Taking Your Graphic Design Ideas To The Next Level

Taking Your Graphic Design Ideas To The Next Level

The arts are a big part of life, and they always have been. In the modern day and age, they’ve gone from being canvas based and oil paints squeezed out on your tray to being digital based with many mediums instantly at your disposal. And knowing how to use a program like that offers these pursuits is a skill in itself.

If you’re someone who loves graphic design, then it’s time to make sure your love for the art takes you a little further this year. After all, you’ve been working at this discipline for a long time now, and you want to start building something for your career out of it, so let’s make sure you’ve got some tips and tricks on your side. You’ve got some good ideas stored in the drawing pad, and you’ve got a backlog of designs and friendly commissions to prove your worth – let’s put them to good use.

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Could You Start Selling Small?

If you’re someone with an eye for business, and you’re willing to understand how the taxes work, make sure you set up shop this year. Even if you don’t have a bona fide business yet, you can still run a market for your work out of previously established platforms – Ebay, Etsy etc.

Once you open a shop with one of these sites, you’ll find it much easier to open up a site of your own. And to make sure the products you have to sell bring in good reviews, make sure they’re produced via quality methods. Get some of your projects pasted on the back of phone cases. Put printing services to good use by offering posters and vinyl prints. Try something more experimental, by opening up a fabrics range: cushion covers and tote bags are always popular options for people to purchase.

Maybe You Just Want a Portfolio

If you’re out to make your name as a graphic designer, a portfolio is a necessity. It’s going to make sure you have an online platform crafted perfectly and personally to you and your art, and it’s going to be the one stop shop to witness the skill on offer for anyone who’s looking for a talented individual to commission. What could be more useful than that?

So make sure you’re putting a portfolio together, as it’s a professional move that can work to make you passive network contacts and income. Even if you don’t own the domain name of your choice right now, you can still come up with a relevant URL that tops Google’s search algorithm. Get to grips with the code of the website, which should be well contained in the CMS you’re using, and then pick and choose what projects you want to show off. And make sure you advertise your contact details as well: name, email address, phone number etc. Let your work speak for itself, and then offer up your availability on a platter.

This is the year to make money off of your passion.

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out on Canvas

How to Make Your Photos Stand Out on Canvas

In the world of photography, the aesthetics of your medium are as important to consider as the composition of your photos. This is why so many professional photographers still shoot on film, or, at the very least, print their photos on high-quality mediums that take advantage of professional-grade DSLRs and their full-frame sensors. If you’re looking to spice up the way you print your photos, you have plenty of options to consider. While glass, metal, and wood are all becoming more and more popular among the photography community, one option well-worth considering is printing your photos on canvas. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re selecting photos to print on canvas to ensure they really stand out.

The benefits of printing on canvas

Printing your photos on canvas offers a variety of benefits. First, canvas is a less expensive alternative to printing photos, especially if you aren’t planning on framing the piece. One other benefit of printing your photos on canvas is that highly textured, busy, or noisy photos can benefit from the natural texture of the canvas itself. These aspects of your photo can be downplayed with canvas printing, particularly when you select a matte canvas option. Finally, printing on canvas may be more eco-friendly, since UV ink is much better for the environment and eliminates dangerous chemical runoff.

What types of images are suitable for canvas?

The next thing you might be wondering about printing on canvas is what images are most suitable for being printed this way. The DPI (dots per inch) of your image should be at least 150 dpi, although 3000 dpi is a more appropriate standard to go by. Aspect ratio is also important to consider, and, depending on the dimensions your camera takes photos in, your photo may need to be cropped to properly print. Because images with some grain transfer well to the medium of canvas, you may want to consider such images as candidates for printing on canvas. Additionally, it’s important to consider how much dark color is in the photo you’re printing on canvas. Because of canvas’ texture, light can be refracted, which might wash out the darker portions of your image. As a result, you may want to print brighter, more well-lit photographs on canvas.

To frame or not to frame?

One component to consider when getting your photos printed on canvas is whether or not you’re interested in framing the piece. Since many people are interested in printing on canvas as a method of saving money, you may be tempted to forgo a frame altogether. Even so, the fact that you don’t need glass and mattes when working with canvas makes framing a canvas print a more frugal option than printing on photo paper. When you’re looking for a suitable frame for your print, consider how a frame can complement your photo. More simple photos may benefit from a more complex frame, whereas the texture or color of your photograph can be augmented by a matching frame. Ultimately, determining what type of frame to pick is an artistic decision, just like deciding to print on canvas or how to compose your photo.

If you’re searching for a great way to make your photographs stand out, printing on a medium like canvas can be worth exploring. By understanding what types of photos are best-suited for canvas, and the technical specifications to consider when you choose to print this way, you can beautifully render your images. Canvas printing is definitely a creative choice if you’re after an inexpensive and artistic way to share your pictures with the world.

How to Rock Your Writing in the Morning

How to Rock Your Writing in the Morning

You don’t have to write in the morning.

Likewise, you can plan your writing routine however you would like, whether you’re writing a chapter for your novel or working on a project for primary healthcare in Hillsboro, OR.

However, a routine can help you add structure to your writing and eliminate distractions. It can help you eliminate writer’s block by getting in a groove. It can help you rock your writing in the morning (or whenever you write).

Here are just some of the ways to rock your writing in the morning.

Do the same thing every morning

While science and gurus will list out an overwhelming amount of things you should incorporate in the morning, having some form of routine is a good thing. After all, a routine will allow you to ease into the day and not feel rushed.

Structure and building a routine can help you build a habit of writing at the same time every day, if you fancy that return. Many writers talk about writing and struggle to write once they sit down to write. Some of that is because they don’t have structure or a routine in place, similar to people who want to go to the gym on a routine basis but haven’t built that habit yet.

Doing the same thing every morning leading up to your writing can help. If you like to write at coffee shops in the morning, even if you venture to different ones, that’s considered part of your process.

Try to focus on one task

This is easier said than done, especially if you have multiple deadlines looming.

If you’re writing a novel about a character going on an adventure to explore Lansing, MI, try to focus on only that. The point being, take one task or project at a time and give it all of your attention. Learning how to zone out things that aren’t taking place in the present moment, such as a meeting scheduled for later in the day, can help you do your best work because you’re not multitasking. You’re focusing on one thing.

It’s hard to do work, and especially write, if your mind is focused on a bunch of different things or on things not related to the task at hand.

Eliminate distractions

It tends to be easier to eliminate distractions early in the morning because people are still sleeping. That, ideally, means your phone isn’t going off, people aren’t emailing you, and the people you live with are still asleep.

There are plenty of distractions that can pull you away from writing. The key is identifying these distractions and doing your best to eliminate them, even if it means downloading an app that turns off all browsing capabilities while you write.

Write in a comfortable space

This might sound obvious, but if you don’t write in a comfortable space, then you might fidget around during your writing session. A comfortable space can also be a place you feel emotionally comfortable in, such as your home or room.

Not all coffee shops have ergonomic chairs and there are plenty of distractions that can make you feel uncomfortable at these shops (or at least pull you away from writing), which is why one specific place might be your best option when it comes to a writing routine. At the same time, it’s your routine, so do what works best for you.

Set goals but take the pressure off

It’s important to set writing goals to ensure you’re sticking to your deadlines and actually writing, but you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself.

For example, it’s OK to not hit your goal of 500 words a day and you shouldn’t get down on yourself if you don’t. Likewise, if the words are flowing, it’s perfectly acceptable to continue writing when you reach your daily goal.

As long as you’re sitting down and attempting to write during your scheduled time, that’s all that matters. You can’t build a writing habit until you start.

Experiment, eliminate, and create your perfect routine

Creating the perfect writing routine can take time and can be different for everyone. Some people like to shower, eat breakfast, exercise, and read before they start writing. Others like to start the moment they get up.

Experiment with different routines, eliminate rituals that don’t work, incorporate ones that do, and create your perfect writing routine. That’s how you can rock your writing in the morning (or whenever you decide to write).

Are Graduation Dresses Supposed to Be White?

Are Graduation Dresses Supposed to Be White?

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Have you heard that graduation dresses should be white? In this day and age, that’s just not so. You should check to see whether there’s a dress code, then check the weather. After that, on your graduation day, the world is yours, and you have plenty of style options.

Modern graduation dress is comfortable but stylish, a relaxed semiformal unless otherwise stated. White is the most traditional, but if it’s not your best color, the fashion police won’t arrest you. You earned that diploma, or a ransom note until you pay for it, so express yourself and be you.

Whatever color you choose, comfort is key. Along with pockets, of course, because you’ll have no room or time for bags and purses.

With those aspects of your ensemble considered, the fun part can begin. What is your style, who are “you”? What’s under the robe matters, and you should also take into account the robe. Is your style boho chic, a little bit rebellious, punk, preppy, demure, girlie, color-free, colorful? Whoever “you” are, you can find a few graduation dresses that are right for you.

Boho chic

For the inner flower child or maxi-skirt lover of any denomination, it’s hard to go wrong. Long, flowy palazzo pants are even an option with your favorite spiritual blouse and a layer of necklaces. Just make sure your comfy shoes are still a little fancy.

Rebel

There’s never a bad excuse for spikes and leather, flannel, or whatever definition of anti-girlie is. It is best to leave some drama and frills, not to mention tears and holes at home, though. “What would Wednesday wear?” along with some bold but not cumbersome accessories, is a good way to go.

Flannel dresses are also an option, and who says you can’t wear comfortable yet stylish boots or limited edition Converses?

Preppy

Preppy is the new Mod, and Mods always had a great sense of style. Think the Royal Family but fun. And because it’s a special occasion, a standout piece or two of jewelry will complement the ensemble. If Kate Middleton would wear it to a barbecue, it will do.

Demure

If Grace Kelly wears it to a barbecue, it’s demure. Minimal but elegant, subtle but finely crafted and plotted is the definition of demure. Being demure is also a safe option, or a go-to option if you just can’t decide.

Hemlines and colors are key, though if you go a little wild with either of those, then thing start getting girlie.

Girlie

Girlie doesn’t automatically mean pink, flowers, and pearls. There are many other feminine colors and elements of style. However, too much frill and poof can be cumbersome. If Elle Woods would wear it, but to work, it works.

Color?

Some people hate the color or don’t have a lot of it in their wardrobe. That’s fine, but to make the ensemble special, try color blocking or a bold pop of color. Minimalist doesn’t mean boring. Sleek, sophisticated, on-point statement accessories also pair well with more versatile, basic dresses.

Colorful

If your outfits light up a room, it’s a good thing the robe is usually black. Too much color can be a literal headache, so balance the urge to paint the world rainbow with things that are more neutral. Have a standout dress and simpler shoes or accessories, or vice versa.

Your graduation day is a special day — your day. So be you — but comfortable, practical, and stylish.

SEO For Authors

SEO For Authors

As an aspiring author, one of the most important skills you’ll ever have to learn is… Finishing! Not only is writing endings a skill and its own discrete art, it’s impossible to start to promote or market a book that is unfinished. Hit up virtually any author on Twitter and ask them how many would-be authors have contacted them through some platform or another with advice about how to promote their book. Then ask them how many of those authors actually finished the book in question. The number will likely diminish. Still, getting ahead of one’s self before the tome in question is complete is just one part of the wonderful life of an author.

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Nonetheless, when that troublesome ending is written, the book has been re-drafted and edited and you’re feeling good about it, promotion can be a thorny issue, especially if you have self-published. Without the clout of a publisher behind you, getting people to invest in your book can be tricky. While it’s advisable to seek the aid of SEO Consultants, this is not always possible for those on a shoestring budget. With this in mind, here are some SEO tips for authors to help you to reach the audience who will love your book…

Always be blogging

Blogging is a powerful string to an author’s bow for a number of reasons. Firstly, blogging is a great whetstone on which to sharpen your writing talents. Secondly, it’s a great way to engage with your readers and let them peek behind the curtain of your writing process. Thirdly, it allows you a great opportunity to expand your reach through SEO. Needless to say, your blog posts don’t always have to be about the book you’re trying to promote. The judicious use of keywords can allow you and your work to get noticed in a wide range of search engine queries. When you use highly relevant keywords which are appropriate to the craft of writing, your chosen genre or literary criticism it exposes your insights and your work to a wider range or prospective readers.

Plus, if you can get them to invest in you as an author and as a person they’ll keep coming back to your work time and again.

Focus on strategy

Your website should be a platform not just to promote your work but to encourage readers to invest in your brand and your voice. If they do this, they’ll not only be more likely to read your work, they’ll also be more likely to review it on Amazon, share your content on social media and help their friends, colleagues and family members to find your work.

In order to do this, however, you need to be strategic in your approach to content creation. Don’t just write content arbitrarily. Keep abreast of trending topics. Write posts that coincide with big releases in your genre. Keep using keywords to keep your content relevant.

Reach out to other authors

Links are an important part of SEO. Internal links are great but backlinks from high authority sites are solid gold. Thus, if you can get another author to link to your content, especially one whose website gets a lot of traffic, it can be highly beneficial for your SEO.

This is why it pays to maintain good relations with fellow authors, especially those within your genre, on social media and be a participatory member of the community.

3 Subscription Services Perfect for Book Lovers

3 Subscription Services Perfect for Book Lovers

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If you or a loved one is a committed member of the literari, there is no better time to look into book subscription boxes. The bookworm in your family might be difficult to buy for around the holidays since they’re always buying new books or cruising the local library for new releases, but you can get ahead of the curve by signing them (or yourself) up for a subscription box specifically curated by book lovers for book lovers. While you’re at it, you might treat yourself further by signing up for the best coffee subscription to pair with your new favorite novel.

Not everyone is blessed with a Powell’s right next door, and barring an opportunity to road trip and get the Oregon Coast experience, you’ll have to make do with local bookstores or online purchases. This is where subscription services are especially handy. However, not all are created equal, and certain book of the month clubs are preferable for fans of different genres. A YA fanatic and a mystery lover will undoubtedly benefit from signing up for different subscriptions. If you’re curious about becoming a member of a book subscription club, consider some of the following popular choices.

OwlCrate.

The YA genre has never been more popular. With an unbelievable wealth of subgenres ranging from indulgent boy band fiction to creepy paranormal romance to action-packed dystopia, this category is not just for kids anymore. In fact, the vast majority of YA fans are actually over the age of 18, and the premier subscription box for fans of the young adult genre is OwlCrate and its sub-company, OwlCrate Jr., for kids.

Founded in 2014 by passionate YA fans hoping to share lesser-known titles with a worldwide audience, the service has taken off in the past four years and grown into nothing short of a phenomenon. The tight-knit team of voracious readers and proud book nerds have made appearances at events including the Texas Teen Book Festival in Austin and BookCon in Chicago. Their motto is “no one is too old to read YA,” and they encourage readers to keep growing their TBR piles with carefully curated monthly selections of the best in young adult literature.

LitJoy Crate.

Though fantasy-oriented subscription company LitJoy Crate is still finding their footing, the relatively new subscription service appears to be thriving amidst a lot of competition, perhaps due to the fact that their team is especially passionate about high-quality storytelling and fine detail in literature.

LitJoy is staffed by a team of powerful modern women with an unironic love of high and low fantasy, and hope to create a safe space for escapists to indulge their wildest dreams. They enable readers to give them feedback and talk about books through their social media platforms, too, allowing the experience to feel a lot more personal.

Despite their love of the fantastical and fictional, the staff of LitJoy are firmly grounded in real-world charity. They have proudly partnered with NGOs to give back to their global community of readers and writers.

Book of the Month.

With a name as classic and forthright as Book of the Month, this service is guaranteed to offer a straightforward, no-frills opportunity to dive into the best literary offerings every month. Subscribers are certainly happy; Book of the Month is currently the top-ranked subscription service for literature lovers. Their motto (“Read. Love. Repeat.”) emphasizes the simple, traditional values that their company takes as gospel, and at affordable rates, enables virtually anyone to gain access to the best books imaginable. While primarily geared towards adults, there are plenty of books available via Book of the Month that are appropriate for teens.

This service enables book lovers to gain early access to new releases and debut novels from groundbreaking authors. Book of the Month truly opens doors that might otherwise remain closed to those outside of the literary world themselves. It’s a beautiful thing when something as simple as a monthly subscription can provide amazing opportunities to read great literary fiction, nonfiction, and memoirs before anyone else.

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