My Menu of Creative Tools
Please note that some of the links on my website are affiliate links which means that I make a tiny commission for recommending a service or product when you purchase at no extra cost to you! This just helps me raise extra cash to be able to bring more content to you and open my shop full of goodies. I appreciate your support!
- Apple Ipad Air (10.5" wifi, 256GB, 2019) Great tool to illustrate, research, e-mail, organize files, contact people, and so much more with endless of apps. I use it daily as my sketch book, mini computer and zoom calls.
- Apple Pencil (1st gen.) This is essential when I want to draw on my iPad. I found mine second hand at the OfferUp app for less then $50! Totally recommend checking at third party apps to find electronics for a discounted price.
- iPad Air case with pen holder: This one is slim and includes a slot for the apple pencil.
- Procreate: Perfect tool to create digital art! It has a one-time payment of $10 and it is very user friendly. Download it directly on your iPad from the app store.
- Wacom Intuos pro drawing tablet: Great for illustrating on Photoshop. It comes with the drawing pen and has great responsiveness.
- Photography soft-box lights: strong and affordable lighting for product shots and photoshoots.
- Mic stand/ overhead tripod: This is a super cheap way to get that over-head shot when you want to take photos or film when you are drawing. I saw this hack on Youtube where you just need the mic stand from Amazon and a little adapter to mount your camera. It works!
- Seagate external hard-drive: This is where I keep most, if not all, of my design files and photos. An external hard-drive is a must have!! If your computer ever crashes or gets damaged in any way, this will be your lifesaver when you are up at 2 am working on that design project that is due the next day. (Please don't forget to constantly save your files!)
- Pantone Swatch book: I use this to reference colors when I design enamel pins and packaging/prints. It gives me a more accurate reference on how the colors will look like compared to my screen. I mainly use the Solid Coated book for the enamel pins.
- Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, 15th Edition : This is a great resource where you can get price ranges on how much you should charge for your design services. It also has some basic contract templates for you to reference.
- Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers by Tad Crawford: This is the book I referenced to create my contracts with the combination of the Graphic Artist Guild Handbook. This book explains each aspect of the contract in plain English; so it is easy to understand. But what was most helpful was that it had templates/ forms inside! There is also an option that comes with the CDROM for you to download the files.
- Business and Legal Forms for Illustrators by Tad Crawford: This book has forms and templates for you to create your own contract! Focused on Illustrators!
- Art Inc. The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist By Lisa Congdon
- Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
- Skillshare: I am a visual learner. Like you, I saw all those ads and sponsorships talking about how great Skillshare is. So I gave it a try. I actually like learning on Skillshare because it is more in-depth on the topics than watching a bunch of YouTube videos on the same topic. Plus, their 2 month free trial was plenty of time to take advantage of learning.
- Youtube: I learned a lot by watching videos. Some of the channels I recommend watching to learn how to use the Adobe programs are: Plearn and Yes I'm a Designer. For Procreate tutorials: Bardot Brush, Ghost Paper, and Art with Flo. For freelance advice, check out Roberto Blake, and Flux.
Social Media Tools
- Canva: It is free and flexible to create what you want and it is quick. You can create a template with Canva to create quick graphics to post on your social media platforms.
- Lightroom: I love editing on this app. I can create and upload presets that make it easy to edit my photos.
- Preview: I use the free version of this app. It easily allows me to, upload unlimited photos, organize my future posts, write captions, edit photos directly on the app and add hashtags. The paid version now allows you to find captions and hashtags if you don't know what to write. The only down-side is that you would need to manually post your content but you are able to schedule them and set reminders.
- Wordpress.org: I know there are easier platforms to create a website, but I wanted full control on designing the website where I can scale into building an online shop, blog, and portfolio. I want to stand out from those Squarespace templates that I see many use.
- Visual Composer Premium This is a great plug-in that I use with WordPress to design this website! It is a drop and drag website building tool that makes it easy to design your website just the way you want. It includes beautiful templates and elements and it is compatible with Woo- Commerce. Meaning that I can design my online store the way I want. There is Free Download that you can try but I have the Visual Composer Premium which offers way more features!