Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Alumni show in Austin -

Wednesday night.

Six Artists...two djs...free spectacle sunglasses...

ultimat vodka...art exhibition

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Running Your Own Business -

1. There is a fine line between building good client relationships and getting too close. Maintain great customer service, because it will bring you more business from that client and others that they may know. If at all possible, DON’T get over acquainted with you client. It will give them a false sense of comfort when it comes time to pay you, and they will almost always expect more for less. It will also make you want to charge less than you normally would. In the end you just lose money.

2. Striving for perfection is always the goal, but it can also hurt you. It’s important to realize that more than likely, you are good at what you do, and that is why people seek your services rather than just doing it themselves. Quality work is always important, but spending too much time making something perfect can hinder you drastically. You’ll end up losing time better spent seeking new clients, marketing, or doing something better worth your time. You be the judge – if you can afford the time, it’s always good to squeeze all the “creative juice” out it, but if there’s more work out there. Go for quality and move on to maximize efficiency. Most often, your client would never know the difference.

3. Never pre-determine a person’s ability to pay for your services. Determining cost is perhaps the most difficult aspect of being a freelancer. Do everything you can to get your client to state their budget prior to you stating your cost. If you must give a cost, give ballpark figures or a range of lowest to highest. Much of your cost, of course, is determined by how bad you need/ or want the work. Be VERY careful of how you speak of costs. The slightest misuse of words can unknowingly suggest that you think your client is incapable of affording your services. Assuming that a person CAN pay the full amount and charging too much will send your clients running for the next available person.

4. Always be professional! In many ways, treat your business like it’s a major corporation. Always take care of the necessary paperwork – Contracts, Invoices, Payment schedules, etc. Not only will it cover your tracks legally, but your clients will take you and your work seriously. They will be most susceptible to pay when and what you ask, and also more likely to return to you for work. It will also make your clients feel more secure when they have documentation of every business encounter.

5. Be punctual. Time is money! This cannot be stressed enough. Respond to emails within 24 hours! Call within 24 hours and have a professional voicemail! Nothing impresses clients more than your ability to work well and work efficiently.

6. Educate your client. Many times, your clients will not fully understand the services you provide. As you work, explain to your client your thought process. Just don’t ramble on about how good you are. A little education shows that you know what you’re are doing and adds value to your work. Your client will feel more comfortable investing their money in you and more appreciative of your services.

7. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Business ALWAYS comes with risks. If your client presents you with a project that you may be only 75-90% familiar with, take the initiative to challenge yourself to learn how to do the other 10-25%. Ask questions. The internet is full of people who have asked the same questions as you, and you can never underestimate a good book. In the end, you’ll be proud of what you’ve done for your client; you will have added a new skill to your repertoire and value to your business.

Submitted by Jeremiah Shepherd

Thursday, October 29, 2009

GeekMeet Happy Hour at Blue Mesa -

You are invited to attend ...
GeekMeet Happy Hour at Blue Mesa - Nov 12
Come out to Blue Mesa for our monthly networking event. Blue Mesa will have a complimentary quesadilla bar until 7:30pm. I look forward to seeing everyone there!

I should also have pictures from the last event on our Facebook page soon. If you aren't already a fan, please go join - http://www.facebook.com/pages/GeekMeet/176631970695
See you November 12th at Blue Mesa!
Thursday, November 12, 2009 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Blue Mesa - Addison
5100 Beltline Road
Addison, TX 75254

Will you be attending? Attend Event

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DSVC November Meeting:

November Meeting:
Dan Covert and Andre Andreev
of Dress Code, NYC

Date – Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Reception – 6pm Meeting – 7pm
Location – Cityplace (get directions)
Members – Free Non-Members – $20
Students – $10 (ID Required)

NOV 4 – At a combined age of only 53, Dan and Andre of dress code have already had the dream jobs of working in motion and print at MTV. They met while studying graphic design at California College of the Arts, moved to New York, got to MTV and left to start their own studio a few years later. Their work has been shown in 3 museums and graced magazines and annuals, including I.D., BDA, Communication Arts, PRINT, Graphis, Metropolis, the Type Directors Club, The Art Directors Club, CMYK, HOW, Adobe, STEP Field Guide to Emerging Design Talent, and Young Guns.

Dan and Andre also wrote a book called Never Sleep — a book about transitioning from school to work in the field of graphic design — which is in stores now. To add to an already impressive set of resumes, they also co-teach Design, Type and New Media classes at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn which led to their Fun Is Learning site — a resource for everything concerning graphic design students and young professionals.

See more of Dan and Andre's work at neversleepbook.com, funislearning.com and swishahouse.biz.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What a 30-Second Commercial Can Do For You

DALLAS (KERA) - In one of our recent Economy segments, we offered tips on the 30-second elevator commercial. We offered counseling if you who wanted to send us your own. A listener stepped up, and here's what happened. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports

Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter: For Dallas native and commercial art director Heather Ezell, this economy has taken a toll.

Heather Ezell: My situation is, I was laid off a year ago, & started my own business.

Ezell is confident she's good at what she does - helping clients advertise and market their products. But she admits she's not so good at marketing herself.

Ezell: I'm rotten at this. Most friends tell me. Heather - you can't sell yourself, girl.

So after hearing KERA's story, she emailed her job pitch for a review by Scott Peek. He is an experienced trainer of these personal, 30-second commercials. He says the goal is to start a conversation that could connect to a hiring manager and a job you want. Ezell's first try, he says, didn't offer enough specifics. He says the pitch should always start with your name and what you do.

Scott Peek: The second thing you do is you want to talk about the value you could bring or have brought to clients. The third thing you do then is how you would do that with future clients. The fourth one is where you want to do your work and the help you need.

Here is one of Ezell's first attempts.

Ezell: Hello, I'm Heather Ezell and I'm an art director and I specialize in branding and strategy. I brainstorm potent, creative marketing strategy to expand opportunities for my client's business. I mentor everyone involved throughout a project fostering a healthy enthusiasm for their new direction, and most importantly, results. I want to work with businesses big or small that have an appetite for effective ideas which stretch creative limits and wake up their audience.

Peek praises Ezell's commercial. Now he says she needs to include another element.

Peek: Giving the person you're talking to a way for them to help you. What are the areas of help
Ezell help that you can give me?
Peek: Yes, yes.
Ezell: And how do I ask that?

Working together, Peek and Ezell conclude small, young businesses in Southern Dallas, near Ezell's office, would be her ideal clients. She's now working with a specialty medical company and wants to build on that.

Ezell: And their primary goal is to get in front of surgeons. To get their message across. That's a hard nut to crack. And so I'm working with them to go in a bunch of different directions to get in front of surgeons.

Ezell reworks her script, this time adding that client information to the end.

Ezell: For example I've worked with a company called medCAD, and their goal is to reach surgeons. I work with them to go in very unusual directions, to get in front of surgeons to get their message across.

Scott : So what help do you need?
Ezell: I need help finding those different small businesses that have a little bit unusual need in their marketing.
Peek: So let's take this further. So if you had a target area, what geography would you be targeting first?
Ezell: Downtown and Oak Cliff.
Peek: See how the conversation starts?

The whole session between Peek and Ezell lasted about half an hour. Ezell says she now feels more prepared to sell herself.

Ezell : I'm going to take what I learned here. And obviously refine my statement. So that it is a conversation when I state it, it is a "Hi how do you do," ...and this is what I do.

Peek gives his student high praise. Ezell is feeling ready to go, hoping these new skills lead to more people who could then lead to good job prospects. Bill Zeeble KERA news.
Bill Zeeble (2009-10-19)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Threadless Design Contest

(click to enlarge)

For more information, check out their site!

10 Reasons to Politely Decline a Web Design Gig

When you’re in that first round of meetings with a potential web design or web development client, there are certain statements, revelations or bits of information that serve as huge red flags.

Here’s a list (submitted by a designer friend who shall remain anonymous) of the biggest all-time deal-breakers:

10. He can’t stop telling you about how horrid his last developer was.

9. He wants to make sure you can build his site so it will show up first on Google.

8. He’s already got a list together of 100 words for his meta tags.

7. There isn’t much money for this job but it could really lead to a lot more work down the road.

6. He wants to know if you are flexible about your deposit.

5. He explains that you will be responsible to his organization’s “website committee.”

4. He wants to know if you know how to “do Flash.”

3. He wants his start-up site to be “kinda like eBay.”

2. He could actually build the site himself but he just doesn’t have the time.

1. He’s looking for a new “webmaster.”
By Michael Calore July 17, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DAL November Happy Hour -

The DAL invites you to its monthly happy hour. The more the merrier so bring a friend, colleague or client along. It's sure to be another great social and business networking event! Great drink specials and appetizers!

Margarita Ranch
Mockingbird Station
5321 E. Mockingbird Ln.
Dallas, TX 75206

Date & Time:
Thursday November 19, 2009


DSVC Meeting -

Oct. Meeting: Advertising Madwoman, Nancy Vonk

Date – Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Reception – 6pm Meeting – 7pm
Location – Cityplace
(get directions)
Members – Free Non-Members – $20
Students – $10 (ID Required)

OCT 7 — Nancy Vonk has been the Co-Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Toronto since 1998 with partner Janet Kestin. They have won Cannes Lions, One Show Pencils, Communication Arts and Clios. They are the creative directors of “Evolution”, winner of two Grand Prix at Cannes in 2007 and “Diamond Shreddies”, winner of a Grand Clio in 2008.
She has judged awards shows including Communication Arts, The One Show, Cannes, the Clio Awards, D&AD and the Creativity Awards, and has chaired shows in the U.S. and Canada including the 2008 Art Director’s Club of New York 87th annual awards, where she was the first female chair in their history.

Nancy was included in Creativity magazine’s Top 50 creative people of 2008 list and ‘boards magazine’s “It List” in 2006 and 2007. Nancy and Janet were named advertising women of the year by the WIN Awards in Los Angeles and by the AWNY Awards in New York in 2007. They are on the AlwaysOn 2009 Madison Avenue IT list.

Nancy and Janet have a widely read advice column, “Ask Jancy”, on ad site ihaveanidea.org. They penned a critically acclaimed Adweek Book, “Pick Me” in 2005, which has become a staple in advertising schools. They were the keynote speakers at the 2009 “Women of Influence” event. HarperCollins has commissioned a business book based on that speech (due on shelves in 2011). In 2006 Nancy co-founded “Been There”, a group of top North American female creative directors that offer online mentoring on creativeskirts.com. She is on the advisory board of the Ontario College of Art and Design and a mentor and lecturer at VCU Brandcenter. Nancy was elected to the board of the One Club in 2009.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Suggested reading list…

Here are a few books that I’ve recently read. They all are very applicable to your degree and your future. Enjoy.
- David Elias

Monday, September 14, 2009

Josh Levy, Senior Art Director at Sony...

Joshua Marc Levy has been with Sony Music for 3 years and works as a Sr. Art Director and Illustrator. His basic duties include setting up photo shoots, cover design and/or illustration, package design, color proofing, and press runs.

(click on image to enlarge)

How did you make your way to Sony? Its a long story of strange fate and odd twists...and I took an independent study with someone who used to work here.

What are the greatest challenges you face in your position?
Really depends from job to job. Sometimes its a matter of working with a band that has 5 members with 5 different opinions. Sometimes you win an artist over with your first cover design and other times its the 200th cover. It might thunderstorm your photo shoot day in the park. And of course office politics.

What are some of your favorite/most memorable projects?
AC/DC (one of my all time favorite bands)...We shot in London, special packaging with 4 different covers and a hard-bound deluxe edition. Went to 4 shows on the tour and everyone is wearing my art! Also Ozzy Osbourne, Modest Mouse, Love As Laughter, and Buddy Guy to name a few. (Josh's AC/DC cover below...)

Lots of students would love to work at Sony. What are some tips you can provide for students wanting to work in Graphic Design at Sony?
For Art Directors: (we no longer have designers, the AD does everything from start to finish) You have to be the best! Work your hardest, make sure you are up to date on what is out there....Visit the record store, hit up the music blogs and see what your competition is already doing. It won’t just happen, it takes years, so don’t be discouraged too easily. Do it better. If you choose an album that exists as a school project, make sure that its better than the original artist. If you know someone in the business, even better...connections are gold.

What advice can you give to Graphic Artists and Photographers about how to break into the music industry? Try and get into advertising or fashion, because the music industry is dying and the pay for photographers gets cut in half every year. If it really truly is your passion then go for it and don’t give up.

Recently, you made a trip to Dallas for a shoot, so… do you know who shot J.R.? Yes, I actually do. But do any of your students even know who J.R. is? I bet they’ve never used a typewriter before.

If you could be on the cover of any musician’s album (living or dead) who would it be, and what would the image look like?
ahhh, there are many I’d love to design. A lot of the old rockers...My top are Pearl Jam, Neil Young, Mudhoney, Bruce Springsteen, The Buzzcocks, Social Distortion, Iggy Pop, to name a few. What would the covers look like? I have no idea. It’s a giant puzzle you have to solve when the time is right.

See more of Josh's work HERE.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Advertising Documentary...

(click on image to launch website)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

We're looking for VOLUNTEERS/INTERNS...

This year VideoFest needs your help more then ever. We have a lot of exciting films and artist coming to town. And our 4-day Fest start Nov 5th but we need help getting ready right now. We're looking for some enthusiastic people to help. This is a great opportunity for college students. Come see how a nonprofit works and be on the inside of Film Festival screenings and parties. All jobs are part time and not paid. But please let me know if you want to help, you don't have to know anything about film or video. You just have to have fun.

Marketing Manager Volunteer: You find business and corporations to raise funds and inform about advertising opportunities. Meet the business of Dallas

Festival Event Coordinator:
Plan the parties and events that make a festival fun. You'll be working closely with Marketing to engage the business community and gain sponsorship.

Graphics/office Intern:
We have a lot of message and no messenger. If you'd like to have a chance to build a portfolio and work with artist, this will be a good place to start.

Office Intern:
If you're interested in working with Non-profit Organizations this is a great place to start. We are a small Org. so you'll be able to see all the parts working up close, from grant writing, fund raising, organizing the people , to board meetings.

FEST Volunteer:
Help during the Fest Nov5-8th.

Please send an e-mail with your name, background, and availability. Put the position you'd like to take in the subject line of your e-mail.

Johnny Rutledge, VAD Managing Director - askme@videofest.org

Recent client visit to Drive Collective...

Andrea Maiella and Andrew Urbanyi, AiDallas interns
and Kevin Hanson, Principal

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This is an email from one of my Alumni -

Ok friends, I know normally no one does this but I find it funny seeing myself messup allot. I was applying for a job yesterday and I was required to do a video portfolio profile of myself which pretty much means you record yourself talking about who you are and etc. So at first I thought it was gonna be fast and easy but was i wrong! I literally took 2 hours to get it right which means I had allot of bad takes so here it is for you and world to see. My Messups compiled just for you.... Enjoy!

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5d_xbGbmKc

Friday, August 14, 2009


Welcome to our new Career Services/School of Design Informational Blog! As a resource to students and graduates of The Art Institute of Dallas, we will be continually posting industry-related information and will invite Guest Bloggers to provide inside-information. Please email David atmailto:delias@aii.edu if you would like to ask a question or suggest a topic. Also, ALWAYS feel free to leave comments.