MEET #96 IVAN CASH
1. How long have you been freelancing?
I have been freelancing since the Summer of 2011, and have also freelanced in between gigs in the past. Man, freelancing is the best! It provides a great work/life balance, meaning I'm happier and (hopefully) more pleasant to work with and be around. My work is stronger because of that balance as well. I know it's not for everyone, but I really love the relative chaos: the uncertainty and constant change that the freelance lifestyle provides.
2. Is there a time or place that you feel most creative/have the best ideas?
I've noticed over time that I actually get my best ideas when lying down horizontally. As silly as that sounds, it's true! The skeleton idea for Selfless Portraits came minutes after I lied down on the floor of a Facebook conference room for the first time, after weeks of prior concepting!
I now make a point of doing this. Going on walks is also helpful for me to clear my mind. I'm usually most creatively driven at night, so sometimes I'll just stay up really late, jamming at my shared studio space. I also often go back to my creative inspiration blog, shwizle.tumblr.com.
3. What's your ideal Working:Not Working ratio?
Ideal ratio?? Do you REALLY want to know my IDEAL ratio??? Haha...Realistically, I'm happy when I can get it to be about 50/50 or 40/60. But you've gotta understand that when I'm not working, that really just means I'm working on my passion projects! So in a way, I'm always working...
4. Do your parents understand what you do?
Love this question! :) I actually think that they do understand what I do, moreso than most. My father is an artist and together with my mom, they both fostered a very creative and encouraging environment to grow up in. I probably shouldn't be saying this, but when I was home for the Holidays most recently and had some freelance concepting work to do, I ended up sharing the assignment with my dad and little brother, and the three of us sat around concepting for an hour or two. I paid them for their time and they were stoked. Their ideas weren't really on brief, but it was so much fun to include them in on the process.
5. What scene from a movie makes you laugh just thinking about it?
Hands down, the chat scene from Miranda July's film, "You, Me, and Everyone We Know" which is so hilariously weird: ))<>(( !!!
6. If you were stranded on a desert island, with your computer, what 3 websites would you take with you?
Facebook, Gmail, and Tumblr come to mind, but I suppose you want something juicier...
1) NBA League Pass so I could continue to watch the New York Knicks dominate!! :)
2) Notcot.org so I could continue soaking up inspiring creative content.
3) Syntheticpubes.com, 'nuff said. (Editor's Note: NSFW)
7. What do you do when Not Working?
I just got back from an intense month-long silent meditation retreat, and meditation—any sort of mindfulness practice really—is a big interest of mine. Training the mind to be more present and therefore open and spontaneous beautifully compliments the creative process. I highly recommend meditation to any and all creatively-minded folks.
When I'm not working in the sense of "working" implying making money, I'm most often spending time on personal art projects that result in great amounts of creative satisfaction and end up serving as strong promotional material I've found as well.
I also play pick up basketball every Saturday.
8. Do you have a hidden talent?
I'm a pretty decent pool player. Back in college, my game was more polished and I ended up getting paid by the school to serve as resident "Pool Pro" and teach pool to other students, haha. I would have said I'm a decent ping pong player, until Justin stole my thunder in a three game pillage.
Oh, and I make mediocre mashups under the alias "Aptly Last Named." (Get it??) aptlylastnamed.bandcamp.com
9. Any tips or advice for fellow freelancers?
1) Life is all about human relationships and freelancing is no different. So many of the gigs I receive—even the ones through WNW—are from someone I know or a contact of someone I know. The creative world is a small one, and I feel lucky to have lots of friends in it. Networking should never be a forced thing. I look at it like this: I am passionate about creativity and love to connect with others who share that passion. I'll often send emails to people I've never met, just letting them know I'm a fan of their work, with no intention of receiving anything in return. But then, I've found—a year or two later, they might think of me for a certain gig or something. But the key is that, even if they don't—even if I never hear from them again, that's totally fine! I believe that fostering healthy, happy human relationships is even more important than creating great work! I double dare you to find a creative whose work you admire and send them a complimentary email (or even better, handwritten letter!)
2) Be active in creating personal projects related to the kind of work you want to do. Then share that work with creative friends and blogs. Really make sure it's related to what you want to do though—I get inquiries every week or two to design infographics because of the parody "Infographic of Infographics" I created a few years ago, and have to tell every person that I don't actually take on infographic design gigs.
3) Always work with a contract and talk about money up front. Being clear and setting expectations early on really minimzes the chance of things going sour. I've learned this the hard way of course.
4) Use WNW of course!!! ;)
10. What's your favorite thing on the internet this week?
I just got back from retreat so I can't speak for this past week. But I do know of a hidden gem that is the animated gifs that my friend Cari Vander Yacht creates.
Oh, and I guess I can think of one thing that's timely: the Scope Bacon Mouth Wash April Fools prank is pretty awesome. I just wish they had made it into an actual product!
Selfless Portraits is a collaborative art project I designed and co-created where strangers across the world draw each other's Facebook profile pics. So far, over 16,000 drawings have been submitted from over 115 countries.
Co-Creator: Jeff Greenspan Producer: Luis Peña Developer: Rally Interactive
Snail Mail My Email
Snail Mail My Email is a collaborative art project where volunteers handwrite strangers’ emails and send physical letters to the intended recipients, free of charge. A total of 431 volunteers have artistically interpreted and collectively sent 13,968 letters across the world since the project began in 2011. Snail Mail My Email, the book, was published in 2012 and contains the most notable letters from the projects first iteration.
By circulating dollar bills stamped with fact-based infographics, Occupy George informs the public of America's daunting economic disparity one bill at a time.
Co-created with Andy Dao
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