Shit Advice

Online Advice Sucks

Business, Random Thoughts

For a couple of years now I’ve been chipping away at creating a business with some minor success. Although I’ve never… let’s say allowed myself to become fully independent, it’s partially the fault of crappy internet advice. When I was getting started my initial thinking was, “I can Google anything and learn.” Now I know better.

Used to be that I would absorb everything that people wrote about freelancing and graphic design. Online advice was useful for telling me that I needed a formal agreement and that I should have a process and tons of other 101-type shit. Yet when it came to delving deeper into subjects there was either no information to be found or it was hidden behind a paywall. More and more I found myself becoming distanced from what people said.

Everything that I was coming across was built on the clique-ish idea that you can build off of your previous career and attend magical conferences for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. To me it was like the rich elite telling me how great and easy their life was and that anyone could achieve this lifestyle if they just copied their model of living, morals, and philosophies.

My needs, hopes, and dreams are completely different from that. In a way I feel like the working class of the design world and the closest thing that I can call My Tribe are people taking cues from DIY and Punk aesthetics that have created their own space. I’ve found inspiration from others who have bucked the system and found their own path which I am now starting to take control of and develop in my life.

But it’s taken a long time because I put my faith in people who probably have something to offer for a certain group, just not for me. Since there is so much shitty advice in the world for people like me I feel like I should offer a tip to people who maybe feel some sympathy pains,

Finding your own way is hard because no one else has done it and no one else can tell you how to do it. Stay the course. Follow the things that interest you and you will find people like you and work that fits your personality.

That’s it. That’s all I have to offer. I’m not saying I’m qualified because I’m still trying to get off the ground myself. However, for people like us I know that all the other advice out there sucks because we are tinkerers, flipping things around, testing, probing, asking questions. This is a constant work in progress that will always create a desire to invest in yourself and your interests. These things will change over time as you develop and get better. And it will get better if you follow the one person who knows you best: yourself.

If you are like me taking the slow road to getting on the self employment train then you probably have the same start up cost concerns. You are probably trying to figure out how the labyrinth of business regulation works and still uncomfortable with your style. All of the “Top Tens”, “Quick Tips”, and “How To” articles suck for people like us because they are not meant for people who have to start with essentially nothing. There really isn’t anything there that applies to us. So when people write about working harder (like this article) and how life is actually tough – it resonates with me, but I don’t see working my side hustle as hard. I see it as enjoyable and challenging. I want more of it. I feel addicted to it and I’m willing to push myself further, not because I have some deep burning passion that I discovered at a seminar, but because I just like drawing.

Life doesn’t have to be hard. There is resistance from time to time and I am happy to bitch about how things are stacked against us. However you and I are still doing our own thing that we probably won’t quit doing. We will figure out what works for us. Customize it. Evolve or get out of the game because it’s not what we thought, but then it morphs into something else since we are not happy with just standing still. The most dangerous thing about reading articles that tell you these life truths is that you can fall into the trap of “I’m not like these people and I probably will never be.” It prevents you from even trying in the first place and the best thing you can do for yourself is to test it out. Just dip your toe in the water and if it sticks go with it. Don’t worry about following the rules or doing things the “right way”. Just do it and figure it out as you go.

When you are building from the ground up – when you don’t really have the resources to jump in – the only way you are really going to learn anyway is by doing it little by little, setting one stone on top of the other. That’s probably the best way too, because now you can learn while you earn. Have people pay for you to hone your skills and talents. Plus with your ass on the line these lessons will stick with you long after you have forgotten stupid, pointless articles like the one you are currently reading.

So the best thing to do is to ignore all that shit that people try to tell you and follow through with you ideas. Make mistakes. Get better. Start with nothing.

Star Wars

Too Much Star Wars Already

Random Thoughts

I’m not even going to try and compete with Star Wars 7 this week. Forget about it. This has been one of the biggest marketing blow outs ever created and the hype alone will destroy people’s fun because nothing will compare to the level of excitement that people are expecting.

For the next couple of weeks I will be living in a dark hole under the earth trying to avoid all possible human contact because I don’t want to know a single thing.

I haven’t seen the ads – and I don’t want to. I want no expectations because the more hyped a movie is the worse the opinion will be. And I predict that there will be a huge disappointment from all of the boners that are erecting at this very moment.

I will be watching this behemoth of a marketing campaign despite my repulsion of Disney’s money hoarding soullessness, because it is Star Wars after all, but not until well after the geeks have had their nerd-gasms.

Don’t talk to me until after Christmas.

Giving Thanks

Feature

I have no idea what I’m doing, but I feel like I’m in control. 

A few month’s ago I was explaining to my hair lady that my 30’s have been some of the best times that I lived through so far. She said she’d heard that before then asked why that was. What it came down to is that basically I have more stability, creativity, good friends, sense of purpose and understanding than any time in my life so far. 

To put things into perspective my wife and I came out of the recession with a touch of financial PTSD. Even now with a couple of month’s wages saved up I feel a slight anxiousness that maybe it’s not enough. And my wife… forever hates green bell peppers because it was a staple food item in poverty. 

We’re a bit tainted from that experience. However we are coming out of it and this year really feels different mostly because I’ve taken steps to start a side hustle – illustration and printing. 

A lot of things had to come together to make this work. Steady job, room for inspiration, extra cash, reduced debt, and much more. So now that the proverbial stars are aligning it makes me feel like I don’t have to worry as much. That the decisions I’m making are benefiting me in a forward momentum kind of way not because circumstances have forced my hand and I have to get by. 

It feels great. It feels great to be alive and I’m excited about… everything! I don’t remember the last time I felt this way. But I’m going to enjoy it as long as I can and this Thanksgiving I’m thankful for all the positive changes and people that have helped me to reach this point.

I hope you are as lucky as I am to share in that sense of empowerment this holiday. Now I’m going to go celebrate by supporting America’s favorite tradition of gluttony. Happy turkey day!

Dino Beer Poster: Tricerahops IPA

Products

Dino Beer Poster: Tricerahops IPA now available on Etsy for 14.99 USD

from Etsy http://ift.tt/1ixFcNM

The Perfectionist Dragon Hair-Do

Creativity, Random Thoughts

My hair stylist taught me everything that I know about not chasing the perfection dragon. Or at least provided a good prompt for writing about it.

We are about to wrap things up when the stylist pushes my freshly trimmed mop to the other side of my hipster part.

Printing With Uncle Rob

Videos

A short process video. Because I think some learn better visually.

I take you through the process of making a single print color and while it is the short version leaving out many smaller details, I think it’ll give you and idea of what goes into making a print. Remember, I have to do this process for each single color.

Velocity Raptor Now Available

Graphic Design, Illustration, Products

Velocity Raptor

Get ready kids ’cause Velocity Raptor is coming for your guts. My new 11×17, two-color poster is on Etsy, so get out your credit cards and grab the first poster from the upcoming trilogy for only $14.99.

There are 50 handmade prints and will soon start prepping the next batch so be sure to look out for Pterodact Ale and Tricera Hops.

Faux Beer Label No. 3

Illustration

triceratopshops

The final planned dinosaur themed beer that you can only find in your imagination (at the moment). This hand-drawn illustration and typography still has some work ahead before it’s ready to become a two-color, hand-pulled screen print. With some motivation I might be able to start publishing these prints later this month to my Etsy site.

Just goes to show how an afternoon on the beach with the love of my life and some beer can get the creative juices going!

Hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for updates and random garbage.

Copyright © Robert C. Olson 2015

Pterodactale

Faux Beer Label No. 2

Illustration

Pterodactale

Second in my series of dinosaur themed beers that don’t actually exist. This 100% hand-drawn illustration will be sliced into two colors and screen printed – hand-pulled – hopefully sometime this month and made available on my Etsy site.

This is one of three ideas that my adorable wife helped my come up with over delicious beers on the beach. We were rather amazed that no one (that we know of) has thought of this yet which makes me the first! Suck-it!

Hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for updates and random garbage.

 

Copyright © Robert C. Olson 2015

Velocity-raptor Faux Beer

Dino-Beer Faux Branding

Illustration

Velocity-raptor Faux Beer

This week Jurassic World launches and I’m going to see it tonight! However, I’ve been sitting on an idea for a while now that fits perfectly into the dino-frenzy you’re about to experience: dinosaur themed beers!

With microbreweries spreading like a delicious plague it occurs to me that no one has yet melded the perfect coupling of dinosaurs and beer (my idea first muthaf***ers). Therefore my wife and I came up with a list of fake beers and today I’m releasing the first of three poster designs I hope to complete this month and get into printing soon.

First up is “Velocityraptor”: with specialty beers on the rise you may have come across the term “velocity” which loosely translates into a blend of stouts, but can sometimes come in strong IPA format – which is very popular in today’s market.

Stouts being among my favorite styles of beer this one had to be a part of the trio and when I walk out of the theaters tonight and tap into a stout I will be thinking about how sweet that Thunder Lizard Beer would taste.

This is my first attempt at a 100% hand drawn image where I even developed my own typeface. While I did straighten out my grade school lines via technology everything was born from the sexy love-making that my hand and tablet made for this design. Inspired by Aaron Horkey’s and Key Taylor’s far superior talents this mutant afterbirth of a tribute to their skill demonstrates both how hard it is to mimic their talents when you are a hack like me and how many hours go in to the detail for such intricate images.

For a useless glue-sniffer like me – I’m guessing it took 100+ hours to get to this point. Stronger artists can do better work in about 120 hours, but I’m working on it, already seeing a big improvement from previous works.

Two more rad designs on the way and I hope to start printing before July. If you are interested in getting a print, let me know and I can start pre-sales on my Etsy site.

Be sure to stay tuned to Facebook and Twitter for updates on the printing.

Oh and let me know what you think!