes two weeks to clear EVERY order. By the way, most businesses consider credit cards EASIER and FASTER to process than cash so … as silly as a few pennies might be, you’re getting screwed out of whatever your highest interest account is for two weeks, if that’s the late fee on your electric bill. That might be a lot.

Over-saturated Market

As with any online service, there are literally hundreds of people on Fiverr that will do pretty much anything for the $4 bucks. The “designers” still get me, like the last logo I designed took two weeks, I underbid and LOST money. Yet someone is willing to pair a font and a stock photo (which could end in a lawsuit for said company) for only a fraction of my last bid.

monopolization of featured sellers

Now this one … sucks … though it seems to be getting better. Getting that first page is not going to happen for a new seller. The people that get the first page have been doing a bit of something under the desk for quite a long time, maybe since Fiverr’s inception.

 

mobile app

The mobile app sucks. It’s hard to find buttons that you need, sometimes if the keyboard is up you have to tap around the screen to figure out how to send a message, and the stupid thing will ask you to leave a review EVERY TIME YOU USE IT for all of eternity.

Buyer Bias

There’s a strong buyer bias, in the words of the orange guy, hugely biased. Even on a mutual cancellations, say the buyer purchased the wrong thing or a service that you don’t provide, the seller gets penalized, not the buyer.

The Ugly

Now, let’s explore the truly ugly side of Fiverr.

Black hat

There are literally TONS of these per day, and I’ve reported a few with decent success but, I’m only one man. People will request and people will provide service INCLUDING: Breaking IP laws, removing watermarks, stealing other people’s work… etc; And forging documents. One request a few weeks ago even had some bit about replacing text in a legal marriage document. Like, who the hell does this and feels good about themselves? This isn’t really even Fiverr related but, more the bottom of the barrel community that it’s found itself in. This is a people problem. people that are after a quick cheap buck, and people that are after quick cheap service, both aren’t above lying and stealing to get it.

Cancellations, Review Structure, on demand marketplace

This is how I lost a few hundred a month revenue from Fiverr, and why I don’t offer any subjective type service. One bad review doesn’t only mean that you have a loss in the review percentage on your profile, they also throttle down your traffic, and show you behind other similar services.

When I first started I’d browse the buyer requests section. Sending out bids on things that I’d do. One day I happened on this woman’s pregnancy announcement photo, it was poorly framed, de-saturated and cold, there were branches poking out everywhere … it was by an actually rather enticing creek, and though the photo was shot on full auto, she did have the raw. So I took the photo and for a $10 bid, I probably spent 2 hours on it, cleaned up the branches, warmed it up, cropped it for better framing … when I sent it to her I said that I’d spent more time than intended, and i’d worked entirely non-destructively so we could reverse whatever.

She didn’t like it, no real descriptive reason, so I dropped the saturation a bit and slid the light balance back a bit … Next day she finalized the order, and gave me a negative review. I asked her if I could refund the job, which even with the cancellation is significantly better than the negative review, and she declined. Dropping my monthly revenues by a few hundred per month. Truth be told, she probably ended up using the photo anyway.

In fact, there have been a couple orders where it’s been completed exactly to specifications, and the client will say that they think they’ve ordered the wrong thing and request the refund … On Fiverr, you’re screwed if you don’t, the negative reviews will honestly murder your ratings and traffic. For the small job, yeah way better to take the small loss than to suffer the big loss anyway. That’s why I won’t do big jobs on Fiverr.

Communication issues

Fiverr, is basically a backward job posting board, you post your gig, and wait for someone to buy. You have ZERO control of how they buy, or if they’re even looking for your service really. Let’s move on to the real communication issue, the only way to communicate with your client is by text and upload. ANY contact outside of Fiverr is against TOS, and I’ve been yelled at about it in the past. Asking someone to call you via Skype to sort out a project, Against TOS, Hangouts, Against TOS, better project management and communication platforms, against TOS, EVEN E-MAILS, against TOS. So, they’re taking 20% of all of your sales, for a forum. On the project that I did get in trouble for this on, we’d already even sorted out that payment through Fiverr would work with the clients budget, WITH the 20% increase but, I needed to have some instant contact and feedback from the client to work through the project for a minute. We ended up moving off of Fiverr after we got the big scary message and the entire thing went great, so their big scary message and their communication issues actually cost them probably $400 last year alone.

The End

All of these things, and I’m still on Fiverr … Again, I will not design your logo on Fiverr, and I will not do ANY subjective service through Fiverr but, I will do your small project, your simple crops and whatnot … anything bulk that I can automate I’ll even just charge the hours for setting up automation plus machine hours … If you’re after Logo Design, Stationary Design, Magazines or even Web Design. Contact me here.

Quick guide to your first website

multiple devices showing generic web site

I often get asked what is needed to make a new website and it seems like every time I start rambling on with a list of things and prices. For someone who’s never done a website it probably seems a bit daunting really, just having 300 words thrown at them that don’t really make any sense. So, today I while responding to a friend’s request for information, I thought that I might as well just create a handy post for everyone.

Domain

This is the address to the site. Or rather it’s a reference that then points to a location on a server. Without one you’d have to type in some vague IP address every time you wanted to visit a site. (anywhere from $3.99 – $40/yr)

Hosting

The hosting includes two parts, ideally both would live on the same server but, this isn’t always the case. First is the the files just like your own computer, second is a database where almost everything that contains text should be stored. This allows someone to make edits to menus and pages without having to know how to write code and dive into the under-workings of the site. ($4.99/mo – $10/mo)

SSL

Anytime you’re dealing with people’s private information you should have an SSL certificate. Specifically, if you’re taking credit cards online you MUST have one. The way around this is to send a user off site to pay, I send them to PayPal, and then once they’ve paid they’re directed back to your site. This works well but, sometimes people are a bit put off by going off site. I’d rather pay with PayPal than use someone’s on site thing. ($70/yr)

Platform

This isn’t really necessary. You can have a static html page or even hand code something to do what you need. But, there are quite a few great platforms for completing large projects quickly. The most popular is WordPress, which now powers 30% of websites, it’s easy to setup and manage as well. You simply download it from WordPress.org, create a database, upload the files, navigate to the site and it’s like, 1 click later and you’re up and running. Then you track down a theme or create your own, track down some plugins, and start putting pages and posts together and hope for traffic. The second most popular platform is probably Joomla. Both have their strengths and weaknesses and have large developer communities and plugin/theme repositories. Personally, I like WordPress more. (Mostly free)

Now, that probably seems like a lot to digest but, the good news is many hosting companies provide great support and some even have one click installers that can have a site up in under an hour. Now, the only thing holding you back is getting started. Go pick your new domain name, and build something awesome!

Current Reads, Resources and Inspiration

Current Reads, Resources and Inspiration

 

I was asked via Facebook for suggestions on reading and listening material. As I started collecting links and things I realized that I should probably make a new post about it.

First off, I really like this weekly series by John McWade. It’s not software specific. He covers layout, typography, color and walks through building something new every week. If you enjoy this one, he has many other courses available that are equally fantastic.
Graphic Design Tips and Tricks – John McWade
https://www.lynda.com/Color-tutorials/Graphic-Design-Tips-Tricks/365959-2.html

This is more of a personal one, I started watching this during my winter slump and the little tidbits of happiness and time management. This weekly series has benefited my personal happiness, and that of my family.
Happiness Tips – Chris Croft
https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Happiness-Tips/426767-2.html

Especially for you web designers/developers, anything from Morten Rand-Hendriksen is fantastic.
Morten Rand-Hendriksen
https://www.lynda.com/Morten-Rand-Hendriksen/725535-1.html

This course is more about branding and self promotion for your design business. Sean is very insightful and gives tips for getting and maintaining clients, getting published and staying relevant.
Running a Design Business – Sean Adams
https://www.lynda.com/Design-Business-tutorials/Running-Design-Business-Self-Promotion/432563-2.html

Another weekly series, I listen to web career clinic every week where Lauren interviews a new designers.
Web Career Clinic – Lauren Bacon
https://www.lynda.com/Web-Design-tutorials/Web-Career-Clinic/432037-2.html

I just started listening to this but, I caught up with all of them within the first day (I think we’re only on 6 weeks or something). They just kind of talk about a different design challenge every week.
The Honest Designer – Ian Barnard, Lisa Glanz and Dustin Lee
https://www.designcuts.com/tutorials/honest-designers-podcast-ep-1-developing-your-style/

Creative Workshop – David Sherwin
Creative Workshop – David Sherwin

To be honest, I only did one exercise out of either of these exercise books. They’re time consuming but, fantastic I’d imagine if you’ve got nothing to work on or need pieces for a portfolio or stuff for a blog post.

Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers – Crawford & Doman Bruck, Graphic Artists Guild
Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers – Crawford & Doman Bruck, Graphic Artists Guild

An absolute must have, anytime you’re in need of a form open this book and find an example of a form already being used. It includes a disk with all of them on it if you’re in a hurry but, personally I just build my own version of what I need.

Print Magazine http://www.printmag.com/
Print Magazine

I just like these, they’re full of inspiration and entertainment.

 

How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul – Adrian Shaughnessy
How to be a graphic designer without losing your soul – Adrian Shaughnessy

This book is fantastic, Debbie interviews a handful of fantastic successful designers and helps put some of the issues that we all face into perspective. A must read if you’re going through a slump or something.

 

Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidlines – Graphic Artists Guild
Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidlines – Graphic Artists Guild

This is a resource, it’s full of information. I doubt I’ll ever read it cover to cover, and I don’t think it’s meant to be but, for any new designer pick up this book. It’ll prove invaluable as you start facing new challenges.

The Graphic Design Exercise Book – Carolynn Knight & Jessica Glaser
The Graphic Design Exercise Book – Carolynn Knight & Jessica Glaser

Another exercise book. Maybe I’m just terrible at them or something. I’ve only worked through one of these exercises as well. However, if you’re just starting out, or just want to make things. I’d imagine this is a great resource.

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Guest Post – Thomas James Kozik

This week we’re featuring Thomas James Kozic of Kozik Photography. You can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kozikphotography/

Dallas
How long have you been a designer/photographer/illustrator/artist, what got you started?
Thomas
I have been doing photography seriously for about four years now. Although I have been doing it on and off for a long time before that. I suppose everybody has one way or another, simply using a parents camera. That was what got me interested in photography. The wonder of being able to capture a moment infinitely in time. In high school I had an art teacher whom inspired me to pursue the arts further. Initially I thought of nursing as my end goal. Yet in nursing I found I was experiencing to much death and pain. I loved being there to help someone but I wanted to create life. Art I have found is one way to breathe life into something cold and plain.
kozikphotography#dogsofinstagram #utahphotography #photography #animalphotography #bwphotography
kozikphotography#dogsofinstagram #utahphotography #photography #animalphotography #bwphotography
Dallas
What was your first creative memory?
Thomas
My first creative memory in regard to photography was with my Grandmother. She was showing me old photos she had. I suddenly found myself thinking of how I could make the image look better.
Dallas
Do you have any hobbies? What do you do when not working?
Thomas
Photography is my hobby and what I hope to make a full time job; I suppose in that aspect I was blessed. Although I do enjoy: reading, games, and spending time with my family (pets included).
kozikphotography#abandoned #abandonedplaces #travelphotography #beautiful #urbandecay #california #zzyzxroad
kozikphotography#abandoned #abandonedplaces #travelphotography #beautiful #urbandecay #california #zzyzxroad
Dallas
What do you wish you would have known earlier in your career that you know now?
Thomas
I wish I would have known and appreciated more the difficulty of going into the business. Since it seems everyone and their dog want’s to be a photographer.
Dallas
What is your approach to design/photography/illustration/artistry?
Thomas
My approach is to help others see how I see them. Some people say it is my jaded view of things, but I like to these best in everybody. I look for the aspect that makes someone truly beautiful, Through my photography I hope to capture and share it.
kozikphotographyHad an awesome time getting to watch Hailey Knox she is an amazing singer songwriter with some beautiful vocals! #haileyknox #bwphotography #portraiture #bwportrait #clearlinklounge #musician #risingstar #guitarist #singer
kozikphotographyHad an awesome time getting to watch Hailey Knox she is an amazing singer songwriter with some beautiful vocals! #haileyknox #bwphotography #portraiture #bwportrait #clearlinklounge #musician #risingstar #guitarist #singer
Dallas
How would you describe your work and influences?
Thomas
My work is personal to the client; I will do different techniques for every client. This can vary in setting from a city to a hill filled with shrubs. I am inspired three major people: Sebastio Salgado, Vivian Maer, and Dorthea Lange.

If you’d like to be contribute a guest post I’d be very happy to hear from you. Please email or fill out the form here.

Guest Post – Marci Zwygart

Our guest post this week comes to us from Marci Zwygart, whom’s currently working on getting a site up (will update when available). Marci and I share a past experience of working at the local newspaper The Richfield Reaper.

Dallas
How long have you been a designer/photographer/illustrator/artist, what got you started?
Marci
I have been an artist since I was 12 years old but I have actually been an illustrator getting paid for many years. I worked at the Reaper doing ads for 2 years. At the college with Mr. Puzey at Snow College South teaching screen printing, Adobe Illustrator, and airbrushing. I also was a sub for all the classes if he was gone. I have taken so many art classes, I can’t go to school there any longer without paying for it all myself. I also have a graphic design certificate from Dixie College that I received in 1996.

I have always been creative. I used to look at a painting of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane every Sunday as a child then young adult. It was painted by Peggy Curtis, a woman in my home town. It was gorgeous. I wanted to be able to paint like she did.

I have worked at e-desk. I have taken some time off lately for health reasons but want to get back in the swing of things.

Dallas
What was your first creative memory?
Marci
My first creative memory was picking up my pencil and drawing stick figures in books…not the best place to draw.
Dallas
Do you have any hobbies? What do you do when not working?
Marci
I love to ride my horse and garden.
Dallas
What do you wish you would have known earlier in your career that you know now?
Marci
Believe that I can do anything I want to with passion and persistence!
Dallas
What is your approach to design/photography/illustration/artistry?
Marci
I see art in everything that I look at. Even in textures in walls, I see faces, design.
I love color, texture, the feel of fabric, the feel of fall leaves. I am very textile oriented but I love smells as well. I love to create the whole picture. Using not only the five senses but the sixth as well. Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and that which we know but cannot see, etc.
Dallas
How would you describe your work and influences?
Marci
Definitely my teachers, two of the best were Mr. Nelson and Mr. Puzey at the college in Richfield. It changed names so many time but you know the one I mean. SVT or Snow College Richfield as it is now known, I think. ( I am scratching my head in thought.) The world around me and my religion is a big influence too.

Thanks for visiting and learning a bit about Marci! Our next guest post comes from Thomas Kozik of Kozik Photography!

If you’d like to be contribute a guest post I’d be very happy to hear from you. Please email or fill out the form here.

I was about to write something political but

I was about to write something political but, this precious little collection of girls, is my political party of choice… These little shits marching around, bossing people around, tossing their attitudes at everyone like they have no shits to give … and the sassiest little one of all, asks every person’s name, and offers only a thank you. On the only day anymore that it’s welcomed to go to your neighbors door and ask for sugar, my little snotty shit head baby wants to know what their names are and hug them and shit.

And I’m fucking happy about it … I’ve learned more from these 4 little teachers of mine than … what? Roughly 15 years, 20 years? of school now? Have ever taught me … They’ve taught me about myself, they’ve taught me about the human condition … about how we should all live more like children do. I don’t know how in this world, any single other person’s life became less important than the next.

Life, is … mundane … it’s discouraging … it’s sometimes, terrible … but, every single day is a blessing … Not to say a blessing from god because we all know that if it does exist I don’t care for it much … but, the blessing of life.

We get to experience all of these little intricate parts of LIFE and little pieces of it’s puzzle, we’re all just piles of cells walking around that can compute and experience emotion.

We are piles of molecules … much like the ground that you’re standing or sitting on … and the air that is currently surrounding you and pressing down on you.

Monday, is a good day … as is Tuesday … Say hi to someone new. This week, I challenge you to do one single thing outside of your shell. Come back and comment, I don’t care if what. If you tried to cook spinach in sloppy joes I might try to give you a tip or so but, really try to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, meet new people, love new people. Spread some joy and happiness.

Also, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE vote on Tuesday if you haven’t. I voted for Gary, because I couldn’t really have a Hillary or Trump vote on my conscious, and he seems like a :/ fairly decent guy. Whomever you’re standing with, hit that poll or mailbox and get heard … like … Please. Please.

I want your comments below, and if that’s not enough, catch me on social media or subscribe to the newsletter (haven’t done a newsletter for quite a while but, plan to soon)

Guest Post – Meri Lowry

Our guest post this week comes to us from Meri Lowry of Meri’s art. Meri loves to draw, paint and make things that she sells through her Page.

Dallas
How long have you been a designer/photographer/illustrator/artist, what got you started?
Meri
I’ve been sketching since I was 10. Love to sketch. Just recently started painting. I like to sketch and paint . It’s fun.
Dallas
What was your first creative memory?
Meri
My first real sketch was a horse rearing up. It took my bout 4 days. I was still in high school at the time.
Dallas
Do you have any hobbies? What do you do when not working?
Meri
My hobbies: would be being outdoors.
Dallas
What do you wish you would have known earlier in your career that you know now?
Meri
My art skills. I’m still trying to get them out in the world. I’m new to the scene.
Dallas
How would you describe your work and influences?
Meri
Completely different. I took art in high school, and none in college. I live to to mash things together.


Thanks for visiting and learning a bit about Meri and Meri’s Art! Tune in next week for a post from Marci Zwygart

If you’d like to be contribute a guest post I’d be very happy to hear from you. Please email or fill out the form here.

Guest Post – Dallas Price (myself)

We’ve got a few guest post submissions but, I thought maybe I’d kick off the first week so that I could answer my own questions, and figure out formatting and whatnot before we get going on the guest submissions.

I’m hoping that we can get the guest posts to be a regular weekly highlight of another designer, their work and their passions. What makes them tick and what not. So I might be adding or modifying these questions a bit depending on what seems to get good responses and what people like reading.

Dallas
How long have you been a designer/photographer/illustrator/artist, what got you started?
Dallas
I’ve been a graphic designer for approximately 4 years but, it started before that with random little projects and things.
Dallas
What was your first creative memory?
Dallas
uhm … it’s difficult to nail down a “first” creative memory. Kids grow up expressing themselves through their little doodles and such but, I guess the first time I really got excited about art and design in general was in a high school multimedia class. We’d make all sorts of little things … from web pages to 3d rendered video clips … It was just really exciting and cool.
Dallas
Do you have any hobbies? What do you do when not working?
Dallas
I play video games mostly … which is like … the least productive thing in the world I think … and I lose myself for hours playing.
Dallas
What do you wish you would have known earlier in your career that you know now?
Dallas
That design and design work has value. Value beyond even monetary compensation. You can really make a statement … influence a person or population, with little more than type and a few colors.
Dallas
What is your approach to design/photography/illustration/artistry?
Dallas
Of course I vary a bit, as does everyone but, I’d say that most of my best work is very minimalistic. I try to communicate with nothing more than an image, and some words.
Dallas
How would you describe your work and influences?
Dallas
I could probably go on for days about this and I’ve highlighted things that I’ve read and seen here on the blog in the past but, some things always stand out … like Write the story, take out all the good lines, and see if it still works. Ernest Hemingway. Sometimes ideas start with something I’ve seen recently, or sometimes it’s something that sits on the boilerplate for days before a design starts to emerge. I just try to always be on the lookout for things … things that work as well as things that don’t.

Thanks for sitting with me for my own guest post … To me it seems a bit crazy … like Schizo or something but like I said I wasn’t sure how to start. Tune in next week for a post from Meri Lowry of Meri’s Art.

If you’d like to be contribute a guest post I’d be very happy to hear from you. Please email or fill out the form here.

15 hilarious wifi networks

eww ... the password is probably something gay ...

From creepy neighbors to downright nasty, these 15 creative wifi networks are worth a chuckle.

 

The Promised Lan ... lol
The Promised Lan … lol

 

eww ... the password is probably something gay ...
eww … the password is probably something gay …

 

lol ... yeah ... you might wanna toss your stash ...
lol … yeah … you might wanna toss your stash …

 

At least it's secured ...
At least it’s secured …

 

Where did she go?
Where did she go?

 

More creepy neighbors ... Apartments suck.
More creepy neighbors … Apartments suck.

 

Hide you kids! Hide you Wi-Fi!
Hide you kids! Hide you Wi-Fi!

 

Oh, The Offspring ... that's punny
Oh, The Offspring … that’s punny

 

Dude, they're outside ...
Dude, they’re outside …

 

What about the 32 sequels, Littlefoot?
What about the 32 sequels, Littlefoot?

 

... Well then ...
… Well then …

 

Something tells me that this dorm is rather interesting.
Something tells me that this dorm is rather interesting.

 

You wanna taco 'bout it?
You wanna taco ’bout it?

 

Yeah, you um ... might want to schedule a doctors visit.
Yeah, you um … might want to schedule a doctors visit.

 

Like a good neighbor, stay over there
Like a good neighbor, stay over there