Category Archives: Art & Business

Kickstarter Update: Day 4 – The Sparkbook Is “Popular”

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The Pose Drawing Sparkbook continues to do well on Kickstarter. It’s only Day 4 and it’s already passed the $4,000 mark and is 45% funded! Over 2,000 people have watched the promo video and the project is now featured in the “Popular This Week”section under Kickstarter’s “Publishing” category. Two artists with very large followings (over 10,000 each) have shared about it on social media and tonight the project was highlighted on Parka Blogs, a site that specializes in reviewing art books. The book isn’t even published yet and they want to promote it! How cool is that?

We’ve been warned that after an initial burst of interest most Kickstarter projects experience a long “lull” in the middle of the fundraising period, so I want to make the most of everyone’s attention while I still have it. My wife and I have been doing a ton of promotion work but we can’t do it alone. We are super grateful to all of you who have been spreading the word. The more people hear about this, the greater the chance that it will succeed.

Oh, and don’t forget to grab your free download of 100 sketchbook ideas:

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Thanks again to all my friends, fans and backers. You rock!

Wow! My Kickstarter Is Off To A Great Start!

Illustration by Cedric Hohnstadt

I’m truly blown away. My new Kickstarter, the Pose Drawing Sparkbook, has had a tremendous first day.

In the first  24 hours it passed the $2,000 mark (I’m currently at 26% of my goal). All 50 of the early bird specials have been purchased; the project is featured on the “Popular This Week” page under Kickstarter’s “Publishing” category; and it has received over 800 “likes” on Tumblr. Big thanks and high-fives to all of my fans and backers!

This is a fantastic beginning but there’s still a long way to go. I’m told that most of the contributions to a Kickstarter project happen at the very beginning of the campaign and again at the very end. The first 48 hours can be crucial. So I’d like to humbly ask all of my blog readers to please spread the word. Let’s make this thing happen!

In addition to the Kickstarter page, you can also remind your friends that I’m giving away a free download of 100 sketchbook ideas to promote the project, no strings attached. Just point them here: http://www.cedricstudio.com/sparkbook/

In the mean time, I’ll be working hard to spread the word and keep buzz going as well.

New Kickstarter: “Pose Drawing SparkBook” + Free Download

Illustration by Cedric Hohnstadt

I’m excited to announce the launch of my first Kickstarter, the Pose Drawing SparkBook! It’s a super-charged sketchbook, custom designed to help artists put more life and personality into their drawings. It will include 100 drawing exercises, 32 pages of instructional content, and hundreds of additional drawing ideas in the back of the book.

I’m really excited about the potential for this book to be a great resource for storytelling artists of all kinds – whether they work in animation, character design, storyboards, cartoons or comics.

To help spread the word I’m giving away a free list of 100 sketchbook ideas taken from the back of the book. Get yours here:

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In order for the SparkBook to become a reality I need to raise enough funds. In exchange for a small contribution to the project you can get several rewards, including the book itself (with free ebook version) or other resources I’ve created. You can read all about it and watch a promo video over on my Kickstarter page.

Would you consider helping spread the word? Just use the share buttons below, or copy and paste the following into your favorite social media:

Free download: 100 Sketchbook Ideas For Posing Your Characters: http://bit.ly/15kOpi2

Thanks a bunch!

2013 Creative Freelancer Conference Recaps and Round-Ups

One of the best-kept secrets in the freelancing community is the HOW Creative Freelancer Conference. I’ve attended it several times and always come away with my head swimming with new thoughts, ideas, and advice on how to work smarter, treat my clients better, and as a result boost my income. It’s not an exaggeration to say my income has gone up well over 50% since I started attending back around 2007-ish, and a large part of that is due to things I’ve learned from the conference.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend this year’s conference, but others who did attend have posted some great blog posts and recaps outlining what they learned. There’s some great stuff here! Most of it has been gathered into one Pinterest page by Ilise Benun (who co-founded a terrific company, Marketing Mentor). Or, you can click on some of the links below:

Top Ten Things I Learned At The Creative Freelancer Conference by Jill Lynn

The Dark Art of Pricing by Jessica Hische

A New Perspective: The Creative Freelancer Conference by Kimberly Salisbury

Creative Freelancer Conference Recap by Loretta Robinson (Part 1, Part 2)

Resources For Making People Love You Madly by Colleen Wainwright

CFC: My Ten Specifics Behind ‘The Awesome’ by Deidre Rienzo

The People You Meet And The Books You Read by Luke Mysse

Episodes of the Reflex Blue Podcast related to the conference.

Now….get out there and work smarter!

EDIT: Next year’s conference will be May 12-16, 2014 in Boston. Mark your calendars!

Creative Freelancer Conference on Twitter

As I write this, independent creatives from all over the country are gathered in San Francisco for the Creative Freelancer Conference, which is part of a larger event known as HOW Design Live. I’ve attended several times and it’s always been worth my while. I’ve learned a great deal, made some valuable connections, picked up lots of tips for working smarter instead of harder, and come back energized and inspired to tackle the “business end” of being a self-employed illustrator. For most creatives learning about business issues sounds about as fun as doing your taxes, but the folks that run the conference somehow find ways to make it truly exciting and inspiring.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend this year. Each year the attendees are encouraged to tweet insights, nuggets, and goodies they are learning using the hashtag #CFConf. If, like me, you are not spending your weekend in a hotel conference room in San Francisco I would highly recommend punching that hashtag into the Twitter search window and see what you get. I’ll bet it will be worth your while.

Giving Tumblr A Try

More and more artists, especially in the animation community, seem to be flocking to Tumblr. I’ve decided to tag along. One the one hand I don’t really need yet another social network to stay on top of (I’m already active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Behance, and every once in a while I still make an appearance Pinterest, DeviantArt, and Google Plus.) On the other hand, I get a lot of inspiration from following other artists and so I want to go where the action is.

In order to follow anyone on Tumblr I had to create an account, so I slapped together a page and uploaded a couple of sketches. At the moment I’m swamped with client work but once things slow down I’ll give it a closer look and see what I think. If I like it I might kick in for the long haul.

If you also Tumble, you can follow me at http://cedrichohnstadt.tumblr.com.

EDIT: Some artists are actually shutting down their blogs and replacing them with their Tumblr pages. For the time being my blog will be staying right here as part of my website and I plan to keep posting as always.

Updated PDF Portfolios. Get ‘Em While They’re Hot!

Free PDF Portfolio Downloads from Cedric Hohnstadt Illustration

It’s been over a year since I last refreshed my PDF Portfolios. Since I just posted a brand spankin’ new logo, I thought it would be a good time to update them as well. The new portfolios come in four flavors: Character Design, Toy Design, Illustration, and FPO/Comp Art. Click the links to download or grab them off my Downloads page. They’re yours to keep so print them out, file them away, or share them with your friends.

Contact me if I can ever be of service and, as always, thanks for your interest in my work!

Illustrator Will Terry On The State Of The Illustration Biz

My friend and fellow illustrator Bob Ostrom pointed me to this video from illustrator Will Terry, who takes to YouTube with some candid thoughts on the current state of the illustration business. It’s long (49 minutes) but a must-see for anyone interested in trying to make it as self-employed illustrator. (Is there any other kind?)

Terry has been freelancing for twenty years, most of it in publishing and advertising, and has worked on thousands of projects over that time. Over the years he’s seen much of the market erode and he does a good job of explaining several reasons why things are much tougher now than they were when he started in the biz. He is also hopeful, ending the video with some inspiring thoughts on where to go from here. I really appreciate his honesty and candor, and I found many of his closing statements to be inspiring.

In my fifteen-plus years of illustrating I’ve only dabbled in publishing off-and-on so my vantage point is a little different, but by and large I think his observations are spot on. The times they are a-changin’ and many of the traditional methods of making money as an illustrator are paying diminishing returns. Some well-worn paths are getting craggy and overgrown, and new trails will have to be blazed. To stay successful we are going to have to be more saavy, more passionate, and more entrepreneurial.

Give it a listen, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Oh, and after you watch the video be sure to check out Will Terry’s blog. There’s some good stuff there.

New Logo

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After fifteen-plus years of running my own illustration studio I’ve finally gotten around to creating an official logo. Long, long overdue and very much needed. In the future I’ll be using this on all my correspondence and branding. If nothing else it should make it a little easier for busy art buyers to recognize my work by having a consistent icon/image to connect it with. Plus, all my raving fans will finally have something to tattoo across their biceps. You’re welcome.

I’m On Instagram

instagram iconA few weeks ago I decided to join the cool kids and get an instagram account. I’m not sure how to share the link outside of the Instagram website (if that’s even possible) but all you Instagramers can look me up by my username, “cedrichohnstadt“. If you follow my studio on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cedricstudio) you can also see my Instagram activity there – although it seems a bit buggy. Sometimes things show up in the feed, other times not.

I plan to primarily post sketches, doodles, and other artwork, and occasionally other items of interest. For instance, I posted a few pics from the CTN Expo a couple of weeks ago. But mostly it will be artwork. Look for me on a smart phone near you.

EDIT: I guess Instagram recently made some changes to their still-very-minimalist website (either that or I just didn’t know how to navigate it correctly) and you can now view my page on your web browser. Here you go.