Wednesday, September 24, 2008

storm grey is the best grey.

i cannot recommend calumet enough. their prices can be somewhat high, but their house-brand products have never let me down and they're always far more affordable than name-brand equivalents. and you're not sacrificing quality, either. case in point: i just purchased a slick new backdrop support set and a seamless roll of storm grey background paper. it's awesome. and they're great for used equipment too. i'm thinking of upgrading my camera system through them... but that's another story altogether.

in other news, my first round of cards are in the mail. now the waiting process begins. in the meantime, you can't do much else but wait by the phone and do more illustrations 'till somebody calls. i've also gotta update my -actual- portfolio with new prints and so forth, so it seems the to-do list never ends.

this past weekend i spent alot of time outdoors. sunday i went up to bushkill falls with the family for my grandma's birthday. it was a blast. if you're into that kinda thing, it's really beautiful. it's like a big chasm opened up in the middle of the poconos and a big waterfall and some rapids just kinda happened. seems kinda out of place, but that's part of what makes it so cool. it's a really clean park too. and a real nice walk. then on monday i drove back down to philly to work with my mentor. we went out to this amazing remote stretch of forest in the NJ pine barrens called 'apple pie hill' to shoot photos off the top of this fire tower in the middle of the woods. the view is unreal. you can see 35 miles in each direction from the top. on a clear day you can see both philadelphia and atlantic city at the same time. it's wild. go check it out, but be aware that the surrounding area really gives you the 'deliverance' vibes. kinda creepy in a way but at the same time it's one of the coolest views i've seen in some time.

lastly, as promised, this is specially for simay... i shot some photos of Ophie last night. here they are:


Thursday, September 11, 2008

the recovery process...

my envelopes have finally arrived and this time they fit. thank god. i've been a little under the weather for a few days (i'm blaming hay fever) but i'm back on my feet and ready to rock. in the process of calibrating my printer for the moab paper last week, i burned through the little 'starter' cartridge that came with it. so i gotta go get a real color cartridge and then print the crap outta these cards.

i'm also trying out a couple different label designs for the front of the envelopes. i want something funky and cool that ties my work, the website, and the mailer all together. if i've learned one thing so far, it's that as a freelancer you're essentially selling yourself. not in a prostituting way or anything, but in the sense that you're an inventor and you're branding your product. image matters and a clean, well thought-out finished product will do much better than something half-assed or something that makes the person seeing it ask, 'what was he thinking?'

so that's my mission for the next two days between the day job and sleep. i'm going to take the weekend off to spend some much-needed time with the lady. we've both been a little off lately and we owe it to ourselves to have a nice romantic relaxing weekend out of the city. and sunday night, it's back to printing labels and sticking stamps. looks like i've got my work cut out for me!


PS- simay, i'll be posting an entry just for you this evening when i get out of work. i promised photos of the kitty and i plan to deliver. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008


so my replacement envelopes arrived in my area on saturday. i missed the delivery and they were supposed to be delivered today between 10 am and 2:30 pm. so i waited around all day. no buzz at the door. so around 3, i went downstairs to find a note on my mailbox saying i missed their delivery, despite my being home all afternoon. i can't figure it out either.

at roughly 6:30 i spoke to my buddy dan, with whom i had plans to hang out with. when he arrived at 7, i talked him into coming down to the UPS station in south philly so i could get my package which was guaranteed to be there for pickup. by 8pm, i was told (for the second time) that my delivery was "being taken off the truck and will be ready in a few minutes." mind you, this is an hour after i heard this the first time.

i gave up and left.

so here's my useful fact of the day....

UPS will hold a reserved package for 24 hours. this means, you can call to have your package held at the station and you can pick it up anytime within a day of its arrival. i was under the impression (and their automated service leads you to believe) that it will only be held an hour or so. this is not the case.

if you're shipping materials for your business, be aware that you don't need to spend an hour waiting to get what you paid for. you can call, have it held, and pick it up on your lunch break the following day. which is what i plan on doing.

moral of the story: don't waste time when you don't need to. make calls. that's the way the world works these days. you'll get shoved around and the guy who ordered a rug will get his delivery before you get your tiny package of envelopes. call ahead and make an appointment to pick up your delivery in-person. i don't know if this happens to everyone, but even with something as mundane as a shipment of envelopes, UPS won't deliver it without you in person to sign for it. go figure.

and in the end, dan and i had a drink and played pool and had some good food, so everything worked out.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

doing your homework...

so my custom envelopes finally arrived. excited, i tore the box open and opened the pack, and slid my mailer inside AANNNDDD.... the envelopes are too small. by one sixteenth of an inch. you gotta be kidding. so now i need to order another set of envelopes. not a big deal, but what a headache. and now i've got a whole stack of unusable envelopes sitting in front of me. awesome. know that old saying, "measure twice, cut once?" it applies here.

on a similar note, i also went out and got several packs of this great paper from a company called Moab ( it's really high quality and i've seen outstanding prints on their paper. i got a bunch on a whim. as it turns out, my printer doesn't have a profile for the paper. so i spent 6 hours yesterday trying to create a custom color profile so my prints would look the way i want them to. and i'm still not done. but it's going to be worth it... it's just going to take time. the prints in the end, however, will look amazing.

the moral of this story is to do your homework. call companies to get any information you can think of before you go and make purchases like i did. it will save time. it will save money. and it will certianly save you a headache when you get into the 7th hour of stuffing small envelopes full of oversized, funny-colored prints. and when you do end up in a situation like mine, it never hurts to make that call and talk to customer service. being polite and cordial can get you far on the phone. case in point, i had to buy new envelopes, but i explained my confusion to the operator and he helped me pick the exact size i need. in the end, my shipping and processing fees (about 1/3 of the price) were waived and my new envelopes are being rush-delivered (which normally costs an additional $12) by the end of the week at no cost to me. don't be afraid to admit you made a mistake. it'll benefit you in the end.