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Incorporating CGI Into Your Workflow

CGI (computer-generated imagery) is an amazing tool which allows ideas to become a reality – there are essentially no limitations to what can be created. Let’s keep it real though – to a photographer who is exhausted with the idea of learning a new skill set, incorporating CGI into an existing workflow can be overwhelming. Don’t be intimidated! Consider investing in a professional and seeking out individuals who specialize in CGI.

A few things will begin to happen. Two separate disciplines – photography and CGI – begin to merge together as one. The window of possibility will begin to open a little wider for both artists. A team is built that has the capacity to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

It's Time to Shine!

I'm excited and flattered to be participating in the 2014 Dream Bigger Conference, an online audio conference bringing together a dozen of the world's most creative and inspirational entrepreneurs.

The conference will take place February 3-5, and was organized by Angela Pointon of Steel Toe Images.  Angela and I were both mentored by the amazing Elyse Weissberg. Although our paths never crossed then, Angela recently reached out to me and once you have Elyse in your blood we are connected.  I'm really looking forward to being able to reach creative people of all levels, from photographers to designers and art directors through this seminar.

Now Trending - Food: Sustenance or Lifestyle?

Now Trending is a Lab column penned by Agency Access consultant Karen D'Silva. A few times a year, Karen will take a look at emerging and current trends in the advertising industry to help commercial artists gain insight into what art buyers and other creatives are looking for.

There is a movement growing in our society. We started to see it with “green,” then “authenticity,” and even in “conscious capitalism.” This movement is the emergence of a social mindfulness – the drive to be better people and make a better world to share. This movement affects our desire for happiness, defines us as parents, causes us to take a stand for the kind of people we want to be -- and the food we eat often takes center stage in this social revolution.

Lunch with a Creative Director

Recently the folks at the Lab asked me if I could shed light on the subject of what kind of self-promotion gets the attention of a Creative Director. Having been a Creative Director for some of the world’s most influential brands at some of the world’s most influential agencies, I felt capable of taking a crack at an answer. But then I felt you, the artist, deserved something even more thoughtful. So, I went to the source and sat down to lunch with an emailer, a direct mailer, and my landline phone at NYC’s Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District. The names of their senders (and the number of my landline) will be kept anonymous. This is how our conversation went.

From The Archives: Detox Your Career

Top industry consultant Amanda Sosa Stone offers tips on how to clear your head and renew your creative energy as we enter 2014:

You can drink wheatgrass shots, eat kale salads all day, or bubble wrap yourself – but that won't detox your career.  Here are 6 easy steps I would advise commercial artists take to get healthy professionally in the New Year. Remember, the goal with any detox (body, mind, spirit, or even work) is to clear out the junk and let the good stuff in.

Get Connected, Stay in Touch

An email comes into your inbox and it's a magazine or book publisher (or any number of places that wants to ask for your availability). How you reply, move forward with the job, and follow up afterwards could make the difference between a one-time tango and a long term relationship. I've had many good experiences with Art Directors that never worked with me ever again after our first job together. I've also had experiences where I thought I did a terrible job under the gun but have since done five or six jobs for them. Each experience is a little different from the other. Below is some advice and things to think about when it comes to business practices and maintaining relationships with potential clients.

The All-Important Treatment

Congrats! You have been asked to bid on a shoot that is right up your alley! You get to work, trying to account for all the details of the shoot to provide an accurate, competitive estimate. Many photographers may stop there, but the truth is that the estimate is only one part of the client's decision process. Remember -- you have been selected because your style of photography is appropriate for the job. So how do you reinforce this to give you the edge over other photographers bidding on the same gig? This is where developing a treatment comes into play.

Casting Call - How to Find Models For Your Shoot

Casting the right talent for your photo shoot is a crucial component of every job.  Following some basic (but vital) steps will help ensure that you find the perfect person—because the wrong one can ruin your shoot.   Here’s what you should do:  

Email Is Your Secret Weapon

When marketing your services online, you can depend on one thing. Change. Just ask Jeeves, or try a search on Alta Vista or Lycos. Anybody remember those? Look at once-hot companies that are now not so hot, like Myspace, spiraling down to a zero user base. Facebook is today's juggernaut, because "everybody's on Facebook," but someday you can depend on somebody saying, "what was that thing called Facebook?"

Podcast Mania - Interviews with the Agency Access Consultants: Part 2

Part 2 of Podcast Mania is bursting at the seams with awesome advice for both emerging AND seasoned freelance artists.  Five of the top names in the creative consultant game sat down with Marc Harmon of Creative Grit Media to tackle every aspect of life as a freelance artist.  Last week we heard from Jennifer Kilberg and Andrea Maurio.  This week Amanda Sosa Stone, Lynn Kyle, and Karen D’Silva step to the plate to offer advice on everything from representation to personal branding to estimating and negotiating to promo targeting and beyond.

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