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Do What Gets Talked About, Talk About What Gets Done

September 17, 2014

Anybody else on LinkedIn? That’s the social media site for business, as opposed to the fun and games of, say, Facebook, or a purely personal blog.

I have a LinkedIn profile because I’m a commercial freelance illustrator who wants to attract clients.

LinkedIn members can publish posts on the LinkedIn platform at no charge. It’s a new feature, just introduced this year. It’s a way to demonstrate your expertise on a subject.

So far, I’ve published three posts on LinkedIn. The latest was titled The 2 Things You Have To Do To Attract Clients. I created this graphic for it:

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Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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Basically, it’s all about attracting the right kind of attention. I think an artist does that
by creating work so good (or beautiful or funny), it has to be shared. It’s work that Gets Talked About.

But it can’t be shared unless it’s seen. Which means the artist has to Talk About What Gets Done in his studio. One way to do that is to post work on his blog, and on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

I needed some social media icon buttons to represent what the two people are talking about. I did a Google search for same, and found a beautiful set by Martin, a digital
artist in the Czech Republic. Here’s a close-up:

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detail image of Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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A few remarks on the background for any Photoshop users out there:

I have some vintage “sunburst” patterns, and I thought one of these would provide some energy in a fun way. Here’s what it looked like when I first pasted it in on a separate layer:

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sunburst background for Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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Obviously, it overpowered all the main elements in the drawing, and had to be muted. I added a layer mask, but that left everything looking thoroughly washed out.

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sunburst background with layer mask for Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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I don’t have any magic solutions when things like this happen. I just start experimenting.

I wound up adding a layer of flat yellow color, then overlaying it with a retro dot pattern, which created this effect.

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retro pattern overlay on Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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I liked it a lot, but it needed a color boost. A good way to achieve this in Photoshop is to group the layers together, then duplicate the entire group and experiment with layer blending modes.

Here’s the Layers window for the final result. I’ve indicated the blending mode for each layer in dark blue type.

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Photoshop Layers window showing background build sequence for Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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Here’s the final again, all by itself:

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Black woman, white man talking laughing air filled with social media icon buttons Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Do what gets talked about, talk about what gets done

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One final note: You might be asking yourself: Why bother to write separate posts for LinkedIn? Why not just use the WordPress Publicize feature so all your WP blog posts are automatically posted to LinkedIn?

Three reasons:

1) Publishing directly on the LinkedIn platform looks more “professional” simply because LinkedIn is a business network.

2) An original post always scores points because it is original. Someone made a special effort. That carries more “weight” than a previously published post, no matter how good the latter may be.

3) According to this recent post on Social Media Blunders by my go-to blogging expert, Time Thief, autoposts can be perceived as low-value, or, even worse, spam. And as Ben Huberman writes in this Daily Post entry, not every WP blog post is a good match for LinkedIn, especially if you write on non-business topics.

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Do you have a strategy for attracting clients? Would you care to share it?

Are you a member of LinkedIn? If so, have you found it useful in attracting clients?

Would conversations be more enjoyable if when people talked, little icons came out of their mouths??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

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Calm Down, Dad! Here, Have A Donut– They’re Simply Irresistible

September 5, 2014

As mentioned in this August post, I did some illustrations for an essay called In My Clothes. In it, the author looks back on her life, using the clothes she was wearing at the time as a reference point.

For me, certain passages will often trigger ideas for an illustration. Things can really get interesting when several passages combine to inspire an idea.

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Consider these three separate passages from the essay In My Clothes. The author is writing about her early teenage years:

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We read the entire V.C. Andrews series. I love them for their descriptions of fabulous wealth, for beds carved into swans, and a cruel, beautiful mother willing to poison her children with powdered donuts. We laugh and cry and laugh at the stories. “Don’t eat the powdered donuts!” We say to one another.

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We go back to Melissa’s and I dress up in everything in the closet, to see what it all looks like. Our favorite is a black dress, red lipstick, a simple necklace. Short, cropped hair slicked back. Melissa takes a picture of me in front of the piano. “Like a Robert Palmer girl,” she says, laughing. “Man! You look so white. Your eyes are huge!”

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In one of his fits, my father storms into the closet, ripping up the dresses… Afterwards, the reconciliation. This wasn’t, I am told, because of the clothes, but an outlet for his anger… It’s my voice. It drives him to these things. See what you did. See what you did to your father.

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Poison donuts. A Robert Palmer girl. A father subject to fits of rage. The following image sprang to mind. I can’t really explain the yellow teeth. They seemed right.

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Teenage girl wearing Robert Palmer Girl dress and makeup dark eye shadow mascara red lipstick tossing poison powdered donut into mouth of her angry father who's in a rage with flames leaping from his head with black smoke

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I’d heard the name V.C. Andrews, but knew nothing about her. Didn’t even realize it was a woman. Her specialty: Teen Gothic: sex, horror, dysfunctional families with secrets.

Flowers in the Attic (1979) was her first bestseller. Four kids are imprisoned in an attic. They’re abused by their sadistic grandmother. Mom tries to poison them with arsenic-laced donuts so she can inherit the family fortune. I don’t think I’ll be reading it anytime soon.

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Two interesting facts:

Andrews died in 1986. Her estate hired a ghostwriter who has continued to write books in her name till this very day.

Andrews was a commercial artist and illustrator before she became a writer. That’s one of her paintings on the right, below. Perhaps it’s my imagination, but it seems to suggest a poor little prisoner in an attic.

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Photo of gothic horror author V.C. Andrews holding her first book Flowers In The Attic, and her painting of wide-eyed plaintive little girl in frilly dress

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You know what a Robert Palmer Girl is, of course. Well, you do if you know who Robert Palmer is, and have seen a certain slightly notorious 1980’s music video (see end of post).

They have very pale faces; short, severely pulled-back hair; heavy dark eye makeup; and extremely red lips. Here’s a still from Palmer’s video for Addicted To Love.

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Still photo from Robert Palmer Addicted To Love video showing girl with white face, dark eye mascara and makeup, and very red lips

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I think I caught the look pretty well. The more extreme the look, the easier it is to capture. Here’s a larger detail image.

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detail image of Teenage girl wearing Robert Palmer Girl dress and makeup dark eye shadow mascara red lipstick tossing poison powdered donut into mouth of her angry father who's in a rage with flames leaping from his head with black smoke

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The Addicted To Love video featured five Robert Palmer Girls, who were clearly chosen
for their musicianship… Not.

The video for a subsequent hit, Simply Irresistible, featured a lot more RP Girls. No one’s ever accused the pop music industry of originality or good taste. We must look to illustrators for these qualities…

Here’s Addicted in all its grainy glory.

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Any Gothic horror fans out there? Are they the sort of books one can take to the beach?

Has anyone ever dressed up as a Robert Palmer Girl, say, for a Halloween party? How about a job interview??

Do you think you’ll ever be able to eat another powdered donut after reading this post??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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If you enjoyed this post, please click the Like button below.

If you’d like to share this post with others, please click Tweet or Facebook or StumbleUpon or one of the other Share buttons.

I also invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.

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