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Creativity Runs in the Family: The Making of "Kalley's Machine Plus Cats"

Posted by Sarah Whitman on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

Here's the inspiring story of how one dad turned his love of design and his kids' enthusiasm for creativity into a family business.

For 14 years, digital designer Jon Alexander successfully freelanced from his home in Madeira, Ohio, allowing him to work in close quarters with his young daughters, Kalley (7) and Corbett (8). But in 2012, Jon got a full-time job offer he couldn't pass up. 

Topics: Creativity, Design

Gig Poster Guru: Q&A With John Foster

Posted by Megan Lane Patrick on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

Design annuals are full of cool and sexy gig posters for bands. How can creatives land these awesome assignments? And can you turn them into a legitimate revenue stream? We went to gig poster guru John Foster to find out.

Designer John Foster (self-portrait at right) devotes much of his time to music-industry projects, including gig posters. But he's also seen piles of the best (and worst) music art from around the globe while working on a series of books about indie posters and screen printing. In this interview, Foster, principal of Bad People Good Things, shares his insights about breaking into the business and how to design gig posters that rock.

Topics: Design

Webinar Wrap-Up: Overcoming Creative Battles

Posted by Monica Nakamine on Tue, Sep 9, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

What's keeping you from reaching your creative potential? You might not even be aware – but recognizing your biggest hurdles is half the battle.

In our most recent TCG Buzz Break webinar, "Overcome: Eight Creativity Battles You Fight Every Day," Stefan Mumaw, an author and creative director at Callahan Creek, discussed the most common obstacles that block creativity and techniques on how to overcome them. Take his sage advice and you'll be back on your path to creative brilliance in no time.

Topics: Creativity, Events, Buzz Break

What Creative Directors Love (and Loathe) About Your Online Portfolio

Posted by Michelle Taute on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

Which design samples should you put in your online portfolio? And what's the best way to display them? Four top creative directors gave us the scoop, so you can stop guessing and start delivering the goods.

An online portfolio is practically a must for designers these days, whether happily employed or seeking work. It's a powerful way to build your personal brand, and it helps you avoid a last-minute scramble if a freelance or full-time opportunity unexpectedly pops up.

For this year's Creative Team of the Future project, we surveyed more than 750 designers across the country to get a pulse on design portfolio trends. While 18 percent of respondents said they don't have an online portfolio, more than half (57 percent) told us they update theirs at least once a year. If you want to stay marketable, you better keep yours current, too.

Topics: Creative Team of the Future, Portfolio

Game On: How to Lead a Creative Dream Team

Posted by Doug White on Fri, Sep 5, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

To stand a fighting chance of winning it all in the sports world, you need a coach who can assemble the right players and bring out the best in each of them. The same holds true for creative teams.

Football season just started and the FIBA Basketball World Cup is in full swing. Playoff baseball is right around the corner. Regardless of the sport, you can bet the teams that come out on top share one thing: a thoughtful, tactical coach who understands how to lead and motivate.

Topics: Advice Booklet/Guide, Management

No, No, No: How to Deal with Rejection

Posted by Kara Gebhart Uhl on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

Rejection? It comes with the territory of being a creative professional, but it never feels good. Instead of letting it tear you down, learn how to deal with rejection and use it to make you and your work stronger.

In addition to serving as managing editor on various magazines where I regularly sent rejection letters to fellow writers, I've also been a freelance writer since 2001. In that time, I've dealt with my fair share of rejection. I've unsuccessfully pitched featured stories, columns and essays. I've rewritten articles under contract once, twice, three times. I've seen my byline on stories that look only vaguely like what I submitted. I've been pitching picture books for six years and have yet to see one published. Once, I collected a kill fee from a high-paying, high-profile publication.

Topics: Career Advice

Creative Conferences to Keep You Busy – Fall to Winter 2014

Posted by Monica Nakamine on Tue, Sep 2, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

Back-to-school season is in full swing. Even if you're officially done with academia, it's crucial to keep your creative skills sharp.

Online training is one convenient route as you can move at your own pace, on your own time. But industry conferences and seminars provide another avenue for stimulating your mind and staying on top of your game. They also provide countless networking opportunities with fellow creatives.

Topics: Events, Skills Development

Making the Most of Entry-Level Marketing Jobs

Posted by The Creative Group on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

After surviving hours of instruction, course work and examinations, you've finally earned your college diploma. You're anxious to launch your marketing career. You have the skills and knowledge to land a great job and finally establish yourself as a bona fide professional. But before setting sights on a corner office or six-figure salary, be prepared to do a little "grunt work" first.

While passion and industry expertise will help you impress hiring managers, it takes time and a steady record of achievement to reach your potential. Your first post-grad position may involve a few mind-numbing tasks, but try not to let the boredom get the best of you.

Topics: Career Advice, Marketing

On Tap: Cool Beer Labels

Posted by Megan Lane Patrick on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

How cool is that brew you just pulled from the fridge? If it's one of the many craft beers with a unique design, you may be drinking from a piece of art. To learn more about this design niche, we spoke with Cool Beer Labels coauthor Daniel Bellon.

Topics: Books, Design

4 Ways Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads Can Enjoy a Fruitful Freelancing Career (Without Going Crazy)

Posted by Kara Gebhart Uhl on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 @ 06:00 AM

Working from home while parenting can drastically cut childcare costs. But it can also affect your sanity. Here are tips on how to effectively freelance from home while also living up to your parenting expectations.

I had a vision while pregnant with my oldest child. In it, I was writing in a sun-filled, organized office, music playing softly in the background. My child was sitting on a homemade quilt spread out next to my desk, quietly playing with wooden blocks. Every so often we'd look at each other and smile. 

Topics: Career Advice, Freelancing