My Business Card

Business card 85x55 Front Final

Business card 85×55 Front Final

I occasionally enjoy designing a business card for myself.

I’m not sure why. I never use them, even the ones my work hands out. (My boss told they’d be printing out fewer cards for me this year after I told them I’d been using my business cards as roach material.)

I suppose I like to indulge in the vague illusion that I am running a business.

I’m not. Drawing is a pleasurable hobby. As soon as I try turning it into a business for business’s sake I lose interest and it just galls me.

The ex only recently grasped this. The ex is constantly telling me to sell out and make loads of money – As though money will just rain down on an illustrator who likes to draw things like this or this or this.

I need to draw cute things, happy-happy-joy-joy things, to sell well. I don’t mind, I secretly follow ‘cute’ artists. You know the ones – They draw cats and flowers and pretty girly dolls. Shit like that. But I don’t think I’d enjoy that all the time.

I also enjoy the even vaguer fantasy that I will go around handing out my business cards at social functions or parties. I really should you know, but :

  1. I never remember to take them with me until the details are out of date.
  2. Even if I do remember to take them, I stuff them somewhere so the edges get scuffed. Then I feel too ashamed to hand them out with scuff marks.
  3. I’ve never noticed an opening in a conversation which has ever prompted me to say;

“Oh, really? Well here, let me just give you my business card…”

I need all my grit just to make it though the polite chit-chat at social events much less be suave enough to be handing out business cards willy-nilly like some smooth operator.

I never took to freelance (For somewhat just reasons.) I’m in a country that is trying very hard to squash all small businesses, and immigrant businesses in particular. This is a country really determined to give immigrants the boot while freely handing out dole money left-right-and-center like it’s candy. (If you are British, have the right pair of ovaries and the will to breed, I mean really breed, you need never work again.)

So there is no way you can realistically support yourself on a freelance illustrators salary nor any way that it will enable you to get a visa to stay and work. Nor do I have a safety net out here if I fail to make ends meet month by month.

Additionally I do not enjoy uncertainties. I don’t enjoy them in my reading material (Barbara Cartlands‘ for example, have guaranteed happy endings, however improbable they might be.) and I certainly don’t enjoy them in my life.

Freelancing is all about uncertainties. Will you get any work this month? Will you even get paid?

A full-time job is slightly restrictive, and will most likely eat into your personal project time but you can be sure you will at least get a salary at the end of the every month. (Unless you get fired)

Perhaps if I was in Bombay I might do this. Go freelance I mean. I’d be living with my folks, so I wouldn’t starve or be homeless, I’d just have no junketing around money.

Which would be fine because without Riddhi & Leo I hardly have any real friends left in Bombay.

(Leo is in London and Riddhi is in New York. Shanaya & Mads, my college buds, are also in London. Various other people are also abroad or I’ve lost touch with them because they may not be as ruthlessly active online and as hopelessly inept offline as I am.)

Most of the people who come to the garden come as orbiting satellites to Riddhi’s Death Star. I merely bask in her warm, Death Star glow while she is around.

So here is the back of the card. I wish I knew a way that I could make the QR code on the right actually make the user’s phone download a VCF card with my details on it (I’m sure there is one but I haven’t figured it out yet.)

Right now the QR code would just take you to my Society6 Shop. (If you have a smart phone you need to download a QR scanner app.)

Although I think QR codes are a bit of a hassle and slightly useless.

Business card 85x55 Back final

Back final. QR code for my Society6 Shop

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37 thoughts on “My Business Card

  1. you know, I’ve wanted a business card that wasn’t work-related (those are always hideous) for years and years and years, and i’ve no idea why i’ve wanted it. because really, who hands out business cards? what’s the point? not like anyone keeps it. still, i’ve wanted one, just to gaze at dreamily. the moment i think of handing out a business card, i think of hotel pr people who will distribute the stuff like it’s free food when they meet press.

    though day before yesterday, someone did ask me for a business card. i answered by asking if they had a notebook and pen.

    and incidentally, freelance and survival are mutually exclusive terms. my recurring daydream is how much i’d have accomplished if i’d been a trust fund baby.

    • I have that dream too. Or that the ex will let me stay home like a housewife 🙂 except the balance of power would be so off-kilter I don’t think I’d be able to handle that. I actually dont know how any kept person does it frankly.

      I think stickers are probably the best thing. I saw a design once, that was business card graffiti. You stick your own details over another persons business card.

  2. I’ve been thinking about business cards, even though I never run into anyone I can hand them off to. Although I would maybe shell out the cash for these beauties: http://us.moo.com/products/luxe/business-cards.html?gclid=CNjcl4jSn64CFQVahwodkFaB3Q

    I’ve had friends print business cards with different illustrations on them, so they almost become collectable trading cards and are a tiny portfolio you can carry with you. That’s a pretty good idea…

    • oooo heavy weight, bad for rolling.

      Thats a lovely idea like the collectors pack of illustrations, but its quite expensive to print so many cards i would imagine.

      I did actually do that (except the cards were a little bigger than business cards) but i never handed out a single one! Then of course the details expired.

      That’s the problem, i dont go out schmoozing enough that i’d be handing out cards. You might be good at that.

      • Oh, I’m horrible at schmoozing. I guess I should learn how, but… like so many other things, I’ll do it later.

        I believe, if Moo prints their business cards the same way they print postcards, you can include a bunch of different designs in one order, so you only have to pay for one batch of cards to get a bunch of different images. I use them for postcard mailers because they let you do that.

        And another friend of mine uses the minicards, both as business cards and little tags when she sells things at craft fairs.

        • Yes thanks for that link! They look pretty good, although shipping would add a bit of price on them.

          I looked through the mini cards and I’m genuinely tempted to order a bunch with different work on them. they look so cute and lush – maybe I’d only put my email on them so the details don’t ever expire. But i’d probably end up using them for roach as well.

          I printed out 500 postcards in 2009 and even though i put half in my graduation show I still had over 250 left over, I chucked a bunch and now i’ve still got about a 100 left. Don’t know what on earth to do with them. They just lay around. Then I have 200 business cards from 2003. Plus these CV/ Illustration packs – I had to chuck all of them except 2 as samples. I feel really bad. What a waste of paper and money.

  3. I love your card and your header! I always take cards of the people at art fairs whose work I like. When they’re as distinctive as this, I remember better. I always hope I can call them up soon and buy cool things to hang in my house.

    • Thank you But maybe this card is too clinical?
      In a way thats good, but on the other hand….
      I’m quite taken by the idea of having different drawings on different cards from Caitlin above, (even though i’m not going to be buying cards anytime soon)

      • I just took another look and I don’t see clinical. I’d say it’s more minimalist. Subtle. I like subtlety. If you gave me this card I’d never be able to throw it away. Unless you were mean to me or something! 🙂

        Do you make your own cards? I make mine. I’m not a graphic artist or anything, but I come up with something simple and buy those break apart sheets of ten and use my printer when I need some. I guess that’s not as good as thicker stock and engraving, though. I hope that’s not frowned on.

        • Well thats good to know. t’s very minimal yes. In fact I think I might take the QR code off it. Pointless things. And center align my text.

          I only design my own cards. But I wouldn’t print them out myself. Too much trouble. But why don’t you just get about 100 or so printed? It wouldn’t work out more expensive than wasting ink cartridges which cost like £40 a pack. And the paper would be better and you could get a double sided one.

          • Oh my! I see why you don’t print out your own.

            I’m in the US and I don’t pay nearly so much for ink as you do, and what I might need cards for changes as I get new ideas to try to make money. I only ever need about ten at a time. So far, the supplies I get seem to last me about half a year. I’m hoping nothing runs out before I shore up my budget.

      • I definitely think this design is great 🙂 but it does deviate a little from the illustration style I see here on your blog and in your store. The second design fits your style more…I also think Caitlin is on to something! Showcase your personality and style via cards with different drawings selected from your portfolio…I also very much like the vegetable bkg you have here on your blog perhaps you can integrate that somehow too? The card is not too clinical —perhaps you just don’t emotionally connect with it 100%?

        • This is very good feedback – think i have some serious branding / style confusion and i’m struggling a bit.

          Partly the problem I have is that my illustration and design styles are so different and I want to keep them split but joined somehow. (And i also dont want to just pigeon hole myself into only “dark illustration” style)

          On the other hand this card as you say is very clinical. It gives nothing away about my illustration aesthetic, But my design aesthetic does leans towards minimal e.g. the goop cityguides app – I dont share that here because i’m worried people from work might find it somehow and also i don’t think i’m allowed without permission.

          So I haven’t found a good way yet to bridge the 2.

          Vege background – I do like it a lot but its very Etsy, very cute. I’m not always so cute. I worry it might be misleading? I dont know.

          eg. the header i have on this blog paired with the vege background – doesn’t really work, the vibes are both different. Again – need a bridge

          I think Caitlin’s suggestion probably fits best if I wanted illustration only cards (i dont think the design work i’ve done for the company i work for could go on these, even assuming i’d be allowed to) – That kind of makes sense. But then the design part isn’t addressed and that’s important to me since i haven’t actively pursued an illustration career at all (no $$)

          So my own brief is in a nutshell – bridge the design + illustration visually.

          One route would be to draw out the pencil to contrast with the vector mouse.

          Also literally I could split the card down the middle and have an illustration down one side and a app down the other.

          argh!

          • Actually thats a great idea! Draw the pencil and keep the mouse in Vector! I don’t know about splitting it – you could try? 🙂 I know what you are going through – I have a similar situation — I legally have to keep my design at work completely seperate from what I do on the side and am not allowed to utilise my work style outside of work…but the illustrations I do outside of work is the complete opposite style (less vector and techy more handmade and fantastical ha!) All this talk about self-branding makes me want to redo my personal cards too 🙂 Keep posting your ideas 🙂 ❤ paintblotch

          • Actually thats a great idea! Draw the pencil and keep the mouse in Vector! I don’t know about splitting it – you could try? 🙂 I can relate to what you are going through. I’m in a similar situation — I legally have to keep my design at work completely seperate from what I do on the side and am not allowed to utilise my work style outside of work…but the illustrations I do outside of work is the complete opposite style (less vector and techy more handmade and fantastical and nothing to do with the industrial design ha!) All this talk about consistent self-branding makes me want to redo my personal cards too 🙂 Constantly renovating my blog 🙂 I don’t know if I will ever be 100% satisfied with the way its set-up presently. Anyway, keep posting your ideas 🙂 I find them interesting as always.

            • I might try that. although i think actually now that i printed out version 2 – i ran into loads of problems. home printers are horrible to design. so i might need to go for center aligned version 😦

              • yup sometimes I feel that coordinating printer to computer is a profession all of its own. At work someone calibrates our hardware so that what we see on screen is basically close to what we get out of our printers or from the printer printer. At home however, I haven’t a clue how to use those special colour calibrater doo dahs. But yeah, you are probably better off alligning center as your colleauge pointed out…In Germany we have specific areas on a letterhead to keep in mind when we design them…Here is a basic example, its in german but you will see what I mean: http://www.druckeselbst.de/briefbogen/din676.php
                or this: http://www.din-5008-richtlinien.de/musterbriefbogen-din1338-form-a.pdf

                • thank you thats very helpful!
                  What is the margin usually? I’m puzzled about what margin is a good margin for a letter and does the space below the footer line need to match the margin? (how geeky is this comment thread?)

                  • No probs. LOL! Honour the inner geek 😀
                    We use about a 20 mm margin on the left side so that there is room for punched holes—germans are notorious for record keeping and almost every letter/document will be kept in a binder for future reference. Bottom margin is around 17 mm –thats usually where contact info goes. Text block area is really up to you…I usually match the right margins with the bottom margin 🙂

                  • No probs. LOL! Honour the inner geek 😀
                    We use about a 20 mm margin on the left side so that there is room for punched holes—germans are notorious for record keeping and almost every letter/document will be kept in a binder for future reference. Bottom margin is around 17 mm –thats usually where contact info goes. Text block area is really up to you…I usually match the right margins with the bottom margin 🙂 but its not neccessary if you are not working with german industry standards…here in germany, there is a standard for everything 🙂

                    • Zis is not ze correct way!!

                      (Thats what my boss says in a fake German accent if something is slightly off and needs to be done with military precision)

                      I kind of lean towards even margins, but frankly printers dont seem to care and mine just disregarded everything at the bottom and top

  4. Pingback: Letter Heads « Tin Roof Press

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