JIMIYO
5Apr/111

FREE VECTORS: Anchor, Horse, & Diamonds

This free download package includes an anchor, horse, and some diamonds. If you like the vectors, check out Tattoos from The Golden Black.

DOWNLOAD LINK: http://hotfile.com/dl/113355386/1ab9ce1/Tattoo.rar.html

Please RETWEET if you like the free vector set, or post on Facebook and share with your friends.

If you like these vectors, make sure to bookmark my blog and check back on occasion for more FREE VECTORS and articles.

Thanks!
;j

Filed under: FREE 1 Comment
30Mar/111

FREE VECTORS: Flourishes & RANT: Afflicition isn’t that crappy.

This free download package includes royalty free flourish vectors. If you like the vectors, check out Flourishes 2 or Flourishes 1vector packs from The Golden Black.

DOWNLOAD LINK: http://hotfile.com/dl/112636687/84b7301/Flourish_Vectors_by_Jimiyo.rar.html

Please RETWEET if you like the free vector set, or post on Facebook and share with your friends.

If you like these vectors, make sure to bookmark my blog and check back on occasion for more FREE VECTORS and articles.

Thanks!
;j

AFFLICTION ISN'T THAT CRAPPY

The free vectors are some old vectors I created many years ago when I first started making my own shirts. At the time Affliction had just recently started to become popular, and wasn't pigeonholed into being considered douchebaggy, overly expensive t-shirts. People at the time respected the apparel line for incorporating solid art (stuff that actually took a good artist with drawing skills to redner), using atypical print locations, and utilizing other printing methods like foil. It's interesting how quickly public opinion can change after something reaches a level of success. The fact is, success doesn't change the inherent value or skill that it took to create the art in the shirts at the time. I initially was impressed with integration of ornate design elements with highly skilled drawings/illustrations. Affliction shirts were a heavy influence in a few of my initial "jimiyo" tees.

I've since sold the rights to these designs for a measley $150-$400 each, but I guess that is the mistakes that an artist has to make to pay the bills when they first start out. In hindsight, I NEEDED the money to pay rent, so I sold myself short. I guess I could recreate them with 2011 skills, but the ability to create simple designs without over thinking is something I've long lost with becoming too aware of the rules and could probably no longer replicate... unless maybe I was drunk... I don't know. I was somewhat of an alcoholic back then. Maybe alcohol abuse helped me to reach that nirvana of stupor and anti-conformist behavior in my designing. Old stomach can't take the booze no more without severe consequences.... I digress.

And maybe, over the years, Affliction designs have become easily recognized and regurgitated enough into a formulaic, replicate-able design, so they aren't as fresh and exciting as they used to be, still... Affliction isn't that crappy. If you met someone in real life that was like... I design Afflicition t-shirt designs, you would be probably be like... hey, that's actually a cool frakking job.

Thanks for reading.
FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK!
;j

Filed under: FREE, palaver 1 Comment
28Mar/110

FREE PHOTOS & VECTORS: Skull Photos and Dem Bones Mix Pack

This free download package includes royalty free medium resolution skull reference photos from various angles and a handful of bones and skull vectors. If you like the vectors, check out Dem Bones or Skulls vector pack from The Golden Black.

DOWNLOAD LINK: http://hotfile.com/dl/112266865/cd4f9de/skulls_by_jimiyo.rar.html

Please RETWEET if you like the free vector set, or post on Facebook and share with your friends.

If you like these vectors, make sure to bookmark my blog and check back on occasion for more FREE VECTORS and articles.

Thanks!
;j

Filed under: FREE No Comments
25Mar/111

FREE VECTOR: Lion Head & WEEKLY ROUNDUP

DOWNLOAD LINK: http://hotfile.com/dl/111828191/57eab13/Lion_Head.rar.html

Please RETWEET if you like the free vector set, or post on Facebook and share with your friends.

If you like these vectors, make sure to bookmark my blog and check back on occasion for more FREE VECTORS and articles.

Thanks!
;j

WEEKLY ROUNDUP

FREE ASIAN VECTORS: http://hotfile.com/dl/111373008/04c368f/Lotus_Pack_by_jimiyo.rar.html
FREE ROSES VECTORS: http://hotfile.com/dl/111508750/200aef4/Roses_I_by_jimiyo.rar.html
FREE HUMMINGBIRD VECTORS: http://hotfile.com/dl/111226014/65be14d/hummingbirds.rar.html

PALAVER March 25, 2011

Instead of writing articles, I've switched over to offering free vectors for content. Although it would be beneficial for me to write articles three times a week as I had considered, in hindsight the task seemed to be too optimistic. Also, sadly, free vectors garner much more traffic regardless of the level of helpful insights the articles might offer. I will most likely write articles occasionally, but just like "art" over "pop culture", there does seem to be a collary in mass market acceptance of bite size generic bits versus long expositions with details and explanations. I was thinking Seth Godin has interesting bite size mini-blogs and they are easy to consume. The mini-blogs are akin to retweeting proverbs or a popular quote from some famous dead man, although they are admittedly slightly longer, usually a paragraph or three. Still, I can understand how the mass internet audience, having an aversion for thinking and a tendency for ADD media consumption, would rather not read a long article, and want the shortcut to the answer to life and all things.

I was listening to The Long Tail by Chris Anderson recently. There was an interesting quote, "The quest for mass market acceptance requires a compromise - a willingness to pick topics of broad interests... and write in a conversational style rather than academic."

The quote taken out of context is quite misleading since the overall concept of the book which is the long tail of markets, which "refers to the statistical property that a larger share of population rests within the tail of a probability distribution than observed under a 'normal' or Gaussian distribution. The term has gained popularity in recent times as describing the retailing strategy of selling a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities – usually in addition to selling fewer popular items in large quantities."

It was a good book. I recommend it. I haven't been able to discern any application of the book's information to an artist's career since although the book claim niche markets can thrive, it would be misleading to say that the individual or product which represents the niche would easily thrive, because in reality, its the aggregator of the niche that would thrive.

Consider the common belief that artists can thrive by building a niche somewhat misleading. I used to hear the term "niche markets" and automatically believe that by the virtue that the term existed meant that just by being an individual, fans would flock to one's individuality. I surmise that the reason artists in niche markets become popular and successful is because a larger entity, an aggregator, successfully curated their work to expose them to a wider audience.

Unless you are able to get exposure through an aggregator, your only other alternative is become a self promoter, and be just as effective as the aggregator. There in lies the rub. As always, you can either work hard as an artist and hope that you get picked up and helped along the way, or you can become a jack of all trades and learn yourself into becoming a self aggregator of sorts. Does that make sense?

OTHER PALAVER

I ended up needing some mindfreeze, so I invested in Fallout New Vegas. It's pretty much like Fallout 3 so it's been nice to pick up in the same realm with new storylines.

I am almost finished with Veritas.

Love Cthulhu art print was delivered. I will most likely be running a giveaway in the near future.

I moved to Kirkland, WA from Foothill Ranch, CA a year ago on March 22, 2010. I distinctly remember leaving at 1:30. I drove about 21 hours straight to get here. I think I took a couple naps at rest stops along the way. It was a big leap I suppose, moving to a new city for a girl. Relationship are definitely quite a bit of work, but I suppose anything worthwhile is... ;)

The kitties were born a year ago today.

Thanks for reading!
;j

Filed under: FREE, palaver 1 Comment
23Mar/110

FREE VECTORS: Roses

DOWNLOAD LINK: http://hotfile.com/dl/111508750/200aef4/Roses_I_by_jimiyo.rar.html

Please RETWEET if you like the free vector set, or post on Facebook and share with your friends.

If you like these vectors, you may like the whole floral vector set available at The Golden Black.

Thanks!
;j

Filed under: FREE No Comments
22Mar/110

FREE VECTORS: Asian Themed Variety Pack

DOWNLOAD LINK: http://hotfile.com/dl/111373008/04c368f/Lotus_Pack_by_jimiyo.rar.html

Please RETWEET if you like the free vector set, or post on Facebook and share with your friends.

If you like these vectors, you may like the whole asian themed vector set available at The Golden Black.

Thanks!
;j

Filed under: FREE No Comments
21Mar/110

FREE VECTORS: Hummingbirds

jimiyo free vectors photoshop illustrator

DOWNLOAD LINK: http://hotfile.com/dl/111226014/65be14d/hummingbirds.rar.html

Please RETWEET if you like the free vector set, or post on Facebook and share with your friends.

If you like these vectors, you may like the whole birds vector set available at The Golden Black.

Thanks!
;j

Filed under: FREE No Comments
17Mar/117

Stop Focusing on the Negatives. Pursue Gratitude.

by Jimiyo

I read (or listen to) alot of non-fiction books. Most of them deal with business development, psychology, self improvement, happiness, etc.

In many of the books I've read, it's often repeated that positive thinking can have dramatic effects on health and performance.

In my younger days, I valued truth, the TMI-kind that reveled in the raw and taboo. I inappropriately judged being overly positive as being untruthful as it doesn't necessarily allow for the negative perspectives to be expressed with equal weight.

I'm ready to put aside the values of my youth.

I've spent a considerable amount of my mental energy throughout the years refining my ability to see the negatives in all things. I surmise that's what's allowed me to make improvements in my own life, as my tendency for rigorous scrutiny has simultaneous helped me to achieve success, yet sadly, destroy the joys of any achievement as there's always another peak, always another way that's just a little better. Fortunately, it's what makes me a decent art director too. I don't allow the truths of other minds with less data to affect my calculated decisions on what's good for the company.

I think it's time to swing the pendulum back the other way because I feel I've reached the maximum level of efficiency in my ability to discern the negatives of any circumstance or thing. I've been refining that skillset so long, it's automatic, it's reached the level of wu wei.

Ironically, my ability to discern the negatives applied to the efficacy of my discernment of the negatives compel me to change.

Does that make sense?

There's a concept I've learned recently that has helped me to see why positive thinking may be of benefit:

Tetris Effect. "The Tetris effect occurs when people devote sufficient time and attention to an activity that it begins to overshadow their thoughts, mental images, and dreams."

Just as I caused my own Tetris Effect of seeing the negatives in all things, with practice I can easily cause a Tetris Effect of seeing positives in all things.

I was reading 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class recently that seemed to correlate with the Tetris Effect. I know the title is somewhat haughty sounding and hokey, but don't discredit it. It's a great, easy to read book. It has very short chapters, and concise action items on how to become... erm World Class. Soon you will be a World Champion ready to take on M. Bison!

One of the short chapters states that "Thoughts and feelings of gratitude seem to elevate the performer's consciousness to a higher plane than is accessible through any other means... they are aware of the triggers that create a mental climate conducive to this state of mind. Gratitude is the mindset of choice when they need to awaken the giant and tap their genius."

I would surmise that the reason gratitude seems to allow access to a state of flow is that it absolves all fear. When you cause an Tetris Effect of positive feelings and thoughts to occur, there is no longer loss being accentuated as a potential result, therefore creating the least path of resistance towards action that moves towards success.

There's a lizard brain inside of all of us. Negative consequences awakens our Lizard brains. We must allow ourselves to use our higher brain functions to manipulate, even subdue, the Lizard.

177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class recommended listing 10 things for which one is grateful, and then reviewing them over a period of a week, and seeing the emotional impacts, so here's my list.

If you are so inclined, why not consider doing running the experiment with me? Eh Eh? Print yours out. Read it every morning, and throughout the day.

I am grateful for:

1. The kitties are super.
2. I'm happy to have an intelligent, hottie girlfriend.
3. I'm glad I have non-divorced, sane parents that raised me well.
4. I'm happy that I have a great job with bosses that trust me with a great deal of responsibilities.
5. I'm glad there are "fans" who appreciate my work, and those who let me know that somehow, I have inspired them.
6. I'm glad I live 2 minutes from a great Pho restaurant. Also grocery, bank, public library.
7. I'm glad I am financially stable and can pay for personal health insurance.
8. I really like this little heater next to my desk, and my NookColor.
9. I'm glad I'm healthy, and have all my limbs.
10. I appreciate that I live in the United States. It seems to allow for maximum freedom.

Thanks for reading.
Be Good. Do Good. Spread Good.
;j

Filed under: personal, Tips 7 Comments
28Feb/113

Why Being an Artist is Being a Business is Being in a Relationship.

by jimiyo

TL;DR: Don't neglect the fact that pursuing a livelihood as an artist is the same as running a business, and to excel, you will have to incorporate business strategies to maximize market saturation and exposure. Yet don't reduce your interactions with your fans down to a rigid business transaction as being an artist means being in a relationship with your fans, and to maximize symbiosis, it must be a mutually beneficial and rewarding exchange.

GIVEAWAYS

If you follow me on Facebook, you know I run giveaways. Giveaways are when I give away free stuff made from my art (stickers, posters, art, etc) to fans to help me promote a shirt or some thing that I need to expose to a larger audience than my social network. Or sometimes I just give away free stuff, because it feels good to know that I caused an unexpected, pleasant surprise in someone’s life.

I know there are some artists out there that erroneously perceive my actions as a cheap method to “get fans,” as if I am “buying fans.” I know there are artists out there that think like this because I’ve seen comments in online forums that express this notion, and I’ve heard artists snipe about other artists in such a way.

That… is epically small minded and idiotic. It probably stems from jealousy and envy that another artist is successfully getting attention. Don’t listen to them.

The fact is, it’s not cheap even in the literal sense, because it costs money to give away free stuff that costs money/time to make, and there is nothing cheap or wrong with the methodology.

The fact is, if you want to make a living creating an income from art, there comes a point where you have to come to the realization that ART IS A BUSINESS.

Let me veer off the topic a moment, I’ll come back around.

I started giving away free stuff years ago, because at the beginning of my artist career after thinking I could never make a living out of being an artist, people started buying my stuff, and praising me for my work. You know how good it feels when after you feel like you’ve been climbing up some humongous mountain all by yourself, and all of a sudden you find yourself on the climb up with an audience cheering you on? I can honestly say it’s utterly the one of the most brilliant moments of my life. It’s as if the clouds opened up, and the universe proclaimed, “You are not a turd.”

Giveaways became a way for me to return my gratitude. There are fans who still follow my work who knew me when I was just making $10/hour at my first art job in podunk Gallatin, TN designin Nascar tees.

It wasn’t until I recently stumbled onto some business and marketing literature that I realized that my actions were apparently somewhat related to basic business practices with terms like Cost of Acquisition, and Reciprocity.

Defined:

Cost of Acquisition “is the cost associated with convincing a consumer to buy your product or service, including research, marketing, and advertising costs.” SOURCE

Reciprocity "is a mutual or cooperative exchange of favors or privileges. It is exemplified by the American expression You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours (unless it’s really pimply) and the Latin Hannibal Lecter expression Quid pro quo... Clarice…" SOURCE

Upon discovering the terminology, I started to understand why artists would have an aversion for giveaways, and perceive that running giveaways were some underhanded method to attract new viewers.

I would assume they think it’s subversive or disingenuous, that the person running the giveaway has an ulterior motive, which is money money money (which “Cost of Acquisition” seems to indicate), which is also some odd ethical topic that artists love to mull over as if the connection of art to commercialism is somehow evil and takes away from the pureness of creation. But they neglect the truth that, if you are going to utilize your artistic ability to sustain a livelihood or for any sort of reciprocal reward like praise or recognition, you have already stepped into the realm of commerce and exchange.

Being an Artist is Being a Business is Being in a Relationship.

Unless you’re a hermit that creates art in a vacuum and you show no one your work, you can’t deny the fact that creating art is at least partially motivated by the pursuit of some need, whether it be praise, money, fame, etc from another party.

I’m not saying that you need to look at everything in a rigid, business transaction point of view, but unless you view being an artist as encompassing some business aspects, you might as well forget making a livelihood from your art and go work your 9-5 and lie to yourself that you are an artist because you don’t do art for money, you do it for love, after you spend 8 hours a day selling out your artistic abilities making unexciting brochures and leaflets or whatever you do because someone told you too... for money.

So I give away free stuff, not because I’m in the mentality of thinking if a guy takes a woman out for three dates that he is entitled to getting laid, but because I’m seeking to serve my fans because I appreciate my fans because I know I’m in a relationship with them. I also know that inherently, by being gracious and sharing the success they’ve helped to create by giving back (reciprocity), it will foster a healthy, trusting relationship and help to build new relationships (cost of acquisition).

Zig Ziglar, a successful author, motivational speaker and business man once said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

And you know what, it’s true. Being an artist isn’t some one sided, look what I made, I’m so original, you should buy it, and make me rich scenario, it’s more like…

Hey Ya’ll,

I’ve been in the lab working mad hours trying to perfect my craft, this is what I made for you guys, I hope you like it. [Curtsey Curtsey] I’m going back in the lab and gonna try harder to make some more stuff you guys hopefully like. THHHHAAAANKKK YOOOUUU!

Love,
Your Favorite Artist.

_____________

Til Next Time, Be Good, Do Good, Spread Good. And as my parents always used to urge me, Ganbatte!
;j

Filed under: art business, Tips 3 Comments
24Feb/1117

How to Make Lots of Whatever. Produce Not Consume.

by jimiyo

Do you want to make more money?

Or if you have an aversion for the thought of making money,

Do you want to be more creative?

Stop reading right now. Go make art. Rinse and Repeat. The End.

If you need a not-so-swift kick in the ass... Proceed.

I recently saw this infographic showing the abundance of trade deficits the United States has with other countries. The basic overview is, the United States imports (buys) alot more than they export (sell).

I'm not sure what a trade deficit means for the US economy, but I can confidently say, the habit of consuming more than producing can be a reason why artists don't become successful.

What? You're going to compare an artist to the US economy? Yes.

I try to be productive, but on some days, I surf the internet trying to "get inspired." I view and consume other people's art, surf Twitter, and watch endless streams of other artists producing work, while I waste away piddling my thumbs wishing I had something to pimp to get some internet love.

I don't stay in consumption mode long, because I know it's not beneficial, both financially and for artistic growth.

I've been active in artist communities for several years now. Having been an art director for a few years, I get to scrutinize artists and their work habits. I've never seen an artist who has a great work ethic fail... ever. In reality, I've seen them make a lot of money and garner some internet fame.

I've also seen artists who had the skills and raw talent to succeed disappear into oblivion (aka lifer at an uncreative 9-5) because they just didn't want to work hard enough.

That's partially the reason why I've started to write these blogs. I've seen talented young men and women, who, for Fear of Failure or for some other reason, gave up on the prospect of earning a livelihood from their art (their passion, the whole reason, if there be an omnipotent being, they were spawned into existence!?) If they would have just worked just a little harder, they could changed the whole direction of their lives and become a shining beacon and inspiration to others.

When I see this, it makes me sad, disappointed, and angry.

It's never too late. I've seen noobs go from obscurity to internet famous, quitting their jobs, working from home, creating more art, spending more time with their family, in as little as 2-3 years of pounding the pavement.

This ideal isn't just for people who want to be artists. It's for ANYONE who wants to get out of the 9-5 and start livin their lives with purpose instead of being another cog in the wheel of someone else's Master Freedom Plan.

So you have a choice: Do you wanna be a Consumer, or do you wanna be a Producer?

Do you want to watch everyone else strive to do great things? Or do you want to be the person producing great things that inspire people?

There's much fulfillment and financial reward for those who decide to produce.

It doesn't really take alot of effort to be a high producer either.

I received a great newsletter today from StevePavlina.com that raised an interesting point of view on how small actions can add up to a lot over the years.

"If you average 30 minutes per day processing email, you'll spend the equivalent of 23 8-hour days processing email this year... over the course of 50 years, you'll spend the equivalent of 4.6 working years doing nothing but processing email."

Keeping that perspective in mind, check out how some artists leveraged their free time to be producers, not only just creating a secondary stream of income for themselves but building a fanbase which they could help them on their way to 1000 True Fans.

Shirt.woot.com is a website where artists can submit t-shirt designs into derbies for which they can earn $1000 plus commission per winning design. In a little over a year and a half, PatrickPens has created an impressive 115 pieces of art, resulting in a minimum of $31,000 in extra income from 31 derby prints. Typically, shirt.woot pays $2 per shirt sold after the first day of sales usually increasing the possible commissions to significantly more than 31K. Teefury has sold his non-winning designs increasing his overall income from his artwork.

There are legends that say that one participant at shirt.woot was able to pay his mortgage payments due to a winning design. The shirt has sold nearly 35,000 units which means that the artist got $2 per shirt after the typical first day sales of 3000 shirts. Do the math. Have your mind blown.

Teefury.com, a similar shirt a day site (where I work as art director), artists can earn $1 per shirt sold. Ian Leino has earned over $15,000 with 7 designs in a year and a half, and increased his Facebook fan following from a few hundred to nearly 3000.

In approximately four years, Lisa Gagné took her love of photography, and leveraged the internet and the microstock industry to earn a six figure income. With all the products already created and earning money as she sleeps, it’s safe to assume she’s coasting on the residuals while trying to figure out how to hit a million downloads for a cool 40% royalty.

Forget large numbers. Let’s start small. I made a few stock vector sets from the pieces of the designs I’ve created over the years, and sell them through TheGoldenBlack. I don’t earn a lot of money, but a few hundred bucks every few months ain’t too shabby for doin nothin! Imagine, if for the last 5 years I had continuously created stock vector to sell to other artists how much I could be earning passively? Obviously I took another path and I didn’t follow through on that idea, still, it’s not hard to see when you decide to choose to be a producer, amazing things will happen.

Maybe you don't know where to start. There are plenty of opportunities. Just start. You'll figure it out.

Until next time: Be Good. Do Good. Spread Good. Get off your ass and work.

;j

Filed under: Tips 17 Comments