Month: August 2019

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful is a brilliant project from artist and musician David Byrne:

We tell stories that reveal that there are, in fact, a surprising number of reasons to feel cheerful. Many of these reasons come in the form of smart, proven, replicable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We’re here to tell you about some of them. Through sharp reporting, our stories balance a sense of healthy optimism with journalistic rigor, and find cause for hope. We are part magazine, part therapy session, part blueprint for a better world.

Mental Health advice from a Freelance Illustrator

This is a nice interview with illustrator Ilya Milstein who shares his journey as an artist with insights into how he has dealt with depression and anxiety. He discusses the importance of physical health, routine and maintaining balance in his life in order to be able to create. You can read the interview on Adobe’s 99u site here:

Take a look at his portfolio at:

How to price illustration work

The AOI (Association of Illustrators) have excellent advice for how to price your illustration work. Have a look at their online resources here: (some are free, but others like their new online pricing calculator require you to be a paid member of the AOI).

How to deal with Overthinking

The Guardian’s Chris Clark talks to mental health mag Swirlzine about overcoming overthinking and some of his techniques for dealing with stress and anxiety.

The graphic design of Maeve Redmond

Check out the brilliant portfolio of Glasgow-based designer Maeve Redmond. The new website shows her work for a range of Scottish arts organisations including her commission for the V&A Dundee. You can read an interview with Maeve about this project on the V&A site here and browse her full portfolio  here:

Guardian art director guide to getting editorial commissions

“If you’re starting out as a freelancer, landing those first few commissions can be a real balancing act. Not only will you be locating the right contacts and working out how to appeal to them, but once you’ve landed a job, there’s a whole world of process and contract know-how to master. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing guides to being commissioned – including opinions from every corner of the process. To get things started, Chris Clarke, The Guardian’s global deputy creative director, is giving us the art director’s view on finding the right commissioners, nailing a brief and laying the foundations for great working relationships.” 

It’s also worth checking out Chris Clarke’s instagram feed as he often post great examples of editorial illustration he’s commissioned:


New Blood Festival 2019 Talk – Type Everything: An A-Z of typography

Chris Rowson TBWA Chiat NY shares his advice to young creatives for breaking the mould with typography and learning new skills.

Rowson’s A-Z of typography spoke about interesting use of kerning and leading, negative space, and experimenting with algorithms and new technology within typography.

Chris goes on to say by learning experimental typography, and how to improve your typography and lettering knowledge, designers can convey powerful and meaningful messages in their work.

(Reposted from D&AD website here:

© 2020 Shapes and Letters

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑