by Kirk Wallace
Kirk Wallace, trzown | Freelance Illustrator & Graphic Designer, Boston Massachusetts
Cmrcl. Illustration / Design studio of Kirk! Wallace & Sküllboy
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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.

Meta Posts About Posts

Who the hell are you?

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Kirk Wallace and I'm a skateboarding, computer science graduated (and discarded), fast-punk loving illustrator and graphic designer from the general boston area. I say general because I want people to think I'm cooler than I am, so I say Boston. And I want people to hire me based on my location of the capital city rather than the subsidiary town, Leominster. Let's start being honest.

That was a waste

I know, thanks. The reason I'm writing this is to introduce the 4-5 of you that might read this, but mainly myself, to my blog. What it's purpose is, and what I hope to achieve from it.

The past few years I've been focusing on getting work, perfecting my process, my craft, and falling in love with what I do. I've done so much of this very robotically. I try to keep my head to the ground, speak as human as possible, and connect with any of my followees or followers but it's easy for that stuff to get tossed aside in order to spam more content!

This blog is a way to give back hopefully, some insight that I've gathered from all of you over the years. It's a way to answer questions that are asked often, a way to show the work that doesn't get posted on dribbble because it's not trendy enough, a way to talk about my struggles as an amateur trying to portray himself as a professional, and a way to share my process, tips, tricks, etc. One thing it won't help you with is learning how to write concisely or well. This could actually make you worse at reading.

The Format

There's no great format yet. But I do have a few ideas. I want to make this blog to be a regular thing for me. Not a frequent, but regular. Something like a post or three a month including but not limited to:

  • Indecision - Talking about the insecurities and issues doubting the quality of your work as an amateur artist. Overcoming issues. Something we don't talk enough about.
  • Introversion - Share all the work I've done every two weeks or so. Not just the hot stuff that I think people will like and follow me for. Sometimes we put stuff out there that's not visually stunning, but still solves a problem. The stuff I'd normally keep to myself.
  • Inspiration - A question I'm asked a lot, 'What inspires you?'. I try my best to inspire myself with unique material but there are all kinds of current day designers out there doing it too. I want to share that with you in a format more involved than a pinboard.
  • Independent - Self promotion. Honestly, a lot of what I hope to gain is an interest in me, my name, and what I'm doing by blogging. I'd like to hope some of the people that benefit from the blog will also be interested in hearing a bit about my personal art prints, etc.
  • Information - Tips, tricks, process. I take a lot of pride in my workflow not only as an illustrator but as a general geek. From software plugins I use, to reasons I work exclusively on a hackintosh instead of a macbook and the pencils I prefer to sketch with.
  • Interview - I'd like to eventually (once it will benefit the interviewee a bit more) try to get some interviews with designers and ask questions I've always wanted to hear get asked, not just 'how did you get started'.

Where do you get off?

The reason I think this might work out is because the few times I've written from the heart about something I'm passionate about, I've gotten a great response. People ask me a lot of questions regularly and the general interest is there for me to write my insight as a stupid designer. So here we go!

How can I tell my friends about this?

You can share it below if you really want. This blog post is understandably useless, I understand. If you prefer, just follow along on twitter and I'll be sure to let you guys know when the more helpful posts come along.

Useless?

Ok fine, here's something that I hope can help you guys. It's a workflow related tool I swear by now as a part of my day to day on a computer in os x.

Go get Alfred and install it. Get it by whatever means you do and install a few workflows. Think of this thing as a replacement to spotlight on mac, as your desktop shortcuts, command line, folders, etc all without having to use your mouse. Right off the bat, the clipboard history is amazing to have for every reason imaginable. It'll keep all the things you've copied (you know, like copy/paste) in a history for you to access easily whenever. It will automatically delete it at the end of the day if you want. Remember copying a hex color but then copying a phone number after that and the hex is gone? Not anymore!

Pasteboard history

Pasteboard history

Now get some workflows. Which are like, little commands you can type into alfred and do cool things (think simple scripts). Here's a good one to quickly upload a png to tinypng, which compresses images down up to like, 60% with literally no quality loss, which is great for web graphics load time. With this workflow you won't have to go to the website to upload the image every time though, you just push a combination of keys while the file is selected in finder, and bang its done and downloaded right back your desktop!

This will upload the image to tinypng, and then download it back to your folder of your choice 60% small in filesize

This will upload the image to tinypng, and then download it back to your folder of your choice 60% small in filesize

Here's the last one for now called colors which is great for quickly converting RGB to CMYK, or HSL, etc. Just type in a color and get all it's other stupid ways you can spell it out!

alfred-colors