From the Freelance Files

August 1st, 2014 | Posted in General


I’ve written here many times that, as a freelancer, you sometimes end up with some really off-the-wall jobs that take you outside the realms of your usual kind of client. The above image is one of those.

Earlier in the spring I got a call about a job designing someone’s 50th birthday invitation. That kind of call or email is not unusual, I get a lot of those kinds of requests asking if I’ll do a caricature of grandma and grandpa for their anniversary, or somebody’s boss for his birthday. Those calls seldom end up as real jobs, however, frankly because those asking don’t understand I have to charge publication or advertising illustration rates for that kind of work… and they are thinking theme park caricature prices.

This was different. The person calling me was the art director of a design firm, and the person throwing the party is a media executive and had a real budget for his invitations and related artwork (also for the bands, Seether is pretty well known, and the party is in a major theater). He’s also a fan of MAD and wanted a MAD-like feel to the art (I’ve pixeleated the names and details for privacy reasons).

The concept is a reality TV show theme, and they have lots of creative plans for the event. I was asked to create the art for a poster/invitation/web portal featuring the birthday boy and his friends and family in some “reality show” type settings. Ended up being a fun project and the people involved were a joy to work with. Sometimes these personal sort of jobs become nightmares, but this one was a good experience and the client was happy with the end result.

I can’t believe Mark Zuckerberg didn’t call me to do his 30th birthday party invitation last May. Oh wait… yes, I can believe that.


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