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365 Illustrations by Enfuzed artist of the month Jag Nagra

October artist of the month goes to designer Jag Nagra. Jag, 29 years old, was born and raised in the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada and has been designing since her graduation from design school in Spring of 2006.

Jag is most known for her 365 design project (which we will cover below) in which from January 29, 2012 to January 28, 2013 she created an illustration a day (365 days, 365 illustrations).

You can view/follow more from Jag Nagra via the links below

Before we get to her awesome designs, Jag was kind enough to answer a few questions for us in a small interview which you’ll see below.

Where are you currently residing?

I live in a different suburb of Vancouver, where I just purchased my first home this summer!

What made you want to become a Designer?

My older brother had taken some design classes in University, and one project in particular required that he photograph my hand, and insert it into a typographic layout. I think that was the moment that I realized that this was an actual profession. People got paid to do this kind of thing? That’s when I really started thinking I wanted to do this. Before that point, I had no idea that Graphic Design even existed. I was oblivious.

What University did you attend and what’s your degree in?

After high school, I spent 2 years taking general studies at a post-secondary institute. Throughout my entire childhood, I just thought you went to University after high school, and then got a career. I didn’t understand how it worked. And so after I walked away with this diploma in my hand, I was no closer to a career than before I had started. I then applied for a Graphic Design program at the Art Institute of Vancouver without really knowing what that entailed, and ended up falling in love with it.

Where did you land your first Design related job?

My very first paid design job was working at a small greeting card manufacturer that created Christmas cards for corporate clients throughout Canada. My job was to input their pre-chosen messages to the inside of the card. It really wasn’t the most stimulating job, but I was only there for a few months since it was seasonal.

Tell us a little about Page 84 Design:

Page 84 Design started as a creative outlet for me outside of my day job. It’s a way for me to experiment, and push myself into new realms. Last year, I began a 365-day illustration project so that I could teach myself how to illustrate. That lead to getting noticed by design blogs, which then lead to people hiring me as an illustrator. So I guess at the moment, I’m calling myself an Illustrator.

I’m excited to see where I’ll go with it next, but it’s cool because it’s all up to me. I don’t need anyone’s approval before I post something or experiment with something.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

You mean when I’m not snuggling with my dogs? I have a huge passion and respect for photography. You could say that was my first love. These days, I gladly forgo my Canon camera equipment for the ease of use of the iPhone, and the ability to instantly share photos through Instagram. I’m obsessed!

Who/Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I love all things retro and mid-century modern.

What does your office look like?

I found this old solid wood desk on Craigslist that belonged to a retired doctor. It’s from the 1960’s and it’s so cool. They were moving to a new office space, and luckily I swooped it up for FREE before it ended up in the landfill. The donkey is an illustration of mine that I got printed on canvas.

Jag Nagra Office Picture

What design tools/software do you use?

I use a 17″ Macbook Pro, and I would say 80% of all the work I do in in Adobe InDesign..even illustrations.

Chrome, Firefox, or Safari?

Safari

What are some of your future plans/goals as a Designer?

I continually want to create things that will exist outside of a computer screen. A few years ago, I had this panicky realization that one day I would die, and my entire career would exist only in my computer files and I would stop existing as a designer. The thought of that is what lights a fire under me every day. I want to leave things behind for people to hold in their hands.

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Now the exciting part, Jag’s designs! Obviously we won’t be able to include all 365 illustrations she created for her 365 project, but we will include a few among other projects she has done. You can view all 365 illustrations on Jag Nagra’s Behance portfolio here or view them in her Vimeo video below.

These illustrations are truly awesome and I like the simplistic approach, you may recognize some of these illustrations as popular celebrities, as well as animals and a variety of other types of people and characters.

Mr. T

Mr. T Illustration by Jag Nagra

Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan Illustration by Jag Nagra

Danny Devito

Danny Devito Illustration by Jag Nagra

Elton John

Elton John Illustration by Jag Nagra

Mr. Miyagi

Mr. Miyagi Illustration by Jag Nagra

ET

ET Illustration by Jag Nagra

Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders Illustration by Jag Nagra

Snoop Dog

Snoop Dog Illustration by Jag Nagra

Barack Obama

Barack Obama Illustration by Jag Nagra

Larry King

Larry King Illustration by Jag Nagra

Kanya West

Kanya West Illustration by Jag Nagra

John Travolta

John Travolta Illustration by Jag Nagra

CeeLo Green

CeeLo Green Illustration by Jag Nagra

Jason

Jason Illustration by Jag Nagra

Wolverine

Wolverine Illustration by Jag Nagra

Movember Prints

Jag created these Movember prints for the Mustache Gentleman’s Alliance, you can purchase these prints here. All proceeds go to the Mustache Gentleman’s Alliance.

Movember Print created by Jag Nagra for Mustache Gentleman's Alliance

Hugo’s Hot Sauce

Jag Nagra did the branding, illustration and packaging design of a new line of hot sauce called Hugo’s Hot Sauce.

Hugo's Hot Sauce by Jag Nagra

Hugo's Hot Sauce Business Card by Jag Nagra

There you have Enfuzed’s artist of the month for October, Jag Nagra. Be sure to follow her on the social media links we listed above so you can view all of her past and current work.

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Proposal Template

If you’re a freelancer or do some freelance work on the side, it’s always a good idea to do everything as professional as possible. This includes writing professional proposals in a well designed format. Being a freelancer though can be a time consuming job being a one person operation.

Seeing this issue, Kenny Williams put together this excellent project proposal template that includes area for project description, project budget breakdown, project timeline and more. The template comes in changeable colors and in 2 document sizes, both US letter and International A4.

This 12 page proposal template was designed in both Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign so you can choose the file type of your choice to edit it in. At only $9 this template is well worth the cost and is a great deal for freelance work. Click the heading to see the full template.

Proposal Template

Proposal Template

Proposal Template

Proposal Template for Designers

Proposal Template for Designers

Proposal Template for Designers

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360 Free Web Font Icons from Elegant Themes

Many of you may have heard of the company Elegant Themes before, if not, they build themes and plugins for WordPress. They have created this huge set of 360 free font icons for both personal and commercial use. These icons are vector based and come in EOT, SVG, TTF, and WOFF formats for the fonts. They also come in the scale-able SVG format and also a 32×32 pixel PNG format for the images.

This is a handy set of icons they will continually get updated and added to since Elegant themes uses these on the themes they build.

360 Web Font Icons

360 Free Web Font Icons from Elegant Themes

**Click the title link or the image to direct to the download page**

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How ro build your Twitter following and increase engagement

Twitter is one of the most popular social media networks in the world next to Facebook. Building a solid following and getting your following to engage is one of the toughest tasks when it comes to marketing yourself or your company on social media. Here I will focus on how to create an influential Twitter account and build a following that is truly beneficial to you and/or your company.

Tweet Regularly

Tweet often and tweet at various times of the day. Tweeting throughout the day increases the chances of your tweet being seen by your followers. With Enfuzed’s Twitter account, I try to tweet every two hours; this ensures that my followers (who live in all parts of the world) will see at least one of my tweets over the course of the day.

Tweeting often ensures your audience that you are here to stay. Having a consistent tweeting schedule reassures your audience that they can count on seeing something from you on a regular basis. It also lets them know that you are not just tweeting when you feel like it or when you want something from them.

Engage your followers

Try as much as possible to engage with everyone who mentions you on twitter, whether that be favorite-ing their tweet,retweeting, or replying back to them. This lets them know that you have read their mention and acknowledge it. Sometimes it’s a great idea to even follow that person as they will more than likely follow you back and you can build a Twitter relationship from there.

Another thing to consider is asking your followers some questions and replying back to their answers to let them know you’re listening. Engaging with them gives you a human presence and lets them know your not a robot or just some scheduled tweet account that never actually logs into Twitter or reads what people say to you.

Mention other related accounts

Find other Twitter accounts that are related to yours and see what they’re doing and what they’re talking about. If you like what you see, mention them in a tweet. This lets them know your interested in what they have to say. This could even lead them to giving you a mention back and reading your tweets.

I follow many other web and graphic design blogs on Twitter and I am always reading what they have to say and what kind of articles they are posting. If I like an article, I will tweet it out to my followers and mention their Twitter handle in the tweet. This lets my Twitter get noticed by them and it can lead them into checking out my website and seeing what I have to offer. Then, if they like my site, they could end up giving me a mention for an article I’ve written. After awhile a relationship could build and we could end up trading tweets and mentions with each other. This is a great way to build relationships on Twitter and gain followers.

Follow related accounts

Whatever your niche may be, find other Twitter accounts that are related to that niche. Twitter does an awesome job of categorizing Twitter accounts. The more people you follow of a certain interest, the more accounts it will suggest to you that are the same. Following similar niches can increase your chance of getting followed by those accounts.

Contact other related businesses

When I started out I was trying to get my site noticed and build a strong following, so I would email related websites and ask them if they were interested in some kind of Twitter partnership. This would work, in a way, the same as the above tip. I tweet something from them that they wanted tweeted, mentioning their Twitter handle in the tweet, and they do the same for me.

Some Twitter users never check their @connect tab on Twitter, so they may not see you mentioning them in tweets. Going about it this way, by contacting them via email, will ensure they get your message and it can help you better established a tweet trading schedule for your Twitter partnership.

Use Hashtags

On Twitter, hashtags are used as a way to categorize posts. If you look at trends on Twitter, all of the trends are categorized via hashtags that are being used, an example could be #webdesign. If you are posting a tweet that deals with web design, simply insert the hashtag #webdesign into your tweet somewhere and it will be categorized with all the other tweets that mention #webdesign in them.

Once your tweet is posted with your selected hashtag it becomes a clickable link. When you click on it you will be directed to a page that has every tweet with that same hashtag. This is a great way to help build a niche following as users can search their interest, and if your hashtag matches it, you have a chance of appearing in their search and in turn possibly gaining a new follower.

An important thing to keep in mind is the amount of hashtags you use per tweet. Don’t overload your tweet to where it’s virtually illegible, use a max of two hashtags per tweet.

Style your profile

If you leave the Twitter egg as your profile picture, no one will take you seriously and it makes you look like a bot spammer. Use your company brand or logo (if it’s a good one), or if it’s just your personal account use a professional photo (not some photo of you partying).

Change the link color up to match your brands and use a nice cover photo and relevant background image to go with your account. Doing these things make it look like you care and that you’ve taken the time to properly set up your Twitter account. Remember, looking professional and legit is key in getting people to take you seriously, so do it and do it right.

Add Twitter to your website

There are a few more things you can do to help build your audience or get them interested. Adding a Twitter widget that displays your latest tweets to your website can help, that way when users visit your website they can see that you have a Twitter account and are regularly active on it.

Adding social share buttons to your website and blog posts can help as well. Giving your website a tweet button can help promote your account on Twitter by having people mention your handle in the preset tweet.

Twitter beyond the web

You can get followers and build an audience easily without having to do anything on the computer. Add you Twitter handle to things like your business cards, letterheads, or other stationary. This is something big businesses have been doing for awhile now, one good example is Lays. Lays includes their Twitter handle and Facebook url on all their bags of chips.

If you watch the news you will also notice that when some anchors come on TV, below their name now includes their Twitter handle. This occurs a lot on shows like Sports Center, Fox Sports and The Golf Channel. This is just a testament to how huge and popular Twitter jas become. So spread your Twitter handle beyond the web by promoting it on products, business cards, and other things.

Don’t ask for retweets

As with everything, there is always a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things, Twitter is no different. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people ask for retweet in their tweet. Nothing comes off worse than someone who looks desperate. Lets face it, who wants to retweet someone who is basically begging for retweets?

No one wants to be the one who retweeted someone who, in their tweet, asked for a retweet. Twitter is not a charity case, if you want to have tons of followers and get retweets then you have to work for it like everyone else.

Don’t send automatic private messages

I think everyone can agree with me that this is the most annoying thing ever. You follow someone and then seconds later you get a PM and they are thanking you for the follow and then telling you to check out some link. Don’t do this, mainly because it’s a good way to get unfollowed.

This goes along the lines of advertising in a way (if you include the link spiel in the PM) and the last thing you want to do is come off as a salesman soliciting your stuff to a brand new follower. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to thank someone for following you, but it is unnecessary to do via a preset automated private message.

Conclusion

Just some ending tips, follow similar niche accounts and engage with your following. Avoid spamming tweets and messages and limit the self promotion to a minimum. Keep up with trends and post relevant information that people will want to see. Obviously there are a lot of other ways to kill it on Twitter, but I wanted to go over a few ways that you don’t see very often.

Do you have some tips to add? We’d love to hear them, comment them below.

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The Anatomy of a Graphic Designer infographic by Glantz Design

You may remember the infographic we posted awhile back comparing web designers vs web developers, making fun of the stereotypes of each of them. This infographic from Glantz Design is similar to that, except that this one is making fun of graphic designer stereotypes. These stereotypes include Apple die hard, black rimmed glasses, skinny jeans, coffee addict, hip sneakers and more.

For the most part some of these are true, obviously everyone is different and has a different style, but this style seems to be a trend among designers in general. It’s always fun to laugh at ourselves once in awhile so hopefully you get a good laugh out of this.

Created by Glantz

The Anatomy of a Graphic Designer infographic by Glantz Design

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24 Free Wood Textured Social Media Icons

A set of 24 free wood textured social media icons for personal and commercial use from GraphicsFuel. This set of social media icons come in both PNG and PSD formats. Included in the set are all the most popular social network site icons including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, WordPress, Dribbble, Tumblr, Behance, the new Yahoo! logo icon, and more.

24 Free Wood Textured Social Media Icons

24 Free Wood Textured Social Media Icons

**Click the title link or the image to direct to the download page**