Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Link to Envato Notes

This Week’s Featured Authors

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 04:39 PM PDT

Congratulations to this week's featured marketplace authors.

MS-Design ActiveDen Featured Author: MS-Design

Our current featured author here on ActiveDen is MS-Design who joined in February 2009, has a portfolio of 14 items for sale and has racked up 1317 sales!
View MS-Design’s Portfolio

ChrisShawMusic AudioJungle Featured Author: ChrisShawMusic

Our current featured author here on AudioJungle is ChrisShawMusic who joined in January 2010, has a portfolio of 61 items for sale and has racked up 72 sales!
View ChrisShawMusic’s Portfolio

internq7 ThemeForest Featured Author: internq7

Our current featured author here on ThemeForest is internq7 who joined in September 2009, has a portfolio of 6 items for sale and has racked up 7940 sales!
View internq7′s Portfolio

Vectorica VideoHive Featured Author: Vectorica

Our current featured author here on VideoHive is Vectorica who joined in September 2010, has a portfolio of 7 items for sale and has racked up 76 sales!
View Vectorica’s Portfolio

quickandeasy GraphicRiver Featured Author: quickandeasy

Our current featured author here on GraphicRiver is quickandeasy who joined in May 2009, has a portfolio of 22 items for sale and has racked up 648 sales!
View quickandeasy’s Portfolio

no-thumbnail 3DOcean Featured Author: zenox3d

Our current featured author here on 3DOcean is zenox3d who joined in February 2010, has a portfolio of 22 items for sale and has racked up 4 sales!
View zenox3d’s Portfolio

dilab CodeCanyon Featured Author: dilab

Our current featured author here on CodeCanyon is dilab who joined in February 2010, has a portfolio of 36 items for sale and has racked up 776 sales!
View dilab’s Portfolio

PhotoPremium Tutorials Featured Author: PhotoPremium

Our current featured author here on Tuts+ Marketplace is PhotoPremium who joined in January 2011, has a portfolio of 17 items for sale and has racked up 75 sales!
View PhotoPremium’s Portfolio

GoodOlga PhotoDune Featured Author: GoodOlga

Our current featured author here on PhotoDune is GoodOlga who joined in August 2011, has a portfolio of 288 items for sale and has racked up 6 sales!
View GoodOlga’s Portfolio

Author Interview: Stemlund

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 10:37 PM PDT

Learning HTML for IE6 using tables, offering web programming and graphic design services, getting your ideas out without self-editing, and the definition of passion. This week we meet Stephen Emlund (stemlund) from PhotoDune and GraphicRiver.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?

My name is Stephen Emlund. I’m 25 years old and I live and work in Kirksville, Missouri. My background stems from a degree in visual communications and field experience that includes photography, editorial design and website development and design. I’ve been selling stock photography for two years.

In 2008, two months before graduating college, I opened my own design firm, Creative Improv. CI offers web programming and graphic design services to a variety of clients, from up-and-coming musicians to churches and universities. Together with my creative director (my former high school band teacher with whom I share a love of jazz music and saxophone), I create memorable, results-oriented websites, logos, and more. Establishing an effective web and brand presence for clients through creative design is what I do every day.

Since 2009, I’ve been a full-time web developer at a medical university where I have created several award-winning websites for the university. Most recently, I’ve been part of a team that is re-envisioning the university website and creating solutions to various design and function challenges. I also serve as the go-to person for creatively utilizing social media.

Which marketplaces do you belong to? What types of files do you sell?

I contribute to PhotoDune and GraphicRiver. I sell mainly stock photography.

How did you get started? Have you had any formal training?

In high school I learned HTML (IE6 and tables!) and that got me interested in website design and development – which in-turn led me to graphic design. I attended a small liberal arts college in Kirksville, MO and graduated with a BFA in Visual Communication in 2008.

Even though I didn’t learn website development in college, my graphic design courses prepared me well for creating great looking websites. Learning the new way to layout websites (DIVS, XHTML and CSS) came quickly. I basically learned how to use DIVs, CSS (and WordPress to top it all off) for one specific website project.

Being under contract to complete something is a good (or bad?) way to force yourself to learn that thing you always wanted to learn. :-) Since graduating college, I’ve learned new skills such as photography and motion graphics.

Describe your home workspace.

The workspace for my full-time job is a work in progress. It started out as a cluttered and dusty basement work room and we slowly turned it into what you see now. The photography and artwork is mostly all my own and is inspired by my love for jazz music.

I’ve got dual 23″ monitors running Windows 7. I’ve also got a big lounge chair (not picture) for when I need a break.

The coolest part of my workspace is that a ‘old dog’ photography is across the hall, a videographer is a few doors down and an amazing photo-illustration expert shares the office next door. This is at a medical university, mind you.

Describe your creative process. What steps do you normally follow to create your files?

  • My creative process for a web design starts with a lot of thinking, planning, brainstorming – mostly in my head. If it’s a website project, I will research technical requirements, plugins, frameworks, etc that I plan to utilize first then I will begin the sketching and designing.
  • I then sketch some ideas out on paper with notes and getting out all my ideas and trying not to self-edit. Sketching helps me find the layouts that won’t work and the ones that have potential.
  • The next step is to move to Photoshop and fully develop the best sketches with color and font choices.
  • Next, I usually let my design sit for a day and come back with a fresh set of eyes. I make more design tweaks until I’m ready to have a few close designer friends critique it for me.
  • I’ll then send it to a few designer friends and give them my creative brief and ask for input.
  • This is where the design really starts to come together. I take their feedback and figure out what I should change.
  • At this point the design is usually ready for client review and then coding.

My photography process is much less structured and built more around pure inspiration. Since I’m new to photography, I’m always learning about how to create sharp, well-exposed images. I find that my best photos have come from times when I was just experimenting with a new technique and not worrying about creating a ‘stock-worthy’ photo.

What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?

  • I’m very new to Envato, but from my stock photography experience, I would say that keywording is one of the best ways to be successful. Spend time finding the best keywords.
  • Create photos that have a theme – whether it’s college students or photos geared toward a holiday. Know that vacation snapshots don’t necessarily have a lot of commercial value.
  • From experience, photos with copy space sell well. Leave room for the designer to add text to your photo. The easier it is for a designer to create their finished layout from your photo, the more it will sell.
  • Create photos that express an abstract concept (emotions).

What do you do to market your files?

Honestly I don’t do much marketing of my files – except for sharing new files on my social media profiles. In Google+, I’ve created a circle of friends who consist of only Envato authors.

What are your three favorite files, and why do you like them?

Light Painting of ‘Love’

I stayed up until 3 pm on a Friday night trying out light painting and came up with this. I love the color and that there are natural bursts of light around the L and O.

Antique Brass Vase with Smoke

I love this one because of the work I spent shooting smoke and integrating it into this shot. The vase was found at an antique store. A lot of time and energy went into find the vase, shooting the smoke, shooting the vase and combining it all into a final piece.

Vintage Camera with Copy Space

I like the slight vintage colorization on this as well as the composition and lighting.

Apart from yourself, who is your favorite marketplace author, and why do you like them?

My favorite marketplace author at this time would be ChrisMooney and his AudioJungle music. Being a jazz musician, I love his music and seriously want to jam with him. A few favorites – Down Town Jazz and Funky Chicken.

What do you do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I spend time with my beautiful wife. I also just really enjoy taking photos and designing… so I like do my ‘work stuff’ in my free time. Isn’t that the definition of passion?

Featured Workspace: Mystery Author #2

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 05:57 PM PDT

Here’s another round of photos from the mystery traveling Envato author.

Featured in these three early morning workspaces are wonderful sunrises and varied levels of seating comfort. Early morning is a great time to catch up on emails, upload some files and download any resources for planned work in the (internet-less) days ahead. Early morning beats the heat and the flies around here (also the light is great for photos).

Featured in this workplace is an intriguing (and some say magical) ancient rock formation. Nobody knows for sure, but many believe it was created by a mysterious group of nomadic travelers over many many years. Descendants of these travelers have since learnt to drive rusty white vans all across the country. The magical powers in these rocks brought me an Internet connection (helped by the little 2 dB gain omni).

Getting comfy again at a high point with the USB dongle and 2 dB gain omni stuck up in a tree. Only place with internet around here.

This is as close as you can get to an internet cafe in this area of the country. Hundreds of kilometers from the nearest town (and heading away) we reached a high point and our “Internet alarm” went off. Quickly pulled over and whipped out the 6 dB gain omni – got a fairly decent connection for this area (90 kbps) and stopped for an hour catching up on work.
Featured in this workplace is:

  • Dell XPS 15 booted into Linux
  • a solar panel (helping to boost some big batteries running an inverter to charge the laptop)
  • 6 dB gain omni antenna tied to the roof with a bit of rope
  • My trusty comfy beach chair
  • Garbage bag duct taped to the door to help keep the water and dust out when driving on these roads

and then some of the locals decided to drop in and have a sniff – curious folk they are.

Finally after days of dust we reached our destination – a fresh water spring that runs all year round and flows at a phenomenal rate. No internet here! Just working on items locally.

Here we have my favorite workplace – a junk food chain! Free wifi and cheap unhealthy food. Great for putting you to sleep.

Temperature is getting warmer now – and it’s going to get worse as the months progress! Featured in this workplace is our luxurious shower bucket and our best investment yet – a spray mist bottle! (our portable air conditioner)

Camped at the side of a race course – lying in the pool my trusty stable table – tethered to the HTC Desire – negotiating a deal for a bulk extended license purchases of our items. I don’t even want to know how hot it is out here. My Envato sticker is about to melt off the laptop and slip into the pool.

To answer a few questions from the previous mystery workplace:

  • Linux is run on the laptop 90% of the time.
  • The main program used on the laptop is PhpStorm by JetBrains (highly recommended!)
  • The laptop runs a custom LAMP stack to make local WordPress development a breeze
  • A lot of code sits in local Mercurial repos – which can be pushed live when an internet connection is gained
  • I use Windows for the odd game, also when some devices (card reader) don’t behave in Linux
  • I do hardly any photo editing or graphic design – in Linux or Windows :)

That’s it for now – I hope this gives some motivation for my fellow authors – see you in a few weeks!

- Mystery author

( PS. Some of you know who I am – keep it a mystery for a while. =P )

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