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Review of the Yiynova MSP19U tablet monitor

Noah Bradley using the Yiynova MSP19U

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I love it.

Last week I purchased a Yiynova MSP19U, a 19″ pressure-sensitive tablet monitor. After the fantastic review by Frenden this tablet monitor has gotten a lot of internet attention. Wacom has utterly dominated the field, leaving little room for competitors. But there’s a new kid on the block.

The MSP19U is a worthy competitor. It’s not perfect. But it’s darn good.

Presentation

It’s not the greatest presentation. If you’re looking for a slick, Apple-like packaging… look elsewhere. All you’ll get here is simple instructions with more Engrish than you can shake a stick at.

Hardware

The device itself is great. It’s sturdy, well-constructed and has a nice screen on it. It’s more lightweight and portable than any Cintiq I’ve used. I was quite comfortable sitting on my bed with this thing in my lap. I’m pretty sure a Cintiq would have crushed my pelvis.

I like the colors better than any Cintiq I’ve used. I’ve found Cintiqs to have unusually dull colors (even when calibrated). The MSP19U is bright and vibrant. It leans a bit cool in color (and a tad light) out of the box, but nothing a little calibration can’t fix.

The surface is glassy smooth. Personally, I like this better than the faux-grit that a lot of current Wacom tablets have. If you really want to put some grit on the screen, you can always add a screen protector.

There are no buttons on the device. Word has it that the next generation device they’re producing will have them, but this one didn’t. I’m ok with that. I’ve never used the buttons on my Intuos and I don’t have any need to start. I prefer key commands on my keyboard—they’re faster and more reliable.

The viewing angles aren’t great. But I find when working on a tablet monitor you’re more likely to be looking directly at it than at a traditional monitor.

Software

The drivers are a bit problematic and the software interface is kinda ugly. But not a big deal. I was able to get it working quickly. And once you get it working there’s little need to touch the software again. I do wish I had more customization on the pressure-sensitivity, but I’m sure that will come as the company improves their software.

Summary

It’s not a flawless piece of hardware, but I absolutely love this thing. And I haven’t even mentioned the price: at $600, this is a steal. To get a Wacom product of similar quality, you’d be looking at 2-4x that price.

I’m not going to tell you that the Yiynova MSP19U is better than a Wacom Cintiq. But I will tell you that it’s every bit as good. If you’re in the market for a tablet monitor and prefer to not spend money for the sake of spending money, buy one of these. You won’t regret it.

Purchase a Yiynova MSP19U

4.5/5 stars

Photo courtesy of A Muse Photography

Announcing Noah’s Art Camp: 12 weeks of intensive art study

Noah's Art Camp

I’m extremely excited to announce Noah’s Art Camp, a 12 week self-directed program designed to push your artistic skills.

I get a lot of questions asking “how do I get better” or “how do I learn?” There are a lot of people with the motivation to improve that lack the knowledge of where to focus that energy. I’m designing this course to give people a path towards improvement. If you go through these exercises, I guarantee you will notice yourself improving.

So head on over to Noah’s Art Camp to find out more information and register today.

How to Learn by Teaching

Soul Stealer by Sarah Finnigan

I have had the great pleasure over the last 6 months of running my own mentorship program. I teach, guide, and attempt to motivate my students to become better artists. It has been a wonderful and enlightening experience for myself.

Teaching is often one of the best ways to learn.

By teaching others, we are forced to understand what we do. Oftentimes we do things merely out of habit or instinct. When teaching, we have to verbalize our understanding. We have to take abstract concepts and make them real.

I would encourage everyone to teach. It’s a challenge that is uniquely difficult and profoundly rewarding. Seeing a student getting better and better is an inspiring sight. So help those around you. It’s easy to dismiss teaching as exclusive to experts. Surely you have to be the best to be able to teach. But really you just have to know things that some people don’t. I created my first tutorial video when I just started working professionally. That video has helped thousands of people with their work. I wasn’t an expert, but I was able to help.

For your sake and theirs: teach others what you know. I bet you’ll find yourself learning a thing or two.

Image by Sarah Finnigan—one of my wonderful mentees. This piece was done in the mentorship last month.

My interview with Darren Yeow

Here’s the recording I did with Darren Yeow. Listen in for a couple hours of artistic wisdom. Learn about his life, his career, his art, and general thoughts on making it as a successful artist.

Brought to you by The Art of Freelancing

Start

Start working.

Convincing yourself to sit down and work is a difficult prospect. You might have other things you want to get done. You might think it’s daunting to sit down to a big task like that. You might be scared of “wasting” your time. So you end up procrastinating.

But the greatest trick you can play on yourself is to force yourself to just start. Sit down and agree to work for 10 minutes. That’s it. Anyone can do something for just 10 minutes.

I bet you’ll find yourself working for longer than 10 minutes. You’ll get into what you’re doing and lose track of time. Momentum is easy to maintain. Starting is tricky and sometimes requires some coaxing.

Start.

It’s just piracy

Piracy doesn’t bother me.

It’s quite easy to pirate any of my paid content (namely, The Art of Freelancing). And you know what? I’m not freaking out. It’s ok.

I know quite well what it’s like to be a poor college student living off of student loans. I know what it’s like to not have an income. I know what it’s like to struggle to pay for a $10 download (much less a $57 one). Because I went through that.

But even back then I forced myself to pay for the downloads and bought many of the old Massive Black videos. Even though I had never met them, guys like Jason Chan, Whit Brachna, Nox, El Coro, and Carl Dobsky became my teachers. I used my sparse cash to pay for these downloads so that I could become a better artist. And it paid off. Without those videos I would not be the artist I am today.

So if you’re really strapped for cash but are desperate to learn, feel free to pirate anything of mine. Maybe down the road when you’re better off you can buy it properly. Or maybe not. Either way it’s ok. I won’t hunt you down or sue you or anything.

I wish you the best of luck in your career. I hope I can help you in some small ways to reach your goals.

13 Apps I Use Every Day

My desk

I know I usually post about high concept stuff. But today I want to get really practical and show you a few of the tools I use every single day to make my life & work better. Maybe there’s a couple you aren’t using (yet).

  • Gmail – Gmail is the best. Period. I use the task management tool for tracking all of my tasks (I’d rather not have a dedicated app just for that). Gchat is a great way to communicate with friends & fellow artists. And Google+ hangouts are great for free video-chat/screen-sharing. Basically I would marry Gmail if I could. Lately I’ve been using Boomerang for a few power features. I’ve also set up a permanent auto-responder so I can focus more on painting and less on constantly responding to emails. Shoot me an email if you’d like to read my auto-responder: noahbradley@gmail.com
  • Google Calendar – Gcal keeps me from going insane. I seriously don’t know what I would do without it. I use it to manage all of my travels, events, and, most importantly, deadlines. I never miss a deadline thanks to this. As soon as I get an assignment I put the sketch and final deadlines on my calendar. Check it daily to make sure you’re staying on top of things. And while yes, I could do this with a physical calendar… I love being able to access it from anywhere in the world.
  • Evernote – Evernote is my universal notebook and capture tool. All of my thoughts, ideas, lists, plans, etc. go into Evernote. It makes it very simple to dump content into and then find later. I’ve also been using this for managing my commissions lately. Throw the art brief into a new note and add in all of your other discussions/revisions/references.
  • Scrivener – The best writing application I’ve ever found. If you’re writing any content of considerable length I’d give this a serious look. It can take a bit of time to get comfortable in it, but once you do the application really gets out of your way and lets you just write. Great tracking and organization tools. Using this for a secret project right now.
  • Spotify – I’ve got music playing all day. And yes, I pay for it so I don’t have to deal with ads. Worth every dime. Spotify has totally changed how I listen to music. No more downloading individual songs/albums. More listening to music.
  • Mint – Between my checking account, savings account, brokerage account, Roth IRA, several credit cards, and my Paypal account… there’s no way I feel like looking at all of those on a regular basis. Thus the reason I use Mint. All of my accounts in one easy to see place. Lots of great features in here. But great for the simple fact of seeing all of my balances at once.
  • Kayak – I travel a fair bit these days. Kayak has been wonderful for finding affordable airline tickets. Hipmunk is also good for that. There’s also a great app that can store your travel details, send you flight updates, and even have maps of all the airports (in case you need to run through an airport to make a connection).
  • Dropbox – Dropbox has saved my life on multiple occasions. I would be so screwed without it. Store all of your current, most important files in here and enjoy peace of mind (and easy access to your files no matter where you are).
  • Instapaper – I love reading articles from the web, but rarely while I’m sitting on my desktop. I’d rather lay in bed and read. Instapaper makes it easy for me to take an article and save it for later (while also stripping away all of the extra junk on the website). There are a few alternatives for this (like Readability), but I’ve always liked Instapaper.
  • Sleep Cycle – I was extremely skeptical at first, but this thing is awesome. Totally changed how I wake up in the morning. Basically it tracks your sleep patterns and can tell when you’re most awake, and then gently uses an alarm to fully wake you up. Works like a charm.
  • RescueTime – I use this both to track my work habits as well as cut myself off from the internet when I should be focused on my work. I wrote an article a while back on this program if you’d like to hear more about why it’s so awesome.
  • Mailchimp – The best tool I’ve found for maintaining mailing lists. Really easy to use, and free unless you have a ton of subscribers or regularly spam the hell out of people.
  • Photoshop CS6 – It had to be said.

Even More Testimonials from The Art of Freelancing

The outpouring of testimonials continues. After you’ve finished reading all of these first-hand experiences, be sure to check out The Art of Freelancing for yourself.

SONY DSC

I would like to formally thank Noah Bradley for creating his art of freelancing DVD it is one of the most informative and affordable resources on the internet today which explains the business aspects of being a freelance concept artist and illustrator. I have been a practicing illustrator for two years part time and since November of 2011 I have decided to take the courage to run a full-time concept art and illustration business. His video explains all the methods of marketing and also ways to make sure that your work is good enough to market. I always knew that marketing was essential but Noah Bradley explains in detail how proper marketing and targeted marketing really can make a freelance artists career successful. Since Listening to his dvd I have applied some of his techniques and my work has grown but not only this I have gained some new clients and opportunities as an illustrator and concept artist, even in my hometown Adelaide. Noah has also helped me and answered emails in a friendly and helpful manner giving me career advice and not only is his artwork fantastic but his business knowledge and marketing techniques are great tools for this challenging field. I recommend his dvd to anyone and again thank you so much Noah Bradley.

Anthony Christou

ScottPorembski_XPwarrior

Thanks to Noah’s highly informative and insightful video, I am now able to conduct myself with confidence, professionalism and most importantly, knowledge. His instruction came to me at just the right time as I was branching out into the world all on my own as a freelancer. I am certain that I would have made many mistakes and blunders if I hadn’t picked this up.

Noah’s lecture not only accelerates learning about the business side of freelancing but it is also empowering to those of us who never received this valuable learning in our formal schooling.

When you add up the video plus the awesome and inspiring community that has built around it, The Art of Freelancing has been by far the best investment I’ve made for my career.

Scott Porembski

Dribbble

Dave-Ahern

I’m probably not the best testament to the efficacy of your lecture at present as I don’t currently have the time to work freelance or apply the lessons learned as I’m busy studying full time towards a Masters in Business.

I do however believe that your lecture has provided a real and honest grounding in what one can expect when embarking on a freelance career, and will definitely help me avoid the pitfalls and common mistakes made by freelancers.

The lecture is without a doubt worth every penny.

Dave Ahern

jose-vega

Hello my name is Jose Vega and I am a professional Illustrator and concept designer. I have been following Noah Bradley for about a year now and did not really take “art” seriously till about 2 years ago. Always been in the “hobby” category for a few years back, but once I took the decision to pursue it as a career I started to look for ways to absorb and learn from people who were already inside the industry and what they were doing to keep it that way. I had already heard the preview for “The Art of freelancing” by Noah and decided to take on the initiative and see for myself what He had to offer with all his years of experience. The way it was categorize and organized it helped me separate each topic and think how I can apply it to my own situation. I could see what I was lacking, what I needed to improve and even things I did not even think about. It provided me with a great educational resource to keep myself in check and also as a source of inspiration from one of the guys I look up to in the industry. One of the things that catch up on to me quick was that the idea of actually taking a lot of your time to market yourself and expose yourself, to look at it as part of your work or job and to never cease to do it, even when you had a few projects in your hands. It also helped me a lot to be more comfortable with the idea of being a freelancer. Even thou there are ups and downs, some months you will be with a lot of projects and some months will seem to be very low on budget; it is still a very rewarding career as a freelancer.

Jose Vega

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The Art of Freelancing has been tremendously helpful in giving me the confidence I need to find, accept, and price jobs as a freelance artist. In the past, I would do designs and illustrations for next to nothing, but this lecture has taught me that my skills are indeed valuable.

I landed a design gig shortly after purchasing The Art of Freelancing and when asked for a quote I multiplied my old rate by six! It was scary, I was sure the client would simply vanish and never talk to me again, but, to my surprise, she happily accepted and we ended up having a great time working on a project that we are both very proud of now.

Thanks to The Art of Freelancing and this validating experience, I am now able to communicate professionally, price fairly, and reach for the jobs I only ever dreamed about. I am truly grateful for having purchased The Art of Freelancing when I did and am confident that any artist, freelancing or not, will find insight and inspiration in this five hour lecture.

Holly Wade

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You and Art of Freelancing have been a great inspiration and comfort during my transition from student to professional freelancer. My fiancé who is a freelance video game music composer found a surprising amount of information and tips that were relevant to him as well. There are many things that helped us a lot and I have recommended it to anyone I know who wishes to get into the industry.

Emma Grahn

Blog

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I’m a level design intern at Camouflaj. I wasn’t originally hired for concept art, but I’m beginning to contribute art support thanks to a little persistence and advise from The Art of Freelancing. No, I’m not a freelance concept artist but there’s still sound advise in Noah’s program that applies to working in-house. His insight as to what mindset artists should have was valuable for me in order to swallow some tough situations that artists inevitably run into. The accounts of his own personal experience put perspective into what I was experiencing. The Art of Freelancing serves as a good frame of reference for how an artist should think and act especially when you’re a young and naive artist just starting out. For now, I’m under NDA not to show concept work for Republique, however I’m concepting for preproduction on a short film I’m directing which you can check out!

Daniel Kim

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I’ve been an artist and around creative people my whole life. I have also been self employed for most of my life just not in art. I’ve been frustrated that I have not been able to do more professionally with my art skill. Finding practical help bringing these two together has been very exciting. There’s basically three ares that Noah’s Art of Freelancing has enlightened for me. They are the portfolio website, portfolio emphasis, and marketing.

I have had this keeping up with the Jones’ attitude about websites, if you can’t have something that does what many other sites do it’s not wrath having one. I’m also not a developer. so a good website is has been out of my grasp. Noah said screw all that, have a simple site, word press is fine, here’s a few details you want to make sure and have, go make it happen. That was within my reach.

Portfolio emphasis was also an enigma to me. I always thought showing my breadth of work was what ADs would want because it shows I can do more than just mecha. So focusing in one area, one niche market, was new to me. It has done a couple things for me as I have gotten started. It has focused my target market and I’m not overwhelmed by all the hundreds of companies I could approach. It has also given me clarity for what a painting is as I’m doing it. I’m a character concept guy so characters get treated differently than landscapes when I’m working on them.

Finally, Noah’s section on marketing was very good. I have done a bunch of things in my career and one of them has been outside sales. What he said about about making a name list is exactly what salesman do. Get good at finding art directors. Go to shows, be a networker, shake hands, say hi, be positive, exchange business cards is what sales is all about. To the degree that you can sell (your skill) is the degree that you’ll work. My artist side cringes as I say those words, I want people to find me. That is just not realistic. It’s been said you might be the best artist in the world but if no one sees your work, it does’t really matter. People seeing your work is marketing.

To finish up, Noah’s Art of Freelancing is very well organized, very well thought through and very valuable if you are getting started freelancing. I’m an artist and salesman and Noah has connected a number dots for me.

Josh Chamberlain

Blog | Twitter

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I have seen a direct influence on my life and career since investing in Art of Freelancing. Noah’s tools and resources have helped me get more out of my business, myself, and better service my clients.

It has and continues to make me more confident and decisive with how I work with clients, set boundaries, day-to-day operations, and how I present myself as a business and brand. Thanks to Art of Freelancing, I now have more clarity and balance in my life and career. My client list is growing now more than ever because of it. It gave me the tools to work smarter and more effectively.

Invest in yourself and your future. Get this and listen to it like you needed it yesterday. Because you did.

Evan Woolery

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As a freelance artist, I have realized how little I was taught in art school when it comes to the business side of things. I learned a few things along the way – at times, I learned the hard way. And I wished that my college would have prepared me more for things like contracts, promoting myself, my portfolio and strategizing my brand.

It’s all about how to be smart with your art and your business. Noah puts it all out there. He sums up all the info an art school should tell their students starting on day one.

Now, I’ve been working as a freelancer for several years, but have never really “broke out.” So when I find a gem like this that gives sound step-by-step advice I take notice. Noah’s Art of Freelancing has plenty to offer. It helped me rethink how I’m promoting myself as well as how I could improve my business. I’ve rethought how I am building my brand. And, I am one of those guys that is in more than one field (storyboards, illustrations, sculptures), so I feel like I have a lot more work to do.

Noah’s Art of Freelancing is a great investment. You should definitely check it out!

Josh Hagen

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Noah Bradley’s Art of Freelancing is a beacon of hope to artists who’re struggling to find employment in the industry of well, anything. It is 5 hours of your life that will essentially tell you how to knuckle down and become what you want to be in life.
I am a graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and I thought having a shiny BFA would just land me a job at Nickelodeon studios. But, that’s not the case, there are things I still didn’t know that I needed to do in order to get noticed.
The seminar touches up on the necessities of networking and promoting yourself and Noah outlines how to utilize social media websites to reach out and garner attention from possible fans and clientele.
My freelance business is just starting, but I’ve already made my money back from this seminar almost 10 times over.
Buy the seminar, make some art, and never work a crappy part time job ever again.

Michael Kephart

More testimonials from The Art of Freelancing

A couple months ago I put together a post of testimonials for my lecture on freelancing, The Art of Freelancing. I’ve had an overwhelming number of testimonials come in and I’m still taking the time to get them all online. Here is a second batch of wonderful testimonies:

jaanaheiska_monster_medley

Your lecture definitely gave me the courage needed to take the plunge and attend a workshop, where I got great critiques and based on the tips I got there I have managed to significantly improve my workflow. It’s was also one of the factors that drove me to take part in the yearly SomethingAwful forums game development competition as an artist. Besides the sweetness of victory I also found myself an awesome team of people to make indie games with! I’m still working on the con front, but I’m sure I’ll take that plunge too eventually, even if I have to come all the way to the US. I think the most important thing I got out of it was that no matter how uncomfortable it sometimes feels, I have to put myself – not just my work – out there for people to find. Now I’m just working on it, one step at a time.

Jaana Heiska

Corinne-Kunze_deadofwintersm

Noah Bradley’s video The Art of Freelancing is a breath of fresh air to the growing community of young concept artists and illustrators like myself. Because of Noah’s video, my frame of mind of how to begin in this business has completely changed and my determination has skyrocketed. The video is honest, practical, and genuine in an interest to help other artists reach their goals. Not only that, Noah tells all in a brilliant mindset of balance between maintaining our life happiness while furthering our careers. The lectures startled me with the genius of Noah’s business techniques and what surprised me more was that he was willing to give them away. I would and do recommend The Art of Freelancing to any creative entrepreneur, amateur or professional. My only complaint is that I didn’t buy it sooner.

Corinne Kunze

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Noah’s lecture on The Art Of Freelancing is an honest look at what the industry expects of you, as well as what it does not want of you. Although I have been a frelance artist for about 15 years now, I am always interested in learning more about the industry and growing as an artist. This lecture motivated me to self-publish a book of my work that should be out in the next month or so. I Highly Recommend The Art Of Freelancing to artist of all levels (newbies and seasoned pros). I learned tons just in the first hour alone, and I know you will as well.

Rafael Rivera

Blog

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Thanks to the Art of Freelancing by Noah Bradley, I’m much more aware of the industry, and I’m more prepared! For example, I didn’t have a professional image, everything still screamed student and amateur. I quickly fixed that by creating my own portfolio website, professional business cards and email.

Noah also prepared me to be professional on the job. I recently finished a job where I was a concept artist for Recoil, a USC Thesis Film. I had the task to design two spaceships. I directly talked to the director of the film to get the designs he wanted, so it was crucial to communicate often and meet the deadlines when I could, and when I couldn’t I would tell the director ahead of time. I’m usually the withdrawn type of person, and I’m not sure if I would have been as proactive without Noah’s guidance!

The Art of Freelancing really stressed networking, and I’m glad it did. It motivated me to create accounts on various social platforms that I haven’t used before. I’m also a lot more active on Facebook, which paid off because that is how I landed the opportunity to work on Recoil. I’m also more aware of the content of my portfolio, and what I need to improve to be a more well-rounded concept artist/illustrator. I’m currently working on adding more props, animals, and environments.

Thanks to Noah for pointing out my weaknesses I’ve grown as an artist, which made my resume and portfolio more effective and professional.

Sarah Ortiz

Blog | Facebook | DeviantArt

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My name is Wayne Parker. I purchased your lecture and I’m glad I did. I had heard you were doing some sort of freelance seminar/lecture and although skeptical at first I listened to the sample of the lecture you put out. I liked what I heard and that snippet alone was enough to make me purchase the whole thing. The lecture answered a lot of questions I had about freelancing – not everything but the points mentioned in your lecture gave me a springboard to research for answers that weren’t covered and the things you did cover gave me new found confidence in what to look for in potential clients and the practices involved in freelancing. Some things I implemented right away or tried to anyway was web presence. I rebuilt my website and followed your guidelines of simplicity, easy navigation, contact info readily displayed, and a decent way of showcasing our work. I created a couple tutorial videos with more to come, I joined facebook and other social networks and become friends with professional artist and directors I like (including you). I also tried to narrow my portfolio specialty to character and creature design, although I still have work to do to have it fully reflect that criteria – but it’s coming along. I also tried to enter my art into various publications such as 3dtotal Prime, Imaginefx, 2dartist and various others. I still have not had an influx of work come my way, but I still have faith that things will change for me. I may try to make it to a con or some other major gathering of artist, but I live in Virginia Beach so it’s always an expensive endeavor for me to travel anywhere. Thank you for making such a great video and thank you for allowing others to potentially grab new clients through your celebrity in the industry

Wayne Parker

Facebook

SONY DSC

One of the many great things the Art Of Freelancing has given for me is hope and courage to move forward. I was feeling that my work wasn’t good enough, and that there must be too much competition, for example. The idea of being a freelance artist just didn’t feel very good at that time. When I explored the Art Of freelancing, I noticed that even professional artists strugle with these same doubts, it is perfectly normal and that there’s allways a solution. The Art Of Freelancing and resources that came along with it helped me to push forward and to trust myself. And it is actually bearing fruit.

Sami-Petteri

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Most of all, the tips to be persistent have really helped. I am writing more applications, and getting responses to them; my work will be published in several games and books soon.
I expanded my comfort zone by attending a competition that really scared me, but now I am happy I kept working and made the deadline, and I feel I have improved while pushing myself to work so hard.
I am charging more for my work now, and have the feeling that some clients even take me more seriously when I am not content with pocketmoney.

My accounts get more regular updates now, with everything accumulating on my website. It’s a lot of work, but I am already getting comments that people want articles on this and that, and my tutorial series usually brings quite some traffic to my page.

Jennifer Lange

Blog | DeviantArt | World-building blog

More sketches

Sorry for the lack of writing lately—I’ve been devoting my mornings to sketching rather than writing. I’ll find a balance between the two sometime or another, but as it stands I’m having almost too much fun with these sketches. Hope you enjoy.

Morning sketches

Been doing a lot more sketches lately to loosen up, try new things, and push myself in new directions. So much fun.

Testimonials from The Art of Freelancing

It was just over a year ago that I began work on The Art of Freelancing. There were many late nights of writing the over 12,000 word outline followed by even later nights of recording and rerecording the audio (fun fact: it’s very possible to get sick of your own voice).

After several months, I finally released it to the public. I was met with praise, with thanks, and with more hatemail than I ever expected. I was told by artists far better than me that what I was doing was wrong. That this wasn’t worth a dime. It was very, very hard for me to stay strong. I often wondered whether they were right and maybe I was a heartless, profiteering, unhelpful scumbag.

But I didn’t think I was. And the countless testimonials and positive messages I’ve received over the past year about this lecture have just helped confirm that. Below is a small sampling of what some people have thought of the lecture.

In art school, we all “knew” that establishing ourselves as working professionals would be difficult. Our teachers would try to temper our expectations by telling us that, statistically speaking, essentially all of us would fail.

We thought that with hard work and persistence we would be exceptions to the rule, but we received little guidance in how to apply ourselves to the business side of illustration. Noah’s lecture provided a more effective rundown of freelancing basics than four years of art school.

Many of my instructors established themselves so long ago that they could offer little specific advice about getting started in the modern environment. Noah effectively describes both the basic methods and the mindset required to find work, build your brand, and interact with clients and the creative community. It made me reassess the manner in which I presented my work and myself.

So buy the video.

Aldo Katayanagi

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Twitter

Finding info on freelancing professionally has always been scarce to me. Even while attending art school this subject was barely covered and most of it I had to figure out on my own. In under a hour Noah covers everything you need to know on becoming a better freelancer and artist. I made it a point to work better on my contracts while working with my clients now and writing up invoices . I also expanded my work to more networks which has led to more client work. I highly recommend Noah’s Art of Freelancing to any artists beginning in the field of freelancing like myself. You will find it to be an invaluable resource.

Sean Thurlow

Follow his work on Facebook

I’m a concept artist currently working for Sony.

Noah’s Art of Freelancing has helped me considerably in not just how to create great design and engaging art, but how to think like an artist and as a business man.

Thanks to his guidance, my supportive parents, great friends, a great love for what I do and a considerable amount of luck, I am now doing the job I love: working for the games industry.

Sam Westall

I find a lot of inspiration in your videos. I want to create worlds and characters for the videogame and film industry. I´m a graphic designer and constantly push myself to get better, but while listening to you, I found that it´s also important to get noticed, to promote myself in order to be a full-time freelancer.

The information in the Art of Freelancing helped me to understand the industry, how to get better, how to get noticed, and must importantly how to lose fear and get confident with my chosen career. I thank you a lot because you inspired me. I want to get a job in the industry more than ever, and now I know that it´s not easy but it´s certainly possible through work, passion and time.

Thank very much for your passion, your time and the cool stuff that you create!

Alex Garcia

Twitter | Facebook | Email

I’ve been a concept artist in the games industry for almost 5 years now. I’ve mostly worked in house game studios, but have always wanted to freelance. Noah’s posts about freelancing have been of great help. His tips and comments regarding this subject have been very valuable and it has helped me get a better understanding of the steps I needed to make to prepare myself for the future. I’m very thankful for all the information Noah has gathered and shared with us and I recommend you check it out if you are interested in pursuing freelance jobs.

Fernando Acosta

CGHub

The Art of Freelancing is the most useful guide for artistic career I’ve found on the internet. I’ve learned to be careful with my clients and for my clients, ending up with better contracts and more relaxed jobs because of that (well if you can call produce art for videogames relaxing in any possible way). Even if I’m still at the beginning of my career on this field I’ve never felt like it and I have to thank Noah for this, so thank you!

Alessandro Sarritzu

Blog

On His Throne

Wanted to share a newly published piece I did for Dragon magazine. Always a fun game to work on. And painting mountains of skulls never gets old.

Our First Love

We all loved it at first.

We loved creating. Those first attempts were driven by enjoyment. We weren’t doing it to get better, to “practice”, or even, God forbid, for a paycheck. We were doing it to do it. A joy unto itself.

In some ways, I find all my current work to be little more than efforts to rediscover that first love. To get back to that feeling I had at the beginning, before all the training, practice, and work. Before I was “serious.” Back when drawing wasn’t about creating something pretty but just having fun. No pressure, no demands, no expectations.

That’s not to say I despise technical knowledge. Good fundamentals are essential. But they easily overshadow our reason for creating. We get so wrapped up in our tools, techniques, and teachings that we lose track of why we were learning them in the first place. We learn the craft to better express ourselves, our ideas, our love. We do not learn the craft for the sake of learning the craft. Those who do fall into a deadly spiral of ever more technically impressive and lifeless work.

Find the reason you started creating. Just because we have more technical knowledge than we did doesn’t mean that initial spark is gone. No. Now we simply have the tools to do justice to our ideas.

Try something new. A different approach. Try and quiet your mind’s obsession with the technicalities for a moment and just create. Stop worrying whether it will be good or not. You can always make it good later. Just have fun.

Love. Love creating.

Disconnect

Being creative is hard.

Being creative while constantly being distracted and interrupted is impossible.

Learn to disconnect. Turn your phone off. You don’t need it buzzing with texts, phone calls, and notifications every couple minutes. Disconnect from the internet. You’ll live without it for a while. Find a time and place where no one will feel inclined to ask you to do something. Shut the door. Noise-canceling headphones are a gift from God. Put an end to the constant barrage of interruptions.

This has been one of my favorites parts of traveling overseas. Not having a phone nor the ability to get on the internet more than a couple times a week. The peace is almost tangible. When we aren’t distracted, we can finally think.

It requires a conscious effort, but it will pay off. I promise.

Now I’m going to get off the internet and go paint.

Exceed Expectations

Set the bar, then go higher.

If your client asks for at least 3 figures in a painting, give them 20. If they want it done in two weeks, give it to them in a week. If they want good, give them great.

Meeting expectations won’t excite anyone. We don’t get a pat on the back for being just good enough. We have to go beyond good enough.

Exceeding expectations gets us noticed. People will want to talk about us. When someone breaks out of the norm, everyone notices. Clients/customers notice.

Go above and beyond. Develop a reputation for exceeding expectations. It will pay off.



all posts



2013
May
6Review of the Yiynova MSP19U tablet monitor
April
23Announcing Noah’s Art Camp: 12 weeks of intensive art study
9How to Learn by Teaching
8My interview with Darren Yeow
2Start
1It’s just piracy
February
1213 Apps I Use Every Day
11Even More Testimonials from The Art of Freelancing
8More testimonials from The Art of Freelancing


2012
December
7More sketches
November
28Morning sketches
26Testimonials from The Art of Freelancing
20On His Throne
2Our First Love
1Disconnect
October
31Exceed Expectations
30Stop Overthinking It
29Failure is Quitting
25Fake it
24Find more time
22Find your inspiration
9Process for Our Grasp of Heaven
8Our Grasp of Heaven
5Remove negativity
4Take care of yourself
3Stop waiting for inspiration
2Start often, finish well
1A few words on Style
September
28Don’t ride the waves of freelancing
27Do Impossible Things
25Charge more
21Live and Live Fully
19Communicate Well
18Return to Ravnica
14Do one thing
11Don’t listen to everyone
7On the Importance of Traveling
July
23The Day God Died
9How to Start a Painting
June
21A year, a month, and a day
17For my dad
6Consume, Create, Recharge
May
14Love the Process
9Savor the Freedom
8Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis
7It’s Dangerous To Go Alone
4The Storm Bird
3Keep Going
2Cruel as a Desert Wind
1I bought a painting
April
28Master Study after Albert Bierstadt
26Into the Open Air
25Making Art isn’t just about Making Art
24Plateau
23Volcanic Island
19Kjeldoran Outpost
16Slow down
March
14I’m back
February
1The Art of Freelancing
January
18The Desperate Lamentations
6Ur Draxa


2011
December
19Chief of the Ways
16Painting Rokugan: Kyuden Hida
15Painting Rokugan: Yasuki Palaces
14Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut
13Painting Rokugan: Carpenter Castle
12Painting Rokugan: Suitengu’s Torch
November
19Painting Rokugan: Kalani’s Landing
16King of the Proud
October
13Painting Rokugan: Hidden Falls Dojo
12Painting Rokugan: The Aerie
11Painting Rokugan: Shinden Asahina
4Painting Rokugan: Shiro Chugo
3Painting Rokugan: Midday Shadow Court
2Painting Rokugan: The Temple of Death
September
30Painting Rokugan: Plains of the Maiden
29Painting Rokugan: The Khan’s Estate
19Recorded livestreams now available for download
16War College
15Painting Rokugan: The Shadow’s Lair
14The Death of Dreams
14Painting Rokugan: The Spider’s Web
13Painting Rokugan: Keep of the Dead
8When in doubt, return to the basics
6Painting Rokugan: Foothills Keep
5Painting Rokugan: Watchful Eye Dojo
August
31Painting Rokugan: Shiro Shiba
30Painting Rokugan: Waystation of the Path
29Painting Rokugan: Temple of Purity
26Break Your Routines
25I Hate Your Portfolio
24Painting Rokugan: Eternal Victory Dojo
23Painting Rokugan: Shamate Keep
22Painting Rokugan: Halls of Memory
20The First Ever Livestream Critique!
19You’ve gotta start somewhere
17Painting Rokugan: Kyuden Otomo
16Painting Rokugan: Journey’s End Keep
15Painting Rokugan: Pillars of Virtue
13Painting Rokugan: The Golden Plains
12Painting Rokugan: Koshin Keep
11Painting Rokugan: The Otoro Estate
10Painting Rokugan: Steel Soul Dojo
9Painting Rokugan: Library of Rebirth
8Painting Rokugan: Halls of the Forgotten
6Paintings of Nature, Rokugan, and Pretty Ladies
5Painting Rokugan: Dragon’s Breath Castle
4Painting Rokugan: Law of Darkness Dojo
3Painting Rokugan: Kyuden Kitsune
2Quality begets quality
July
30The Weekend Review: First edition
29The Eternal Student
28I don’t know
27…But don’t beat yourself up
26Don’t kid yourself
24Noah’s 2-Step Program to Being an Awesome Professional Artist
15How to be an Artist Without Going to Art School
13“Daggerdale”
11“The Regrets of Tomorrow”
1Surviving Student Loans
June
308 Great Anatomy Books for Artists
287 Things I Hated About Art School
277 Things I Loved About Art School
25Livestreamin’!
23Stop Whining, Start Working
22Painting “The Iron Wolf Barbarians”
175 Marketing Essentials for Artists
16Hitting the Ground Running
1510 Books Every Artist Must Read
11I’ve got a mailing list! Also: free prints!
May
25Studying the masters
24The Forgotten Temple
13I’ve been interviewed!
April
26What it all really looks like
25Painting “Sages of Ioun”
23The Harbor
22You should go to conventions
21Painting “Strange Gods”
20Painting “Till the Day We Die”
19Painting “As Darkness Rises”
17A fresh beginning


2010
September
19Painting “The End of Sorrow”
August
11Painting “The Trials of Devotion”
8Painting “The Hook Horror”
July
15Painting “Blind Faith”
3Painting “Where Once We Met the Giants”
2Painting “The Journey Ahead”

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