From the blog

The CurdBee Weekly #5 featuring Elena C. Vieriu

November 18, 2010

This week’s CurdBee Weekly features new CurdBee PRO user Elena of Findmyart. We also look at our newly launched data migration solution, CurdBee Bridge, and finally encourage you to answer the question of the hour which can be found at the bottom of this post.

User Spotlight – Elena C. Vieriu

An artist by birth and graphic designer by profession, Elena won her CurdBee PRO subscription in the recent AppStorm giveaway. Below, we talk to her about her work and how CurdBee helps make her life easier. Read on! Hi Elena, and welcome to the CurdBee Weekly! You’re the first artist we’re featuring here, so why not tell our readers a little bit about how you got into professional graphic design? Elena C Vieriu - Photo Hello, I am a Romanian graphic designer currently living in Florida. I have been doing traditional art since a very young age but after graduating High-school and University both with a major in Decorative Arts/Textile Design I couldn’t quite cope with the “starving artist” concept. I was curious to know what I could do with my skills. I had traditional drawing and color theory knowledge but it didn’t seem to apply practically in the real world. Therefore I started looking around, trying to figure out what I could do to actually make a living. I found that I could still do the things I loved, based on my skills in graphic design. Detail your work flow for us – where do your designs begin, and how do they make their way to becoming the finished pieces you have up in your portfolio? For each design I try to know as much as possible about the project and what is expected from me. First I look for inspiration & images that relate to my subject and create a Mood Board. Depending on the type of project, there is usually some sketching involved. For logo design I tend to have a longer process since, to me, logo designs are by far the most complex projects. Once the sketches look promising, I import 2 or 3 of them in Illustrator and start the digital versions. I also design book covers, a medium which I see as a very good way of combining art and design. I have a great passion for books, and I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I come from a family of intellectuals where art and reading were very important and greatly encouraged. Any type of book, digital or paper, needs a cover and it brings me lots of joy to design it. You’re an artist who produces paintings that make their way into exhibitions, and also a designer who produces everything from logos to book jackets. How do you balance art as a passion and design as a business and has this tension in any way changed the way you look at both fields? Art helped me succeed as a designer, as the same color and shape theory applies in the design field. The only difference is that we design for clients and not for ourselves. I paint and draw when I need to get away from everything but my time is invested a lot in my business and I’m constantly improving my skills. I’m currently trying to also learn web design. It’s a long journey but I find it exciting and it keeps me motivated. I would say that curiosity and the need to know got me where I am. We can never stop learning! What is most challenging about being a freelance creative in today’s market? It’s a tough market, but I believe there is room for each of us. The biggest challenge is trying to make people understand why design costs as much as it does and why we are not working for free. Many do not understand the time and effort that goes into each piece. I believe in helping charities but I do not support free work without reason. Elen Art - Red Digital Painting More of Elena’s art can be found in her online portfolio. Tell us a bit about your toolset, including both online and offline software that you use everyday. I try not to use too many applications but the ones I rely on for keeping my business running are:
  • CurdBee for invoicing, very easy to use and professional.
  • For keeping track of expenses and earnings, I use Outright.
  • For time tracking I use Paymo.
  • Design software: Photoshop, Illustartor, InDesign
  • Design tools: Wacom Intous 4, sketching pad, colored pencils, watercolor, etc.
You recently won a CurdBee PRO subscription in the AppStorm giveaway. Which of the new features at your disposal are you enjoying the most right now? Thank you for the CurdBee pro subscription! I love the way it looks, with no branding and the fact that I can accept payment methods other than Paylpal. The biggest asset to me is that CurdBee is easy to use – no fuss, no trying to figure out anything, it’s straight forward. The estimates feature is pretty valuable too. If you could change one thing about CurdBee, what would it be? A feature for creating design proposals would be something I would use for sure. What is your professional analysis of CurdBee’s visual presence? What areas do you think we can improve in? I think it’s fun, I loved that from the very beginning. I loved the bee character and the playfulness of it, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for having me!

Bee Supported – Using CurdBee Bridge to Import Data from Freshbooks and Blinksale

Yesterday, we launched CurdBee Bridge, a tool that makes data migration from Freshbooks and Blinksale super easy. While you can head over to CurdBee Bridge and get started right away, this neat little support article will help a lot if you get stuck along the way.

Buzz Back

We’re back again this week with the same question as before – We got some replies last week, but if you haven’t had your say yet, we definitely want to hear your opinion as well! All our users are important to us, so if you want to get in touch and tell us what you think, please leave a comment below or tweet and mail us.

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