Sunday, April 29, 2012

Book Review: Crush it! by Gary Vaynerchuk

Compared to most business books, Crush it!: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on your Passion is as exciting and enthusiastic as it gets.  This book is a quick read in which Gary Vaynerchuk doesn't waste any time throwing you into the deep end of marketing and promotion methods that will cost any business virtually little or no money to apply.  Strategies include constructing Facebook fan sites, writing expert context through Twitter, Wordpress and Blogger to effectively gain the respect of your peers and community, ultimately driving traffic to your website. Theoretically these tactics will lead to your prosperity, opening the door for you to "cash in on your passion" (as the title implies).  As said before, the book is a quick read (good for an airplane) and reads more like a motivational speech or pep talk before the big game than it does a business book.  As far as writing goes, this isn't a literary masterpiece, and Mr. Vaynerchuk loses a few points for not writing, but rather dictating the entire text.  However, he does fully disclaim this fact, adding that writing isn't his strongest attribute (a subliminal point perhaps: knowing your own weaknesses through perpetual and relentless self critique). Some reviews of this book will tell you that the author is preoccupied with telling stories about himself and his own success.  Nonetheless, if this is the only lesson you take from this book, you probably shouldn't be trying to run your own business, for without creativity and ingenuity (i.e., tailoring these lessons to your own scenario) you will inevitably Crash it!   

Sunday, April 22, 2012

#The50 Things Every Creative Should Know

#The50 Things Every Creative Should Know. 

Here is a little gem I stumbled on earlier today.  Simple, to the point and motivating.  Sometimes it just takes somebody pointing out the obvious (with kick ass stick figure illustrations) to make you realize you are doing all right.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Back to the drawing (and painting) board

The seal of approval and premier quality.
My stock of illustration board was running dangerously low when, serendipitously, my habitual art supplier announced their annual "huge board sale."  It took me a considerable amount of time to find an illustration board that didn't warp or buckle under the application of acrylic washes, and for that matter watercolors of any opacity, before I discovered Strathmore 500 series illustration board.  This stuff is great for any dry medium as well as any paint cut with water, spray fixatives and clear mediums, and various applications (thick and thin) of gesso.  It can even take oil pastels and fast drying alkyds without warping.  Overall the Strathmore 500 series is a solid line of board, but for my individual needs, I prefer the Heavyweight Vellum 72pt variety.  With both sides of the board coated with 100% cotton fiber 500 series drawing paper, it also provides a nice tooth for creating texture (this is also the secret to the warp resistance).  On top of all of this, every piece of 500 series board is individually inspected ensuring only supreme quality in the boards available for purchase.  I recommend investing in a 10 pack from Utrecht before the sale ends!
Heavyweight Vellum 72pt
One of my 10 packs (20"x30")