Category Archives: Articles on business for Creatives

A Wedding is a Thing of Beauty!

I recently drew at a wedding for a young couple who were absolutely thrilled with the way the venue was transformed for their big day. For most Brides the look of the venue and the entertainers are as important as who is attending the event. As an artist and entertainer I do my best to make sure my setup helps to set the mood created by the venue. Things like hiding extension chords, minimal signage and more is important to help keep the attractiveness of the event. Make sure you are hiring entertainers that respect the goal you have created for your special day. Congratulations to Olivia and Patryk, may you have a wonderful life together.

Here a couple pictures from the event:

Here is the gift caricature created for the Bride and Groom

Gift CaricatureAbout the Artist

Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom illustration and design services specializing in cartoons and caricatures. A large part of our entertainment services is caricature entertainment for weddings. If you would like to learn more about Bruce Outridge Productions or book your wedding entertainment visit our website at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com

Make sure you have these five items checked off when starting a new website

5 website tips

So you have decided to get your business started and you need a website. You spend hours looking on the internet at different sites and find a bunch that you like. If you’re brave enough you try to build it yourself or you take all that information to someone you know and have them try to create it for you. Then you get the bill. This is the process that many people go through when trying to get a website started. The problem with this process is that you may get items you don’t need or that don’t fit with your art or business.

Before you go down this confusing road it is best to sit down and plan out what you need that fit you. Here we talk about the five elements of a good website for creatives that you should make sure you have in your website to be successful.

Which platform should you use?

Platform is one of the biggest and most important elements of your website. The platform is the program that you use to create your website. There are many programs from free to paid available. Just remember you get what you pay for! So what are you looking for in a platform? You are looking for something that is easy to use, has the elements you need, and can grow with your business. A website is a living, breathing entity. You will need to update it yourself as a creative so be part of the process of choosing the program. Unless you are a website programmer I would have someone set up the website for you and then show you how to update it. Right now WordPress is the leader in this space and is what I recommend.

What pages do you need on a website?

Pages are pretty basic but as a creative there are some that other business types may not require. The “home” page is the main page of your website and should be the first page of your website. You will need an “about” page to tell your story and that of your art. The “about” page on most websites are one of the most visited pages of a website. If you create art for clients or have products you sell based on your art then a “Services” page is required for your site. A “portfolio” page is very important to creatives as this is where you will showcase your art. You will certainly need to update this page on a regular basis. Visitors are used to looking for a “contact page” so I suggest having one of those however that isn’t as important as it used to be because you should have contact information throughout the website. These pages can be changed in name and more pages might be added if you have more information you want on your website such as a blog, specialized pages and more.

How will you update your website?

Platforms, widgets, and other parts of a website are updated on a regular basis. Unless you are a webmaster yourself you want to look at a platform that will update the website for you or have someone that can do it when required. Customization of websites is one of the cool parts about the internet, but if you don’t know how to work the platforms it can be more of a headache than anything else. So be prepared for updates and know how you will update for the future.
What website layout do you need?

Unless you are going to code a website yourself most sites are built on templates and there are many templates available. Choose a layout that is pleasing to you, but realize that you will want to change the layout over time so be prepared for that. Find one that fits with your brand. More on that next.

What is your brand?

Branding your website is very important and something you want to really think about. You want pleasing colours and images that reflect your brand. I tell my clients to choose three colours that they can interchange on all of their business needs from cars to flyers and more. My suggestion is to have a professional create things like header images, link images, and more to give you that professional look.

There are many moving parts to a website and it is important that you set it up correctly. That being said, it will be very expensive for you to have someone update it every time you need to add an image so think about how you will do that over the long term. Your website is the same as your home, make sure it represents the professional that you are.

About the Artist

Bruce Outridge is a professional illustrator and designer from Canada. His artwork specializes in caricature and cartoons for the clients and publications. He is the host of the Cashing in on Creativity Podcast for those in the creative arts at www.cashinginoncreativitypodcast.com . To learn more about Bruce and his work visit www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com or www.bruceoutridge.com

Cartoons make great advertisements!

Remember when illustration was the only thing around? Okay maybe you don’t but there was a time. Photography quickly became hot for advertising as computers made manipulating images easier. Cartoons have been starting to make a comeback for many advertising and editorial needs and caricatures are a great way to do create a unique ad for publications. We have done many cartoon ads in both caricatures and general cartooning in the past and continue to get more requests. If you are looking to make an impact in a different way with your next advertisement then think about cartooning for a change. It allows people to read your ad longer, after all isn’t that the goal. Here are a few we did for our clients.

About the Artist

Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom illustration and design services for advertising and editorial projects. Specializing in caricatures and cartoons allows for creative ways to market or advertise your next project. To learn more about Bruce Outridge Productions or to discuss your next project visit www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com

Who is in your network?

One of the things I love about traveling is the different people we get to meet that would not normally cross our path. It is amazing to see what creative people do with art in the form close to their hearts. I meet people every year on our annual adventure down south. Some are now old friends and others new acquaintances. I try to reach out to talk with artists when I see them and support them when I can. Here are a few pictures of my friends from this year. If you aren’t doing this already build your network from around the world, it will amaze you the talent that is out there!

About the Artist

Bruce Outridge is a cartoonist and illustrator from Southern Ontario, Canada.  His art specializes in comics and cartoons and is a business consultant and podcast host for artists. To learn more about Bruce and his art visit his website at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com. To listen to his podcast for artists visit www.cashinginoncreativitypodcast.com

Artist Starts Podcast to Help Other Artists Succeed

Bruce podcastingI was recently asked by another artist why I started my latest podcast for artists. They couldn’t understand why I would start something that gave no return to me to help my competition. Hopefully this article will help explain why.

Are you worried about the competition?

It’s true that I could be hurting myself by giving away secrets on how to succeed in business as an artist, however I have found out in my business it works the opposite to the way most people think about help and offers me even more exposure in its own little way. I have found that I like to help people and no matter how I try to stop that it doesn’t stop easily. In reality no one does everything exactly the same and personality, skill, and determination will play a big part in success even if we all have the same amount of information.

Why creative businesses?

I focused the podcast on creative businesses because that’s what I do. I have been a professional artist for over ten years, I am the author of several books, I like to talk, and I like to help people. Since that is what I do then that is where I decided to focus my content. I already have a podcast out for the transportation industry in which I have been involved with for over 30 years. I saw an area of opportunity in the creative areas and felt I could help. You can check out the transportation podcast at www.theleadpedalpodcast.com

Why podcasts?

I already have blogs, books, and other content so there are lots of places to get information. The podcast platform was more for me than my audience. I enjoy public speaking and giving presentations and a podcast is much like a presentation. For me personally it helps me with my speaking development, organization of material, and offers opportunity to expand my network.

The benefit of a podcast to the audience is information to help them directly, a more personal connection with the author or host, and the ability to replay and select content that is of interest to them. This medium is also attractive because you don’t have to stop what you are doing to listen unlike a book or a post where you have to read the actual words.

How do you make money with a podcast?

If you start a podcast for money then you may be starting for the wrong reasons. You can make money down the road through affiliate products, advertising, and the like but that is down the road. It can take months or years before you make money with a podcast so you have to really enjoy doing it. As mentioned I started the podcast for other reasons so the monetary issues are not my focus at this time, maybe down the road.

What will you focus on for the future?

My focus for the short term is to keep improving the production quality and content to help the audience in what they do. Once we have those issues on course we can look at other opportunities, but for now interesting guests, quality content, and good production are the focus.

I hope the show will be of interest to those that are artists, authors, and creative entrepreneurs. The focus of the podcast is on business, creativity, and inspiration. Succeed at business, improve your creativity, and become inspired by amazing guests. Check out the show at www.cashinginoncreativitypodcast.com

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, consultant, speaker, and podcast host. His art is on caricatures and cartoons, he is the author of several business and leadership books, and host of www.theleadpedalpodcast.com and his latest podcast www.cashinginoncreativitypodcast.com

Improve Your Business Through Video!

Video is hot right now and becoming the best marketing a company can do at the time. Bruce Outridge Productions have been helping companies in the transportation industry with their video marketing for many years now. Why transportation? Like anything it is best to have people involved that know the industry you are in and who you are trying to promote to. With our transportation background knowing what is important and how the end user may view the video goes a long way to getting a strong video. Remember it is not how you technically complete the video, but will it resonate with the person watching it at the end.

Below are some of the videos we have completed for clients. We offer special pricing for the Associations we are involved with. Focus and get started on your next video!

About the Artist

Bruce Outridge Productions offers custom illustration and design services from cartooning to video productions and more. Located in the Southern Ontario area of Canada the company has a strong focus in the transportation industry. To learn more Bruce Outridge Productions and their services visit their website at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com. If you are interested in having them help you with your next video check out their video productions page for more information.

The Joy of Meeting People

Canada is known as one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world. Our growing population of people from different backgrounds allows for us to view the world in a different perspective to many others. I enjoy meeting people from different cultures and have come to enjoy that process even more as an entertainer. I am not saying I understand all of the intricacies of the people I meet, but I do try to appreciate the fact that I get to be a part of their lives.

Just this past weekend I noticed this, even the simple things. The fact that I specialize in wedding events gives me a glimpse into traditions that I may not normally get to see. Even though many things are different between people of different cultures, many things are the same, it is always about the Bride and Groom. At East Indian weddings dance, ceremony, and prayer are big items that have specific routine. These events can last a week leading up to the actual wedding event itself. Egyptian weddings include all family including children and have ceremony, and prayer. North American weddings are more centred on speeches and entertainment with more traditional ceremony as a regular item.

It is not unusual for me to have a weekend filled with events such as this last weekend to make me appreciate the people I meet. I performed at an Indian pre-wedding on Friday, and Egyptian wedding on Saturday, and a Guyanese birthday party on Sunday. Talk about travelling the world.

One thing I can say is that many of the people at these events are very respectful and polite. I feel lucky to get a glimpse into their lives and their traditions. It helps you to peek out of your bubble and realize there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a caricature event artist working various events in Ontario Canada. He handles custom illustration and specializes in caricatures and cartoons. For more information on Bruce and his work please visit his website at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com IMG_0285.JPG

Keep Your Eye on the Ball!

Summertime is a time for relaxing, catching up on hobbies, and experiencing times that can only be done in the summer in Canada. I know for myself I have been playing way too much golf this summer. Sometimes having a slower time means forgetting about work altogether. It is important however to keep your eye on the business ball at all times, or it can go away with the wind.

Summer-Fun-Cartoon

Summer-Fun

I stay fairly busy all year long but you can tell the times when I am marketing hard and not marketing too hard. It is easy to get lazy, you turn down invitations, many meetings are cancelled and you tend to just chill, but it is important not to stop doing business or you may find you have no business to do. Use the slower time to look at the larger picture, touch base with people through their hobbies, work in a relaxed manner and have a good time, but keep yourself out there. If you are an artist use this time to create information and inspiration for those winter months when you will be creating. Remember business never stops and neither should you!

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, and consultant. He specializes in caricature art and is the creator of the Pride Junkie Comic Series for kids. For more information on Bruce please visit his website at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com

Your Best Marketing Comes from Your Personality

People often ask why I am so busy when everyone else seems to be entering a slow period in summer. Part of it is the business of entertainment, but part of it is personality. It is like a rock star going on stage, no matter how bad a day you have had when it is time to hit the stage you need to be on, “The show must go on!” I make sure I am always smiling and laughing with people at events, it draws them in and makes them want you for their event. At a recent event the people had such a good time that the organizer ran around offering my cards to her staff. No matter what event you are attending being happy, smiling, having fun will be the best marketing tool you can use, even if you don’t hand out a card.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is author, artist, and consultant. For more information please visit his website at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com

Working Toward Your Goal is the Most Important Part of Your Business

Has your goal changed since you started your business? If it has don’t fret that is part of  the process and doing business and that means you have been keeping an eye on your business development. The thing to watch is it changing with your main goal. For instance when I started my illustration business in 2003 and then took it full time at the end of 2006 I was just interested in creating illustrations. I wanted to use my art in some way. Like any other business owner I grabbed at many different straws to bring income in the door and today we offer many different types of services for our customers. We have expanded to three different businesses with a giant amount of services. Every year I bring in the reins however, and refocus the business. That’s because I still have one goal in mind for our business. Although many can’t see it due to the services we offer I can see it through vision and continue to tweak the operation ever so slightly to meet that goal. The services we offer have almost been a training ground for the larger goal. Goal-Illustration

The goal for the business has always been to become a specialized operation but early on we didn’t know what that would be. Today we can see that our illustration business is moving more towards a publishing house than a design business. When I published my first comic book in 2003 it was for a company open house. I had know idea it would be the main stay of my business in the future. Looking at my display shelf today I see we have published everything from a comic book series, magazines, business books, colouring books and more are on the way. We have our own ISBN and ISSN line and are moving into the space of small press publishing. So keep the main goal of your business in sight and tweak your business as it grows each year. You will find that in time you reached that goal for yourself even if it was in a round about way.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, consultant, and speaker. More information can be found on his websites at www.bruceoutridgeproductions.com, and www.outridgeenterprises.ca