The Buddy-Girl blog is our place to talk graphic design, express our opinions, thoughts, new creations, Buddy-Girl Greetings upcoming events, design tips and any personal or random thoughts that we might have. We would love any and all feedback and comments anybody might have for us and I hope you enjoy reading our blog.
We are located in - Kitsap County, 98312

I will try to update my blog as often as I can. Fair warning, I love to write, but I'm a horrible typer and my grammar skills are even worst (worse). So my apologies way in advance, Sorry! Which is actually a very common trait in most graphic designers and artists.

Friday, April 18, 2008

About Helena: Current Events in My Life

I haven’t given you guys a personal shot out in awhile; it’s been all business here on the blog. But, I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m doing A-Okay. Just being a little on the lazy side, not really lazy, I’ve been working, just not working hard on BGG stuff (a better word would be distracted). I’ve been playing a lot of Zelda and watching TV on the internet lately. I’m not a gamer, I got my Wii over a year ago and I haven’t beaten any of the games I bought for it or downloaded to it. I love my Wii, it’s so much fun to play (and take to friend’s houses), but I know me and if I get wrapped in a game, I’m going to forget (ignore) about all the other stuff I need or want to do (which is exactly, what happened). Usually I play fighting or racing games, you know ones that you can never really beat the game, you just keep playing the computer or in vs. mode. But, last month Game Stop had a deal that if you trade-in 2 games, (they had to be one of the titles on their list) you can get Mario Smash Brawl (I love anything Mario) for like 9.99, I’m like, that’s like a crazy good deal, and I wanted to get rid of my WarioWares (dumbest game ever); but all the other games on the list, I either didn’t have or didn’t want to part with. The only game I had that I could trade in was the New Zelda, but I hadn’t beaten it yet, in fact I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not (it’s really slow in the beginning and I hadn’t gotten very far). But, then I got the brilliant idea that I would give it another shot and if I liked it I would beat it before the trade-in deal was over.

Well it’s like April and I’m still playing Zelda, it’s like the longest game, I’ve every played. It’s not even that hard to be honest, well fishing is hard and some of puzzles gave me a headache; but beating the bosses and the lesser monsters aren’t that hard. It’s just that it’s a long freaking game I’m only ¾’s of way done and I’ve been playing for about a month. I don’t play, all day everyday; but still I’ve clocked a lot of hours. And, the Mario Brawl deal has been over; but lucky for me Game Stop is having another deal for Mario Kart Wii, my new goal is to beat Zelda by then and get it for 9.99.

I’ve also made a few internet discoveries that have keep my mind off working, one is Netflix’s Instant Watch, I love it, in the beginning I wasn’t too sure about it, I mean it limited your time and it selection was mostly old movies and B and C movies. But, now there are no time limits and they have new movies and TV Shows and a okay selection of anime. I’ve watched the first 2 seasons of Weeds (this show is off the chain), almost everything from the BBC (North and South, The Way We Live, Now, Manchild) I caught up on my Heroes and found very cute direct to video titles. Instant watching rocks. So, now I don’t freak out if I miss a show on TV, I just watch on Netflix or online somewhere.

I’ve also discovered not that I really discovered it, I’ve known about it for sometime, but I did just discover this section called, “Missed Connections” it’s the cutest, funniest, thing ever! It’s were random people can post or give a shout out to other random people that they have met or seen (a way of putting your feeling out in the universe, if you well). Some of them are so cute, like, “I saw you sitting in the park on Tuesday, you were so cute, but I didn’t have the guts to talk to you.” Really, how cute is that! I have to check it out at least once a week. How fantastic would be, if or when someone actually makes a connection, I mean the odds are stacked against a person, when you consider all the factors; but still, I hope that somehow, someway people make that connection they are hoping for. (I’m a hopeless romantic, I know, sue me.)

Lastly, I’ve been catching up on my reading; I just finished the last installment in my Noble Dead series by the Hendees awesome. I can’t wait for the next one; I keep trying to guess who they will bring back for the next adventure. I hope that Wynn will be back and they will develop her powers, I think if they bring Chane back they will have a chance to make him a good guy (plus, at the end of the last book he picks up something, that makes me thinks he will be back) and I would love to see Osha back as well for 3 reasons, (1) I think he will be a positive connection between the elf world and the human world, (2) I would love to see him develop into a harder stranger character a person scared from the past events and starting to question the people around him and (3) a love triangle between Him, Wynn, and Chane would be awesome. But, it’s all probably just wishful thinking on my part. Fans get a sneak peck on the next book sometime this summer so, I’m going to keep my fingers cross.

I just got the last volume of Hana-Kimi (For You in Full Blossom) series. I started reading it over a year ago, I didn’t know how long a manga series it was until it was too, late. I love the series; I even watched the 12 episode Japanese series they made (online of course). It’s not bad; I think this series, should be made into an American style TV show, something you would see on the CW channel. But, they would have to keep the core story the same, like the turmoil some of the characters face with there sexuality and the fact that the main love interest (Sano) knows Ashiya’s secret for pretty much the whole series, he just never, let her know, he knows (it makes it fun).

Anyways, that pretty much all I’ve been doing for the last few months, once I bet Zelda, I plan to get back to work and not get sucked into another video game for a least a month. (Keep your fingers cross) until, next time.

Side Thought: Japanese Vs. American Endings

I usually don’t try to figure out the endings to anything I watch or read that was original from Japan. Mainly, because things from Japan never end the way a person, use to American endings would expect.

In American shows and movies, you can pretty much figure out how things are going to end; you know whose going to die, whose going end up together, and the fact that it will have a clear cut ending and won't leave you hanging (useless they are planning a sequel, but even then you can see that coming from a mile away). Japanese stuff, you never know, sometimes people you want to die don’t and people you love do. Sometimes couples don’t really become couples, or it’s just not a real ending (and this rarely has anything to do with a possible sequel), you just get this feeling that there is something missing or that there was more they could have done, or you think to yourself that they could have at least had text that said, “And, they lived happier ever after.” Or, they could of fast forward it to show where the characters are down the road. In my life time, I’ve only came across a few Japanese stuff that ended American style "Please, Teacher!", The Sailor Moon Movies, "Slayers: Season 1", the mange series "Fake". Still, this is also the reason I like anime so much, I’m always surprised by the end, it’s rarely predictable.

Examples of Japanese style endings are "Neon Genesis", "Strawberry Egg", "The Samurai X Movies", "s-Cry-ed" just to name a few. Most of the time I can deal with it, Strawberry Egg was really cute and funny, I just wished it didn't end so bitter sweetly. The Samurai X movies where just so sad, so sad that you just wanted something good to happen to the guy, which never really does. "S-Cry-ed" I'm still waiting for the second season so, I can find out who won. And, I Hated "Neon Genesis" so much that I sold my completed collection, if you haven't watched it yet, then I recommend that you stop at episode 22/23 and don't get the movie that was suppose to replace the last 2 episodes, because it doesn't really, it still leaves you all kinda messed up. They are suppose to be working on some new movies for it, so, maybe there is still hope for the series, because it started off great, really funny and then it got serious, but it was still really good, but then you get to episode 24 and it was just goes downhill fast.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to Make Money as an Artist/Designer: Part 1 (The Basics)

Most artist and designers have no clue how to put their skills to work for them (or I should say, how to make a living with their skills). I mean in the beginning it can be very hard and disappointing, especially if you don’t have a formal degree or formal training. But, just because you don’t have a degree, doesn’t mean you don’t know your stuff. The highest degree I have is a 2 year Associates. But, I’ve been making a living (albeit a small one) with my design skills since I was 18.

How, you ask? The first thing you need to do is figure out or develop your other skills. Me, I’m good at trouble shooting computers, if your computer needs fixing, more than likely I can fix it. I’m also great with children. My first job was working as a camp counselor for the Girl Scouts, so, for a whole summer I got to work with children and use my creative skills to teach them and entertain them. I know, a far cry from making a living as an artist, but it’s a start. After the summer was over, I went to college and worked part-time as a lab tech in the Multimedia department helping students troubleshoot the computer and with their design project (see, I’m getting closer). That next summer I work at another camp, this time I worked in the arts and crafts department. I then went back to school and did more lab tech work. And, the summer after that I worked at another cam, this time teaching Photoshop and Flash (you see where, I’m heading with this). You don’t have to take a job at BK, just keep an eye out for jobs that are around or can connect you to your dream job. I might not have been getting paid the big bucks, but I was still was able to work doing things I loved and was able to use my creativity. Now, keep in mind that I was still living at home and I wasn’t responsible for anyone other than myself, so taking low paying jobs was an option I could afford. So, if you can afford it, I would, because when you lack the educational background employers' are looking for; experience is key and experience that can relates to your dream job is also good, it shows that your can do more, I can teach and train others and fix equipment if necessary.

This leads me to my next topic, getting and gaining that design/creative experience. I’ve found that taking every design/creative job that come my way, no matter how small or the pay was the best way for me to build my portfolio and network. While going to school, I would hear about all kinds of design opportunities, most of them didn’t pay a cent, but it was a design opportunity that I could get credit for and add to my portfolio. So, I did them, a flyer here, a logo there, brochures and hand outs. Most of them were contest, that in the end, I would be the only one who entered (which is a shame). I got more out of doing them then just credit and something to put in my portfolio. I got a walking ad on the front page of the “I Need a Design Done” Weekly. In other words, it was great networking, doing one job for one person, can lead to doing another job for someone else. And you can’t build up your network, unless your take jobs and met people. And, the other plus of taking on any job is that sometimes you get at tip for all your hard work. I’ve had projects start off for no pay, but by the end of it, I got paid. So, remember sometimes taking that small job can lead to something bigger and if it doesn’t at least you can add it to your portfolio.

The last thing you need to remember and this might be the most important of all to ensure your success in an artistic field, is that you can never give up, as corny as it sounds, it’s true. Art is subjective and not like other creative fields where you can make a living by become or doing what someone else wants and still kept your core style (not sell out). Actors get paid to because someone else, musicians get paid for playing someone else’s music or for staying true to their sound. Writers can write what they want, they’re even protected under the Constitution. But, painter, sculptors, graphic Designs, illustrators, most likely won’t make a living selling art the way they envision. Most artist don’t make it big until after they’re dead, how fair is that? So, we’re stuck with conforming our vision to fit what someone else needs or wants or we don’t even get to conform, we get a job and have to take someone else’s vision or dream and bring it to life. Which we then run into the very common problem of not getting hired or getting fired because our style or vision doesn’t mesh well with that of the clients (your boss, the one who is paying you) or in the end sometimes the finish project is nothing you want to put your name on or something you feel your name shouldn’t be on because it doesn’t reflect you and your style. Being able to keep going is important, it’s the only way. Art like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, some people are going to like your work and some people aren’t. You can’t let the haters keep you from doing what you love. Besides, designing things for other people can be fun and rewarding, to bring someone else’s vision alive, can make a artist feel good and that check for all your hard work can make an artist feel really good.

These are the ways in which I have survived, I always remember I have other skills that can relate or relate me to my dream and being creative. I also, take just about any job that comes my way if I have the time to do it. And, I believe in myself and my talent, I don’t need everyone in the world to like my style of design and I know that just cause someone doesn’t choose me to work with that it’s doesn’t mean they think I suck; sometimes it just means, I’m not the right fit. As an artist you have to keep going and growing, it’s the only way to be a success.
A Special Request...

Please let me know, when you find spelling or other grammar errors on my blog, so I may fix them right away. Thanks. Helena
Buddy-Girl Greetings is a proud member of Kitsap's Best and WA CASH

We are located in Bremerton, WA - Kitsap County, 98312