Guide to Freelancing for Beginners

A Beginner’s Guide to Freelancing

What to Consider Before Jumping Headfirst into the Gig Economy: A Guide to Freelancing

So you’ve been living that full-time, nine-to-five life for awhile now. You’ve got some solidly marketable skills, an entrepreneurial spirit, and you’re craving a new challenge, so you’re seriously thinking about getting out of the grind and going for it on your own.

Gulp.

It’s a big step! Many people crave the stability of working the same job for the same company year in and year out. But increasingly, freelancing is becoming the popular choice when it comes to earning an income. And why not? Freelancers make their own schedules, choose which projects they want to work on, and can often work from anywhere in the world, all while earning a livable income. Sounds too good to be true, right?

It’s not, but freelancing comes with its own unique set of challenges and considerations, so we put together a list of factors to consider if you’re thinking about going freelancing full time.

Download this Guide to Freelancing for Beginners – it’s free!

Some things you’ll learn about in this PDF:

  • Contracts
  • Deciding what kind of entity you’ll be
  • Dealing with unhappy customers
  • Bookkeeping
  • Working from home vs remote
  • Time management
  • and more

Free Download: FreelanceGuideV2

Enjoy and happy freelancing and to learn more about Freelancing, check out Go Media’s Freelance Survival Guide.

free slime textures

Download: Free Slime Textures

Presenting Free Slime Textures

Introducing the Slime Texture Pack, created by young creative BearCubSlimes. The eight free slime textures included in this pack are high-resolution photography of homemade slime, some of which are available on her shop on Etsy. These textures give photography or design work an extra edge, so download them and see what you can create with them today.

Slime Textures 1
Slime Textures 2

For more awesome textures like these, head to our eCommerce site, the Arsenal.

Free Vintage Starburst Vectors

Freebie of the Day: Free Vintage Starburst Vectors

Free Vintage Starburst Vectors

We’ve really been in a retro kind of mood lately, as inspired by a trip to a local vintage shop. What really caught our eye were the starbursts that decorated so many of 1950’s fabrics and bakeware. So, we were inspired to create some free vintage starburst vectors for you. We hope the pack serves you well and gets your motivated to create something fun and dynamic.

To give your work some extra oomph, head over to our Arsenal, where you can have access to our entire library, including all of our vector files for only $15 per month.

The Arsenal subscription includes some of our other vintage packs (roughly $10 to $12 each), like:

Download our:

>>>Vintage-Starburst-Freebie

Free Vintage Starburst Vectors

Download of the Day: Polaroid Photo Effect Template & How-To

Polaroid Photoshop Tutorial: Simplified!

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re talking about how to get an authentic photoshop effect for your photos. To get this effect, you’ll need a photo, the Photoshop template we’ve created just for you, and a few moments to follow the steps you’ve provided for you. We promise it will be worth it!

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

To get started, please download the Polaroid Effect Template. This template was created with resources we found on line including this awesome photo from akinna-stock on Deviant Art. Thanks Akinna!

The Download: Polaroid Photo Effect Template by Go Media

Polaroid-Photoshop-Document

STEP ONE: Open your template in PS. Make sure the “Place your Art Here” layer is selected. File > Place your photo into this layer. It will place your art into the mask like so.

step-one

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STEP TWO: If you’d like to add some vintage effects to your photo, let’s proceed. Right click on your photo > Rasterize Lazer.

Here are some tools you can use to age your photo. Feel free to play around with these in order to get the look you’re after >

The first: Head to Image > Adjustments > Hue and Saturation (Shortcut Ctrl + U) – now, under present, try selecting Sepia or Old Style

My photo using the "Old Style" preset

My photo using the “Old Style” preset

———————

STEP TWO: 

Try Filter > Texture > Grain – Experiment with adding grain here!

Here, I used an intensity of 7 and a contrast of 53
Here, I used an intensity of 7 and a contrast of 53

———————

STEP THREE:
Try to play with your curves. I suggest working with Red, Green, Blue, as well as your RGB setting separately. This will adjust your colors in order to give it the vintage effect you’re after.curves

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STEP FOUR: 

Try to play with your curves. I suggest working with Red, Green, Blue, as well as your RGB setting separately. This will adjust your colors in order to give it the vintage effect you’re after.brightness

———————

STEP FIVE: 

You can further mute the colors in your image by going to Image > Adjustments > Brightness. I chose a contrast of -20 to achieve this affect.final

———————

STEP SIX: 

Want to make some last minute color changes, head to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance. Clip your Color Balance layer to your photo by selecting both layers then putting your cursor between the layers and right clicking to “Create Clipping Mask.” Use the RGB selections to achieve our final vintage look.

You’re done!

Here is my before and after.

before-and-after

Download of the Day: Abstract Grunge Vector Box Freebie

Abstract Grunge Vector Box Freebie

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re sharing some hand drawn, abstract grunge vector box freebies for downloading and enjoying immediately! Check out the Arsenal for more vectors known the ’round the world for being the best of the best.

Abstract-Black-Box-Preview

Did you know that all of Go Media’s vectors are royalty free? We have thousands of hand-crafted illustrations like these you can use in your work, so definitely head over to the Arsenal to check them out.

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Here’s your download >> Abstract Grunge Vector Box Freebie

Have a great day, everyone!

Free Star Vector Pack

Download of the Day: Star Vector Pack

Free Star Vector Pack

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re sharing some gold star elements we created exclusively for you. Check out the Arsenal for more vectors known the ’round the world for being the best of the best.

Here’s what you’ll get with today’s download:

Free Star Vector Pack

Did you know that all of Go Media’s vectors are royalty free? We have thousands of hand-crafted illustrations like these you can use in your work, so definitely head over to the Arsenal to check them out.

Love our products? Access our huge product library ($11k in resources) and exclusive content for only $15/mth. Yes, seriously. Learn more now.

Here’s your download >> Star Vector Pack from Go Media’s Arsenal

Have a great day, everyone!

free vintage sunbeam vectors

Download of the Day: Vintage Sunbeam Vectors

Download of the Day: Free Vintage Sunbeam Vectors

Join us every Thursday, when your friends here at the Arsenal take over the Go Media blog to share insights, tips, freebies or other fun to brighten your work day.

Today we’re sharing four vintage sunbeam vectors we created exclusively for you!

free vintage sunbeam vectors

Download them now, enjoy them forever.

Here you go: Vintage Sunbeam Vectors

—–

For the World’s Best Design Weaponry, head to Go Media’s Arsenal.

The Arsenal is a collection of design resources created and curated by the design team at Go Media. Go Media started releasing its collection of royalty free stock vectors in 2006 and has since expanded into providing a variety of different resources for the graphic designer, illustrator, and entrepreneur.

To put it simply, every designer has an Arsenal of goodies they stash on their hard drive. These goodies might include several gigabytes worth of textures, vector illustrations, mockup templates, fonts, ebooks, etc. A personal library of go-to resources to aid in a creative and efficient design process.

Customers who use our products enjoy saving time and money while still looking good. We are OBSESSED with helping out our fellow designers and will stop at nothing to provide you with the tools you need to make design fun.

Download of the Day: Free Laurel Brush Pack

Download of the Day: Hand-Drawn Foliage Brushes for AI

free heart vectors

We Heart You: A Valentine’s Vector Freebie

Free Heart Vectors

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and we just can’t help but to feel warm and fuzzy. We love our community, after all. Your support and enthusiasm makes our jobs way too much fun!

We wanted to show our appreciation with some love today – in the form of 10 free heart vector elements. They beat only for you <3

Download them now > Go_Media-Hearts_You

Free Heart Vectors

Photoshop Action: Stamp/Print Effect

Works great on any single color logo, emblem, mark, seal, crest.

Because of the great response to my Aged Type action, I took it a bit further and made a similar effect that could be applied, not only to text, but to your logo to give it an authentic stamp or print effect. I have seen various rubber stamp effects on google and none are all that great. So let me show you why mine is the bees knees.

This is a premium Photoshop action that took some time to perfect. So we’re selling it for the cheap price of $7.  Credit Cards and Paypal accepted.


Download Now – $7

Instructions

  1. After downloading the action, simply open up the .ATN file and it will automatically load it into your Photoshop Actions panel ready for use! For best results start with a black and white image that’s at least 800-1,000 pixels wide.
  2. In Photoshop, select the layer you want to turn into a stamp and press PLAY on the “Stamp/Print by Go Media” action. It will apply the effect!

Here are some tips:

  • Works best on images at least 800 px wide
  • Works on any logo, text, or even photos!
  • Can also be used as a faux screenprint or letterpress effect
  • Final result is on its own layer.
  • Settings are completely customizable, tweak to your heart’s content
Pro Tip: The action runs automatically once you click it. But if you want to adjust any of the effects/filters as it happens, toggle this dialog box icon so it stops at every step allowing you to get more control over the effects.

Examples:

Photoshop Stamp Effect

Photoshop Stamp Effect

Photoshop Stamp Effect

Photoshop Stamp Effect

Result is on its own layer

Photoshop Stamp Effect

Even works on photos!

For best results, you might have to adjust the contrast of your source image. And again, the settings are fully adjustable inside the action so you can tweak it to your hearts content!

Download Now – $7

New Release: Grid Kit

design grids download vector

Grid Kit Released

We cooked up the grid kit to be a go-to ingredient in your page layout process. We revisited the classic tomes of page construction and put together a smashing sampling of grids that will inspire & guide your eye through the design process.

All of the grids are vector so you can use them right in Adobe Illustrator, or overlay them onto your pages in InDesign, Photoshop or other design application.

Download the grid kit for $9.99

What’s included?

We’ve included every kind of base grid we could dream up: various columns, margins, gutters, and rows. We’ve got isometric grids, golden concentric circles, graduated golden sections, gradient cells, and more. Several page construction methods resulted in a few of our favorite grids in this kit.

grid kit page design construction grid system

Most of the grids are for a single 8.5×11 page, but a handful use Van de Graaf’s page construction methods to build a page area for facing pages. If you want to see each & every grid included in the kit, check out the Grid Kit Facebook album.
van de graaf page construction grid system
grid system page design grids go media arsenal
Remember to check out the Grid Kit Facebook album to see a preview of all the grids in the kit.

Adobe Shortcuts App – Free Download

adobe-shortcuts-app-header

Here’s a nifty little Adobe Air application that allows you to look up keyboard shortcuts for any Adobe software. Well, at least Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, Soundbooth, Fireworks, Contribute, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Encore and Acrobat Pro. The shortcuts are only for the CS4 versions of these applications.

Adobe Shortcuts App runs on Adobe Air, so it’s cross-platform (Mac, Windows, Linux).

adobe-shortcuts-app-screenshotLaunch the app, then select your preferred software from the top row of familiar icon buttons. Below you’ll see three tabs for Essentials, My Favorites, and All Categories. Be sure to click the speaker icon in the bottom-left to turn off the “interesting” sound effects…

Best of all, it free from the Adobe Marketplace. Download the Adobe Shortcuts App here.

(via John Nack, Adobe Photoshop’s Principal Product Manager)

Faking Depth of Field in Photoshop (w/Ps action)

faking-depth-of-field-header

Here’s a quick technique that I use to fake depth of field in Photoshop and add realism to my images. I’ve seen this technique mentioned in various tutorials I’ve read, so it’s really nothing new. But it’s a good trick that I feel you should know.

1. Create a new Channel

2. With that Channel selected, add a reflected gradient at about 80 degrees. Black in the center and white around the edges.

3. Select your RGB channel and go back to your layers.

4. Filter > Lens Blur

5. Select your new alpha channel as your “depth map” source

6. Adjust the radius to your liking, don’t overdo it. Be gentle.

spraypaint-beforespraypaint-afterspraypaint-light

See example images for before and after. Try adding lighting effects or other subtleties to make the effect more cohesive and realistic. Or better yet, work off a 3D render or image already in perspective for more accurate and convincing results.

3drender-before

3drender-after

What’s that you say? This would make a great Photoshop action? Indeed it would. You can download the [download id=”45″] right here!

Aged Type Effect in Photoshop (w/Ps Action)

aged-type-header

While working on the poster for DIT Fest last week I managed to create an impressive text effect that I will likely reuse for awhile. It’s very subtle and does not look like a filter. I’m simply adding a slightly aged, worn, or screen-printed look to any typeface. You can even apply this effect to any solid color shape or vector graphic for a hand-made screen-printed look—all done in Photoshop.

Aged-Type

  • Create your type as you normally would
  • Rasterize the type
  • Add noise, around 25%. Be sure the check the ‘Monochromatic’ checkbox.
  • Adjust the Input Levels, bring the black level up to about 70
  • Run a very slight Gaussian Blur on your type – like 1 or 2 px
  • Run Smart Sharpen to remove the blur but keep some of the organic distressing / softening that occurs. Like 200% for the amount and about 15 for the radius.
  • Adjust Levels again – bring black up to about 50 and white down to 69.

Or just download the  and never have to remember how to do it again.

If you want to take it further:

Buy our Stamp Effect actionmore info

See example images:

ditfest-postermockup2ditfest-postermockupditfest-poster-fullditfest-poster-detail2ditfest-poster-detail1awesome-example