Friday, March 8, 2013

Looking good: working with a graphic designer

I've tried making my blog and other online accounts look attractive, but I am clearly an amateur. I suffer from Kitchen Sink Syndrome. Every idea into the pool!
Good graphic design is kinda like what they say about smut: I can't describe it, but I know it when I see it. So I've been working with McKinion Design Studio on a total makeover of all my banner images. You see the blog is revamped. So is my Facebook friends page...
Twitter...
I'm even making plans to raise my Etsy shop from the dead. Gradually.
I've summed up my work as "Stories. Family. Sanctuary" for several reasons:
I've always been a writer, and now I incorporate text within my visual storytelling.
I'm inspired by images of people who could be (or were) my relatives, and the stories they've kept locked away.
And with my art I aim to build a sanctuary: a private space in which I create, and where others can let their imaginations wander through other people's lives.
First off: no, it wasn't free. But as art business coach Alyson Stanfield points out, sometimes it's worth it to delegate a task. A simple search should give you basic tips on what to look for in a graphic designer. But here's what struck me about working with Bernita McKinion:
Scheduling flexibility: Like me, she's a night owl, so I didn't have to wait for regular business hours to get things done.
Responsiveness: Bernita often emailed preliminary results by the following morning.
Free-resource suggestions: We used Skype and Join.Me (which allows you to share your computer screen with someone in another location) to clarify specifics. I could tell her "Make that thingy bigger. No, bigger. No, not that big" instead of having to email three times or more to get things the way I wanted them.
Tech support: The original Twitter banner didn't work out, so she sent me four simplified versions within about two hours. BAM.
And now it's up to me to make it worth the effort. Eeek. But you know how you often feel good when you look good? It's the same with this new design: I look like a million bucks online... now I feel that way too.


No comments: