But I’m an Artist! or Understanding Art & Business 101

This morning I caught a post by @Landailyn over on her blog Janinealogy. I felt the opening dialogue made the point:

Question: I am: a) retired, b) bored, c) unemployed, and I’m looking to work from home! I’ve used Photoshop for years!

Does anyone have any ideas on what I can do to: a) start my own business, b) make extra money

Answer: Photo restoration!! It’s so easy, even an anencephalic monkey can do it! You have everything you need! Photoshop! Good luck! 🙂

Janine not only beats the proverbial dead horse, she makes sure the poor thing is ground & chucked, and served as a violator’s last meal. I was going to leave a comment, but then I thought, “What a perfect opportunity to blog.” So yeah for you my loyal readers.

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We All Wanna Be Big Rock Stars


Rumor has it yours truly was a musician at one point. Indeed, I was a keyboard player, and what I lacked in discipline I made up for with a small bit of talent. I had some early success, nice college scholarship, and at the age of 19 I was making more money than I could responsibly handle. I took some gigs, dropped out of school, and within six months I was in a car accident that abruptly put my music career on hold. When the dust settled, I was left without a degree, and no plan outside of music.

It’s been years since that time in my life, but today’s Twittering mustered up a bit of nostalgia. Oh yeah, I wanted to be a rock `n roll hero growing up. Guitars ruled, but I could make any keyboard look cool. My good friend Ron shared his inspiration and some great music. Here are the songs he wrote and the jams I had a chance to play.
My favorites are marked in red.

She Reminds Me (up tempo)
© 2001 Ron Abraham
All Rights Reserved
Your Girlfriends Lied (rock)
© 1991 Ron Abraham
All Rights Reserved
Crybaby (rock)
Company (ballad)
Motormouth (rock)
Immigration Man (rock)
© 1989 Ron Abraham
All Rights Reserved
Too Much In Love (ballad)
Ipso Facto (ballad)
The Harbour (ballad)
Once In A Lifetime (mid tempo)
Granuloma / Borrowed Time (instrumental)
Antoinette (ballad)
Let Me Go (rock)
Eyes of Love (mid tempo)
Break Some Hearts (mid tempo)

How Much Are You Worth? AKA How Much Should I Charge Clients?

How much should I charge clients? It’s a question that comes up a lot in the classes I teach, especially from students excited about the possibilities of entering a new industry. For some it’s a newly discovered passion of photography, others graphic or web design. Inevitably, the money question comes up. What’s a fair rate? A valid question to be sure, but I encourage students to think about a good rate or an acceptable rate instead of dwelling on the moral dilema of fair or unfair. When pressed for hard numbers, I give students a basic formula, take your ideal salary, divide by 2080 and that equals your hourly rate. That means a rate of $15 per hour, equals about $31k in salary per year. That formula works well in putting money in perspective. Suddenly, charging $300 for a wedding event or $50 for a photo retouching project doesn’t seem like such a good idea even if that’s your passion. $300 a wedding would total about $15k assuming you worked one wedding every week for a year. In the context of additional income not so bad, but factor in travel costs, and any time spent processing images and that’s a pretty low rate. Likewise for the person that charged $50 for photo retouching. Every hour spent working on that retouch project reduces the profit received from the job.

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Linky Love aka Social Net 2.0

Dear readers, I’m posting a blog entry for the second night in a row. OMG! WTF! CYFBLI? Before we begin, let me just say that I’ve already thought about the conversation with my daughter, you know, the one where I tell her she shouldn’t text the Lord’s name in vain. Wait for it…


Yesterday I threw up a post about the Bloggers I linked to in a previous domain. Today, I’m throwin’ up some mad links for new folks. In no particular order, here goes some link love:

Bernskiold Media – I have a feeling that if I had any idea what I was doing when I was younger, I would have been Erik. His website easily surpasses anything I ever did with Azarok.com, and it’s much more relevant to the times. Make his blog a daily read, and buy his photographs.

Design by Firgs – This site is a few days old, in its infancy and already has 119 subscribers. That tells you something about the power of Twitter, and the appeal of content. And really, who doesn’t love free stuff for Photoshop? You better hurry up and comment before she starts chargin’ for the party.

Pursuing Photoshop – Mitzs reminds me why I love teaching Photoshop so much. No matter how many times I demonstrate the same features over AND over again, for beginners each lesson is a creative discovery. Tell me Mitzs, do I dazzle you?

Janinealogy – Just discovered the blog via Twitter, but I’ve seen Janine’s work at Landailyn R&R. Just across the way in Ft. Worth, I’m always happy to promote local Photoshop services around the metroplex.

Sage Family Studios – Lisa just hopped on Twitter today, which is groovy because more people need to know about her excellent portfolio.

If you checkout the Photoshop User website you can see the NAPP Portfolios of Erik, Firgs, Mitzs, Janine & Lisa. You’re sure to be impressed, and certainly inspired.

UPDATE – I missed a couple of sites. Color Me Badd. That’s what happens when I blog two nights in a row.

My Home Sweet Home – I missed Dawn at Photoshop World this past September, which was funny given she was twittering about the event just like me. Dawn recently debuted her first screencast on her blog. Be sure to check it out and give her some feedback.

Antique Mommy – Dawn’s friend Tina writes some good stuff on her blog, and I was especially fond of her Bailout entries. This is a blog I read, and hope to read more often.

Adobe Releases Lightroom 2

Adobe has released Lightroom 2. Information Week has a summary of all the new Lightroom 2 features for anyone who did not download the beta. Eric Bernskiold has a blog post with links to learning resources for Lightroom. Go visit the Lightroom Community education center where you can chat with Dallas’s resident expert Gene McCullagh.

As with the CS3 suite, I would recommend this upgrade to anyone looking to improve their Adobe digital workflow. The improved Library support, and targeted adjustment brush in the Develop module expand both the function and creativity of Lightroom. Look for a more detailed review on this blog in the upcoming weeks.