Are my skills worth much?

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Sheepy-Pie

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Are my skills worth much?
« on: September 14, 2016, 01:06:23 PM »
I was thinking of trying to make a little bit of money designing logos/banners for facebook groups or doing some photo editing, but I am not sure if my skills are 'enough' to warrant money. I'm not sure what to do really, cause I'd like to earn a bit of money, and I do like making logos or photoediting to an extent, but I feel I'm not adequate enough to ask for money. Also would the fact I don't use photoshop put off people? I dunno.

What should I do? :/

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xexes

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2016, 05:18:17 PM »
I went back three pages in your post history and gave up - can you please post some examples of what you have done?


Generally people either get someone in the business to look at their work and/or they let the commissions they get tell them whether to lower or raise the prices. If you don't get enough commissions, lower. If too much, raise. A price is not just a price, but a direct indicator of how good you are. If you only charge $10 for a masterpiece, people will be confused and think it must suck in some way, so they won't buy it.

Also, since you seem interested in this as a monetary avenue, you can and should be keeping a collection of examples of your work somewhere. An online portfolio is best.

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 08:38:06 PM »
Yeah, like @xexes I need examples, too.

Also, I need a reminder on what kind of classes you've taken that would apply to photo editing and the like, and the software you use. You don't use Photoshop right now, if I remember right, so the first thing I would say is that you need to get Photoshop and learn how to use it, because if you want to make money from the editing and such that you do, people are going to expect you to do it in Photoshop (or Lightroom, in the case of photo editing, but I don't even really know how to use Lightroom, and I've never gotten the impression from my professor that I should be using Lightroom instead of Photoshop for photo editing. He's very adamant about using Photoshop) because that's the #1 program that people in the industry are expected to use. I've been fiddling around in Photoshop for...fifteen or sixteen years now? But I didn't even learn most of the advanced stuff that I know until I started taking classes two years ago.

Before I started taking classes, I don't think I ever would have thought about offering to do design work/photo editing for money, because I didn't really have the experience or knowledge to do it. Not saying that you can't do it without taking any classes, but if you ever have the opportunity to take a class for learning basic Photoshop, DO IT.

It takes LOTS of practice and patience. Like I said, I've been fiddling in Photoshop for fifteen years and I'm fairly certain there's still stuff I don't know how to use. I used to use Paint and BELIEVE me when I say the stuff I made in that was pretty bad.

I've been thinking about trying to offer some kind of services as well- I was thinking about making an Etsy shop, where I could make, say an invitation template and put all of the information that someone needs on it and then send them the PDF to be able to print it out themselves. I'm also thinking about offering my services to design some websites for some businesses so that I can build that portfolio. And then of course there's my photography and general photo editing skills that I have and would like to put to use. With photography, I don't think I'm quite there yet, but that might be more of a self confidence thing. On the other hand, I think I need to get some kind of experience as a photographer's assistant before I decide whether or not I would want to be a photographer and have my own business.

Either way, I need to decide, because I'm officially done with school in the middle of December and then I'll have my degree and it'll be like "...okay, now what do I do with it?"

...sorry, I turned this into a ramble. tl;dr is that I definitely need to see examples before I can tell you whether or not I think you could start charging people...if you can afford to get Photoshop, do so so that you can start playing around with it and learn it. There's lots of tutorials that you can use to teach yourself with, although believe me when I say that it helps to have the in person interaction with someone, like a professor, so if you can take more classes, do it. Definitely show us examples and then we can go from there. :)
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 08:59:42 AM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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Tyrannohotep

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 01:44:36 AM »
I agree with the others. Please post what you got, OP!
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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 11:58:00 AM »
I can't get photoshop because it doesn't run in my OS. I use GIMP and have done for over 10 years now.

I haven't taken any classes, everything I have learnt has been self-taught with a few tutorials thrown in too.

I'm not after doing it as a professional thing or something, I just want to do some on the side when I have free time so I can earn a bit of money but it not be a full job kinda thing if that makes sense?

As for examples, my sig banner is one :P I did the bleeding out graphic in the resources section. The last logo set I made was to the person's spec, looking back at it I'm not happy at it but she loved it;

https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/11156340_824862607588080_2616774247208595060_n.jpg?oh=aaa8a7d8be90f2281ac21186da53d461&oe=5840E340
https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/11162045_824974247576916_4918050556952426375_o.jpg

I was thinking of aiming it at craft businesses etc where they don't want to shell out for someone professional just yet, but want something in between. I dunno :/

What's annoying is I'm a jack of all trades. I can do photomanipulation/photoediting, photography, painting with traditional methods (super rusty on painting digitally), I can do digital pieces like logos and banners... but I'm not REALLY good at any of them. My mind wanders to the next creative endeavour before I can keep working on it. I mean I know I can make money on painting, but it's so hard to do because finding the audience is a right pain especially for abstract pieces. So at least if I made things which take under an hour I can't wander off.

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Tyrannohotep

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 02:50:38 PM »
So far, not bad. I do think you could use thicker type to make it more legible, and maybe add some anti-aliasing to make the edges look smoother/less jagged. The pink border around the oval photo also looks a little pixelated. But I would say once you fix those, you'd have a decent professional look to the final product. I know this kind of thing can take years of practice and learning.
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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2016, 04:27:58 PM »
Yeah those are the bits I'm not happy with, I'm not sure how I missed them last time tbh cause they ALWAYS irritate me. As for the font, I did give the lady a choice and that's the one she ultimately chose, but yeah I'd definitely agree for a thicker one. I have added to my collection since then so have some lovely ones tucked for a good occasion :D

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xexes

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 12:15:14 PM »
You have a good eye, it's just your technology skills aren't very good.

I think you could make some okay money by taking your services offline.

 - Scrapbooking. Especially if you can get good at just taking all the photos and making the book with little to no supervision because it's the time and effort part where people fail.

 - Wedding / shower / etc invitations. You can make some specific themes and they can choose and you'd make batches. Especially if you knew calligraphy.

Both of these have some start-up costs associated with them like getting the equipment, try to go cheap and used and then build up to nicer things.

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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2016, 05:22:31 PM »
You have a good eye, it's just your technology skills aren't very good.

Can you explain please? Aside from the oval border which as I have said above I don't like, what isn't very good?

As for the other things, scrapbooking isn't really something that sells here, and I have toyed with the idea of invites etc in the past but I don't think it's a good idea - especially because I don't have access to my printer and I have a toddler. Which is one of the reasons I was/am looking at digital stuff. Space too is severely lacking (I live in a bungalow with 6 other people) so I can't even easily paint for fun :(

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xexes

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2016, 05:44:48 PM »
You have a good eye, it's just your technology skills aren't very good.

Can you explain please? Aside from the oval border which as I have said above I don't like, what isn't very good?

As for the other things, scrapbooking isn't really something that sells here, and I have toyed with the idea of invites etc in the past but I don't think it's a good idea - especially because I don't have access to my printer and I have a toddler. Which is one of the reasons I was/am looking at digital stuff. Space too is severely lacking (I live in a bungalow with 6 other people) so I can't even easily paint for fun :(

I'm looking at skillset, I'm not grading your individual pieces, so it wouldn't be conducive to talk about each one.

The good news is that you do have an aesthetic eye (it is almost impossible to ever get good without it), so there is a lot of hope, it's just that those skills haven't matured enough and that can take up a lot of time (less the more you practice).

A lot of people do stuff without printing (online printer services is another option), but I understand how hard it can be to have 'me' time with a child, especially when they still require a lot of supervision.

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R.K. Wood

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2016, 07:26:40 AM »
Looking good to me. One thing any artist should check out is Patreon. I have an account for my comicz and you can set up to get "support" from people who like what you do, which can lead to commissions, etc. DeviantART is also another good place to start if you don't have an account already. There's tons of groups which you can share your work through and gain commissions without having to worry about printing as they have print options. It helps with practicing too, I find, because you're sharing your work to gain constructive criticism.
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2016, 10:57:46 AM »
Late reply is late:

For me, I don't particularly love the font/style of the text on the first Country Sweets one, especially "for all your party sweets." You can't read it that well. I'm also assuming that the numbers are supposed to be a phone number, so I would say that would need to be resized, put - in it (...I don't know if you guys do that with phone numbers or not), and maybe move the "for all your party sweets" part up to where the numbers are so that it's a little more readable, and resize it to fit in that space. (I realize you already made it or whatever so it doesn't do much good now, but just for future reference.)

For the second one, I don't know if I particularly like that some of the text is sticking out of the circle (like the top of the "t" in "sweets" and the "d" and "s" in "needs). And again, the font isn't all that readable.

I will say that you do have a good eye for it, though.

o.O What kind of operating system do you have that doesn't work with Photoshop? I would think that most operating systems would be compatible with it, especially these days.

You could also open an Etsy shop and just offer to make a PDF for something that you provide an example of...i.e. my mom just went on Etsy recently and had someone custom make invitations and books for baby cards for my sister's baby shower and he was...I forget where he is, but he's a loooong ways from here. Oh, in Israel I think. She told him the information that she wanted on the invitations and books for baby cards, he put in the text she asked for, and he sent PDFs of the invitations and cards for us to print. I think it was like $18.00 total for both of them, and the only one that had to get anything printed was my mom. I'm strongly considering doing that myself, probably in December when I don't have classes any more and can say that I have a graphic design degree.

Since you don't have Photoshop, I don't know if the program you use lets you make PDFs but I bet there's something online that you could use to turn them into PDFs. The PDFs are universal so they'd be able to open it no matter what operating system they have.
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WriterDave

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2016, 06:28:07 PM »
I once hired an art student to design a cover for a book that was published on Createspace.  She did an original water color painting, digitized it, worked with me on layout and text and delivered the high resolution file I needed. It was her first work and she asked for $50, but we settled on $100. Could you do something like that?  If you want to see the cover, look for On The Level by David Edgar Cournoyer on Amazon.com

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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2016, 12:41:04 PM »
Depends on what sort of image you are after. I can't do water colour, but I can do acrylics and oil (with the latter being my stronger point.

I can show you my latest oil painting, unfortunately because it was for a secret santa it was rushed and there is stuff I would correct. But time was of the essence and oil paintings are a bitch to dry!



As for the text etc, I could do that fine - so yes, I could do that :)

P.S the canvas was still wet when I took that photo so that wasn't the best photo either :P

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WriterDave

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Re: Are my skills worth much?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2016, 11:32:32 AM »
Nice image. Back when I though I had talent as an artist I did pen and ink, charcoal, water color, acrylics, and oil.  I liked  oil the least (I'm impatient and it does take time to dry.) If you would consider doing an image for my book cover let me know how to get in touch with you outside of this site and we can discuss the details.  My personal email is davidecournoyer@sbcglobal.net.