1. What a busy year!

    June 21, 2012

    So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted to my design blog and for good reasons. First, I’ve been working as a teacher for Osceola County teaching all things digital and web. It’s been a fun process teaching the students and a challenge figuring out how to communicate many years of knowledge in small, digestible formats. Along with teaching I’ve also been taking classes at Valencia College to earn my teaching certificate – I’m finishing the last five classes as I type this. Now that summer has arrived it’s time to get caught up in my own business. Most of the projects I’ve done as of lately have been web updates, so unfortunately I don’t have much to share. I did just complete a website for an engineering company under an advertising agency I team with. With all of this said, it’s time to pick up business once again.


  2. Crowdsourcing Debate

    April 22, 2011

    Check out the AiInsite website for an article about crowd sourcing.  I’ve been vocal in the past about crowd sourcing and how it’s changing the creative profession.  I can understand both viewpoints, but I think it really hurts the designer in the end – both those working for the crowd sourcing sites and those trying to run a successful practice.  It teaches our clients that design is nothing more than a commodity that can be bought cheap.  My view of design is that I’m a creative problem solver; here to offer my clients 12 years of professional experience and explore ideas they may not have considered.   Here’s the article.


  3. New Business Cards

    May 13, 2010

    Smalling Studios, a full service graphic design and commercial photography firm located in Kissimmee, Florida

    Check them out, the new business cards are finished for the studio.  I went all out this time and printed them on a 16pt card stock with a “soft-touch” aqueous coating and rounded the corners.  The next step is starting an email campaign and building the client base.


  4. Tom Smalling’s New Web Site

    March 16, 2010

    Tom Smalling launches new website

    It’s now official, my website has been officially upgraded from version 2.0 to version 3.0.  The entire site has been built from the ground up to work with the WordPress platform making it easier to update and maintain. Also, new work has been added to better show my skills and the level of work a client should expect.  Be sure to check out the latest news where I’ll be keeping posts about all the latest projects I’ve been working on.


  5. My Website has been Redesigned

    March 15, 2010

    Sorry if you’re having problems accessing or finding items on my website. This weekend I decided it was time to re-evaluate the website and take it to the next level. I’ve formally adopted WordPress as my CMS for the new site and built a new template to display my entire site. While I couldn’t finish the entire site this weekend, I was able to get the posts up and running and start designing the portfolio pages. Within the next week I should have the site finished up and ready to show it off.

    Also, as a side note, Marisha and I went to see Gabriel Inglesias at the Hard Rock Live in Universal.  We had a great time, and a lot of good laughs with his Fluffy Shop Tour.  If you get a chance, check him out.


  6. Apologies for service outage

    May 28, 2009

    I just want to apologize to my clients for the slower response times over the past few weeks. As most of you know, we’ve been experiencing difficulties with our HOA & our service providers. To help ease the communication issues, I have purchased an iPhone so I can remain in contact while in my home studio. Hopefully this will be solved soon and I’ll be able to return to the same level of service. If you’d like to read more about these issues please visit www.turnberryreserve.com.


  7. Forbes calls designers “Snooty”

    February 5, 2009

    Yep, that’s right.  According to Forbes Magazine, designers are snooty.  This article/advertorial has stirred a lot of fire on some design sites, and here is a brief synapsis of the problem.  It all starts with a crowd sourcing website (such as the one mentioned in the article), where a contest is created to connect “designers” to “buyers”.   The “buyer” offers so much money for a project and all the “designers” can create an entry and try to win the project.  So far, it doesn’t sound bad, at least until you start to break it down:

    1. As a “designer” you are not guaranteed to get paid for the work you do!  YES, that’s right, if you submit a design and the “buyer” doesn’t pick yours, YOU DON’T GET PAID! Of course, these “designers” voluntarily submit to the project, so it’s their choice to work for free.  This whole system devalues the professional relationship a designer has with a client.  I’ll admit, I normally have to go through several iterations of a project with a client before we’re both happy.  I listen to the clients expectations, I approach them with some solutions, they give me feedback and we come to a final deliverable.  This discovery process is the value every designer brings to a client, it helps educate both parties on the needs and expectations each other has.  And yes, I believe there is a lot of value in this process and as a “snooty” designer I should be paid.

    2. As a “buyer” are you really getting what you pay for?  YES, you’re getting a shiny new widget, but will it really work in all the right situations?  In the article they talk about both a grandma and a janitor who created winning designs.  Good for both of them.  But, let me ask them, have they ever printed anything on a press?  Do they understand the difference between spot and process colors?  Do they know what an overprint is?   Do they know there is more than just one black?  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer in people having creative talents without being formally trained.  But, I’m also a firm believer that my profession is more than just firing up Illustrator and drawing a few boxes and calling it a day.  All I can say is “Buyer” beware!

    3. As a business model, this is genius!  Where else can you attract a work force, not have to pay them, and skim off the top of all the money going through the business.   Right or wrong, this company WILL make money.  The article clearly states, if the “buyer” submits a project and they don’t get 25 designs then the “buyer” doesn’t have to buy which means no designers get paid.  If there are more than 25 designs then the “buyer” must commit to one design and the company skims 15% off the top.   It’s a NO LOSE SITUATION, and it all benefits the company.  So, yes, I’m “snooty” because I think my career is devalued by these forms of Spec Work.

    It’s all just skimming off the top of value-less design – PATHETIC!

    If you want to read more, here’s what some others have said:


  8. New Business Card

    May 6, 2008

    businesscard.jpg
    I’m starting this year off with a brand new look. I’ve been working on re-focusing my services and in the process simplifying my identity. Stay tuned for more updates. 

    Update: I just came across a fun new project called Business Cards of Bloggers, and I’m submitting mine to be added into the loop. While I’m not a professional blogger by any sorts, I enjoy sharing different aspects of my life & business with everyone else.  If you get a change be sure check out the site, and maybe add your own card. 


  9. Moving at a Feverish Pace

    August 2, 2007

    Life is moving fast for me these days. Let’s see, some of the latest news for me. Marisha and I finally closed on our first house last weekend. So, we’ve been trying to take care of all those details you need in a brand new house (like blinds and fans). I finally have my own office space in a separate room, which I’ve already painted a pretty “jade green” from Lowes. It looks great, especially once I hang some of my photos in there! As you can imagine, the moving & setting up has taken a lot of time.

    On top of that, though, I’ve been extremely busy with the independent work. I’ve been working on a redesign for the Limbach Facility Services website, a revamped corporate brochure and their next “Connecting with Limbach” newsletter. Stay tuned to see when these projects are launched. Tricia Kanbar with Noble Communications has been keeping me very busy with a resume design project for one of her clients. And in the middle of all of this, I’ve been slowly getting involved with The Ozone Company and their website/marketing needs. Not many photography projects at the moment, partially because I haven’t been marketing that side of the business. But, this is probably a good thing since we’ve been having rain everyday making outdoor photography next to impossible.

    It’s time to get back to the grind now. I have to make up some extra time for the upcoming cruise in a week and a half. Definitely in need of another vacation!

    P.S. Wedding invitations will be coming up soon also!


  10. BoDo Wraps up the Photography Series

    June 22, 2007

    BoDo is wrapping up the Photography Series today, be sure to read the final comments. I enjoyed reading everyone’s responses and getting a feel for how other professionals are working in the industry. Thanks for the opportunity!