by Kirk Wallace
Kirk Wallace, trzown | Freelance Illustrator & Graphic Designer, Boston Massachusetts
Art prints, t-shirts, stickers etc for sale. Illustration & graphic design by Kirk Wallace
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Blog

As an illustrator and graphic designer, I'm able to do what I love for a living. That doesn't mean I'm content, satisfied, or even happy with a lot of what I do. I am creating this blog to share some insight that hopefully both you and I can learn from about my experiences in the world of designing for a financial and emotional living.

Introversion Week 1

Balloons on ceiling illustration

In my 'Introversion' blog posts, I am sharing the designs I've created over the past couple weeks that don't get as much attention from me or possibly others, but are equally as important as the sexier, more 'liked' pieces.

My goal here is to show that not everything we do will be an explosion of hearts and retweets or even necessarily something we're proud of. But we do it with our best foot forward and by staying at it, taking the good with the bad, and iterating on mistakes, we excel.

Now, I don't dislike popularity. I'm actually guilty of posting primarily the things I'm most proud of and hoping it gets likes on dribbble. I just also watch myself do a lot of work and have it be placed aside. These are all bits of work that progress us forward to the next stage or solve an important problem. We've all made landing pages that we aren't super proud of because they're pushy but they certainly drive conversions cuz it 'pops'! Hell sometimes there's just too much stuff to share.

There's a lot to respect in keeping work to yourself, that's how I spent the first year or so while learning, sharing nothing and just getting better. I'm experimenting here with the idea that the opposite can also be helpful. Both for myself, and hopefully the reader.

Now, this is my first post of this type, so it will be a bit backlogged. But I'm going to try to keep it recent anyway.

Prez Powerz Manga Music Mondays

Every week my brother releases a new song online for free and I've been doing quick (3-4 hour) cover arts for each. I generally don't get a chance to share them because of their quick nature, but some of these I'm really happy with the result. Collaborating with Prez's insightful and honest feedback is a dynamic that keeps me improving week to week.

  • Quick, 2-3 hours a week
  • Focus on layout and general composition
  • Lots of photo manipulation to save time; learning a lot of nice Photoshop tricks for future

Wagepoint UX/UI

Solving issues is awesome when things are going good, and very rewarding when they're difficult to crack. With Wagepoint, we have a few apps that are either being designed from ground up by myself, or fixed up / redesigned with better usability in mind. Here's the onboarding process for our flagship online software 'Pay'. We want the onboarding as smooth, fun, and easy to understand as possible so we used a simple on screen guide to get them set up. The guide is required to be completed (no action, just reading) and only takes about 45 seconds if you're reading real carefully. It's proven to be very helpful so far.

Spot Blog Illustrations

Every so often someone will need a quick illustration for a blog post, usually the deadlines are about... yesterday. So the frustration is obvious, but the takeaway is great; learning to come up with clever, quick, and easy illustrations that can represent what the article is talking about.

  • Fast paced
  • Editorial thinking
  • Free form, easy approvals

Alright, so there's the first week of Introversion, my blog post that focuses on the projects that may have been missed for any number of reasons, but are still fundamental building blocks in the perfection we strive to never achieve. I'll continue to post these every couple of weeks so if you're interested, follow along on twitter and you'll see when they get posted.