Monday, July 30, 2012

Ravellenics and Pro-Bono

Well, I definitely forgot how to log in to this blog, it's been so long! How terrible.

Relaxing in the summertime, makes me want to get back into the blogging. I know I'm not terribly good at it. If I were my own student, I'd kick my butt for having such a lousy web presence. So, let's remedy this a bit, shall we?

I've been watching the Olympics like crazy, but not on NBC. No cable means no watching it online. To tell you the truth, I am not the biggest fan of their coverage anyway. Last night during the women's synchronized diving, the focus was squarely on Team USA, and while they did very well taking home the silver (yay!), they did not even show the winning team's (China) reaction to winning and hardly mentioned it at all. It was disappointing, especially to the spirit of the games. So, I've been watching a stream from the UK and it's much more awesome.

Speaking of Olympics, Ravelry is holding the "Ravellenic Games" once again and they asked me to create the icon for the games and for the commemorative pin, so I did!

I'm very happy with how it turned out. You can get yourself a pin if you are inclined, and the proceeds go to the Special Olympics, so you should darn well be inclined! Pre-order yours here.

I wanted to take a minute to talk about pro-bono work. I drill it into my students' heads that they should not work for free. If you depend on client work for your livelihood, or at least a part of it, it doesn't do you any favors to create work for free or for an unethically small amount of money. It devalues their work and puts all of us illustrators in a bad spot. That said, I am all for pro-bono work, i.e. work for a good cause, for something you believe in or want to give your time to. For me, doing this for Ravelry is just that. (If you aren't familiar with Ravelry, it's an amazing online community and resource for fiber arts, mainly knitting.) I am a big-time knitter and I love their site; I probably use it at least a few times a week. I love the community, I love the premise, and I love this event that coincide with the Olympics, in which knitters challenge themselves to finishing a project during the games.

In 2008, I volunteered to create a badge icon for the first Ravelympics (now called the Ravellenics). It went over very well, and the owners of Ravelry asked if they could turn it into an enamel pin to sell in their shop with proceeds going towards the Special Olympics. I agreed, and it raised a little money for me and a company I love, and a lot of money for a great charity. I volunteered during 2010 and the same thing happened, only better. This time around? There are over 10,000 participants, which just blows my mind. It's awesome!

 Good things come back around to you. Make yourself available to them.