Laci Morgan's Art Blog

Freelance illustrator/animator Laci Morgan's latest projects, helpful advice, and news! it THAT hard?!?

I'm always amazed at the number of potential clients I talk to who are forced to contact me because:

a) their previous artist stopped returning emails and disappeared
b) their previous artist took their money and never delivered
c) their previous artist did the job, but then never answered back when revisions were needed
d) their previous artist stopped returning emails and disappeared
e) their previous artist stopped returning emails and disappeared (can you tell how often I hear this?)

It always floors me, because how can you NOT be skeptical of working with freelance artists after those experiences? It seems like this is the norm for a lot of my clients, and they expect to be ripped off. I'm constantly told "wow, thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly!" or clients rave about how professional my invoices and updates are, when in reality, I don't consider this going above and beyond. As a professional, you should ALWAYS hold yourself to a high standard and conduct business in the same way you'd want to be treated if you were a client. That means responding to calls and emails in a reasonable time frame, answering questions, and asking the right questions before you even start.

All you artists out there who are giving us freelancers a bad name by being unprofessional or flaky...please stop and think about what you're doing to the industry! It makes me sad that so many people think artists are ALL that way.

Then again...maybe just go ahead and continue being flaky...and I'll take over the clients who you lose! :D

It was a dark and stormy night....

Here's an eeensy sneak pic at part of the illustration that will be going on the next book cover...but you'll just have to wait to see the zombies until it comes into print! :)

A jaunty jester

It's been a while since I could post artwork, because most of my jobs lately have been book covers for a publisher who has not released them yet, so she (understandably) wants the images to remain top-secret for now. Unfortunately, that also means I haven't had a lot of new stuff to share! But here's one, finally...

A local real estate group in Grand Terrace contacted me to design a logo for them, and liked what I did so much that they came back to me for a mascot as well! (I love repeat business!) Here's the "jester" mascot that will be gracing the tops of real estate signs around town, as well as some of my initial sketches, so you can see my process. You can see that in the final reclining pose, I twisted his torso around to face a little more forward than I'd initially designed.

When life intrudes...

So some of you know that we've been searching for a house to buy (our first!) since last summer. Well, we FINALLY found one that we love, and will hopefully be moving in about a week. While I'm totally excited (can't wait to set up a nice office that ISN'T packed with various storage items due to the lack of space in our apartment and shared with the cat's litterbox), I've also been realizing that it will be taking up a LOT of my time. Already there have been a few things we've had to go fix on the house, like yesterday, when we had to sand off the chipped paint on the siding of the house and prime it. And then there's the massive job of packing everything up and moving it to the new place. Then I'll have to unpack. And all this while continuing to run a freelance business and completing school assignments. Eek!

There are some wonderful benefits to being a freelancer (like not having to ask for time off to move), but what happens when "LIFE" begins to interfere?

Adrien Luc-Sanders has some good suggestions, on an article he wrote for, "Tips for the Freelance Animator: balancing your work and home life."He talks about ways to keep the two separate, and points out that if you blend the two too much, you might feel like you're never leaving the office. One of the points he stresses is remembering to keep a dedicated office or work space if you work from home. I'm totally guilty of that...though I have a nice desk with nice computer monitors, I tend to work on my laptop on the couch instead. This can be a problem, as sometimes I can work way past the hours I should, or be on my computer when I should be spending time with my husband or pets. I think it is better if I can close off my office and not have the computer to distract me once "work hours" end!

Luc-Sanders also talks about how as freelancers, we tend to feel like we alone are responsible for the success or failure of the business, (because we are!) so we can tend to become workaholics. He reminds us to set aside at least one day a week that's "no freelance" time. This is a good thing to remember!

I still haven't figured out how to balance the two all the time; sometimes things that I have to do during the week for my personal life eat into my freelance time, requiring me to catch up on the weekends. For now, since I know that moving will take a lot of my time and focus, I've stopped advertising and taking on new clients for the next 2 weeks, and letting the ones I have now know that I will be preoccupied that particular week. I'll still take email and answer any questions they have, but I won't be available 24/7 to do big project changes. I think that's fair.

Now I just have to remember that once I'm in the new house, I can't revert to my old "laptop on the computer" ways! Well, at least not ALL the time. :)

GRAND TERRACE: Artist living her dream job | San Bernardino County | | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California

GRAND TERRACE: Artist living her dream job | San Bernardino County | | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California

Very cool, the Press Enterprise, our local Inland Empire paper, did an article on me!

About Me

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I'm an animation student at the Art Institute, as well as a budding freelance illustrator and graphic designer. I tend to specialize in Disney-like character designs and 2D animation, but I also have the ability to do professional graphics like ads, logos, and photo effects. This blog will follow current projects I'm working on, provide advice to fellow designers, and just celebrate anything in the world of art that happens to catch my fancy!

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