small biz

Small Business Spotlight Interview: Tim Easley

Tim Easley Small Business Spotlight with Digibloom

IN THE SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: TIM EASLEY - talented FREELANCE ILLUSTRATOR BASED IN LONDON, DISCUSSES HIS GRAPHIC DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION BRAND

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Tim and I'm a self taught designer, illustrator and photographer from London. The technical word for what I do is Designustratographer. Although don't look for that in the dictionary because it's too futuristic to be in there yet.

Tim Easley graphic designer and illustrator - interview with Digibloom

Describe your business

I attempt to arrange things nicely on pages, doodle stuff for people, and use a camera to steal people's souls. In return people give me money, which I mainly use to buy pizza. My business is unique because I made up my own job title to make sure nobody else is one.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

What inspires you?

I'm mostly inspired by Oprah, motivational quotes on posters in offices, Morris dancers, tinted windows on cars, and people who say they work hard and play hard. These things inspire me not to be terrible.

Why did you decide to start a business?

I hated where I was working, and couldn't find another job, so I decided to go freelance and survive on dust and grass rather than get a regular wage. I never looked back, mainly because I was too weak from the dust and grass to turn my head.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

Has the direction of your business changed over time?

Definitely. It was going down for quite a long time, then up, then kind of level for a bit, then down a bit, then up again. Hopefully it keeps going up because that's the direction I like the best. Oh wait, I get you. Yes I think I've become slightly more specialised as I've been going, concentrating on things I find more interesting rather than projects just to pay the bills, which is a lot more rewarding. Mentally and financially.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

A video posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

What challenges have you faced as a small business owner?

Admin. Admin. Admin. I hate admin. It's the worst. The only good thing about working for someone else is that they do most of the admin. It's just so boring, especially when you're doing something creative. It sucks all of the creativity out of you and spits it into an Excel spreadsheet where you watch it die a slow and painful death.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

What's the most rewarding aspect to running your own business?

Definitely the fact that I can work in my pants. I mean you can't generally do that if you work in an office. That and the fact that I do what I want, when I want. It's a lot more work than a 9-5 but if there's something I want to do one day, I can just take a day off and catch up later. It's very flexible. Just like me in my pants.

A photo posted by Tim Easley (@timeasley) on

What advice would you give to new businesses that are just starting out?

Make a plan and try to stick to it. It's sometimes tempting to change your plan slightly and compromise when you're not making as much money as you want, but in the end sticking to what you know you want to do is the best way. If you were just in this for the money, you probably wouldn't be in it, so keep that in mind!

What's next for your business?

Every year or so I look at how things are going and try make sure I'm still pointing in the right direction, as well as set myself new targets and clear out old work so everything feels fresh. I'm just gonna keep going where I'm going and cross my fingers! Also I might invest in an underground lair with some kind of flying boat with lasers on it. But don't tell anyone.

Learn more about Tim Easley and connect with the man himself online using these links:

Website: timeasley.com

Twitter: @timeasley

Instagram: @timeasley

Facebook: @iamtimeasley

Behance: be.net/timeasley

Defining Your Brand's Visual Identity Using Colour

Your brand colours count towards a cohesive visual identity

Brands in-the-know will create their own set of brand guidelines. This usually includes tone of voice (think social media, advertising, etc), and visual style when utilising typefaces, images and colour palettes. It's all about having a recognisable, cohesive brand. See some examples here. This post is about one element of your brand's visual identity: defining your brand colours.

Experts talk about the psychology of colour, how it will make your customer feel, how you must research colours and they must resonate with your audience etc, but I prefer a more organic approach - if you are selling to people like you, pick colours you like!

There are plenty of websites offering colour palette pickers, and I like using Color Palette FX. Upload an image and it will display the colours from it. This works well if you have a photo that defines your brand e.g. has many different bright colours or has muted pastel hues, etc.

branding your small business using colour palette

Click on each colour you like to find the hex code (the number/code used in computer applications to represent colours). Make a note of the hex codes as you can then use the exact same colours for all your branding elements.

hex colours for online branding

See how nicely some of these colours go together? I warn you, it's pretty addictive! So here, Mountbatten Pink has the hex number: #997788. Pick a few colours that work well together, and then set about creating your images & web presence with them.

If you already have a website, upload a screenshot instead of an image to Color Palette FX.

In many cases when creating images online, you'll have the opportunity to enter your hex codes where there is a colour picker. Here is one of the places you can find the hex code in Photoshop:

Appoint specific colours to particular elements e.g. pale purple for text headings, dark purple for borders, mid blue for links, etc.

Further reading:

If you already have your branding fine-tuned, please do share how you came about picking your colours in the comments below.

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GIVEAWAY: hand-illustrated small business journal!

Enter my giveaway for the chance to win a Moleskine cahier pocket journal that I’ve altered/illustrated with the small business owner in mind - though anyone can enter! The giveaway is worldwide, and closes on December 5th 2015.

Digibloom small business journal giveaway
Digibloom journal giveaway

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning this unique, one-of-a-kind altered Moleskine journal, please enter via the Rafflecopter app below. Good luck!