I don't watch scary movies anymore, not even older 80s ones that seem "funny" now. The closest thing I watch in that category is Nightmare Before Christmas. My roomie and I watch a lot of science documentaries, and she showed me one where scientists were trying to analyze ghosts (real life Ghostbusters??? Yes). It was pretty interesting! Not scary, but kind of creepy at some points. I slept fine that night, but for some reason last night I had nightmares about it! Even though I realize that many ghost myths have been debunked, maybe because I'm more imaginative my brain takes something mysterious and runs with it?
Well it's that time of year again. For the past 5 or so years, my New Year's Resolution has been to finally finish volume 1 of my comic series AER HEAD, without much result. I realize I never made a REALISTIC step-by-step plan of HOW to accomplish that goal before (for example, getting all the drawing done in one month is NOT realistic under my current schedule or any previous schedules). But now, because I've been implementing productivity techniques for various goals and projects for awhile, I think I can finally start to make more progress on AER HEAD. My strategy this year is to set super small monthly goals instead of one huge resolution.
I've also divided my goals into 2 areas: creative and non-creative. The non-creative goals are usually financially related. For example, for February, my non-creative goal is to get all my taxes done before the end of the month, while my creative goal is to write the over-arching outline of the whole AER HEAD series.
When setting these small monthly goals, it's important to seriously take into consideration how much time you can devote to each goal each week, which is something I didn't do in the past. I've set in my calendar 4 hours a week, from 11pm-midnight M-Th, to work on these goals. I'll alternate M/W creative goals and Tu/Th non-creative goals. This leaves me with 8 hours per month to devote to my creative goal, and 8 hours for the non-creative goal. With my teaching hours and freelance projects, this is a reasonable time I can dedicate. If my schedule changes, I can add more time, but this is doable for now.
I also realize that even at taking 8 hours to draw one page, it will take 2 years to finish just the drawing portion of AER, but hell that's more than what I'm doing with it right now. I've made a road map for myself, and it's OK to deviate from it, but I have to have a concrete place to start. I've planned up until June, but no farther because life changes and I'm always adjusting plans accordingly. And that's OK. Give yourself the freedom to be flexible with your goals. I'm also curious about some of YOUR goals too! Would you like to share any of your creative or non-creative goals?
Merry Christmahanakwanzika! May you and your family & friends have a safe and happy holiday season! If you're Photoshop savvy, you can cut out the guy's face and insert your own picture in the illustration! A personalized holiday greeting!
I'm so glad I don't have to worry about finals anymore, but I still have dreams about it sometimes. Had to throw in another Christmas Story Daily Misfortune!
I'd like to take you on a walk through my illustration process for client work. Here's a piece I recently finished that a past client requested as a Christmas gift to his wife. As freelance artists, most of the time we work with non-artists, and it's important to understand what the client is aiming for even if they can't articulate it exactly. I'm not psychic, I mean establishing an open Q&A with the client about various details and issues that appear before and during the project. Miscommunication with these details can lead to the client not getting exactly what they want, and an artwork that's not as strong. But if you practice C4 (Clear Communication with Clients is Crucial), the end result is that both parties are happy: the client gets an amazing product that exceeds their expectations, and you get a folio piece you can be proud of!
A past client emailed me to commission "a portrait-ish type piece" of his wife's dog Oliver and sent this picture.
He also said he'd like it to be "a little cartoony, but not super cartoony." What exactly did this mean? I sent him some examples of past dog illustrations I made and he liked the style, color, and tone of this one best.
The client described that Oliver "is basically a living cartoon character," but I thought that didn't reflect well in the original photo he sent. The photo is almost in a profile view and reminded me of more serious hunting dog paintings of yore. So I asked him to send me more photos where Oliver is showing his quirky personality. I wanted to portray his more playful side, like how the black dog is romping around with the girl in the example illustration.
The client also wanted to include a "label" below Oliver of his nickname. To clarify, I asked him if he meant something like this banner in a portrait of my parents, which was exactly what he wanted! I told him it would be cute if the banner would be at the bottom with the dog's paws hanging over it.
Note that ALL of this communication was over various emails the happened BEFORE I even made the contract or did a sketch. I have a rule of always finding out as much of what the client wants as possible, writing all those details in a contract we both sign, and getting a down payment of half the cost BEFORE even putting pencil to paper. This saves TONS of time and effort down the road, and I hardly ever have to do corrections beyond minor initial sketch tweaks. After we hashed out price, contract, and payment, I began this sketch!
In my contracts I always say that changes to the art are free in the sketching stage. Here, the client said that Oliver's chest was stockier - he had wider shoulders and short little legs. I realized I used the puppy picture (bottom right in the reference pics) as a main body reference. I then used the middle picture to create the modification.
Once the sketch was approved, and since I did the sketch at actual size (14x17), I used some transfer paper to easily trace the sketch onto the hot-press watercolor board. I added more fur details and used a compass to make the banner and letters more aligned.
Inktober really helped me - I can see an improvement in my own line weight! I used Winsor & Newton waterproof ink here, so I can overlay the watercolors right on top later.
Since the client's wife is a huge University of Kentucky basketball fan, the client pointed out that Oliver's collar should be royal blue. I suggested that the banner should also be blue to match, but the client had pictured the banner being gold or bronze. Even though we think of these colors as representing high value, I knew gold or bronze would not be a good color choice here for 2 reasons: 1 - not enough contrast between the dog's fur color and those earth colors. 2 - watercolors don't shine like real metals do, and the result might be muddy. But instead of writing all that out trying to explain myself, I made a quick digital mock-up* to SHOW the client that blue would look the best. The client could instantly see the difference and agreed with my blue choice.
*It's important to communicate to the client that this is just a mock-up and the final medium will look more detailed. Here, the digital colors are solid, but the watercolors will have more varied shadows and depth.
Watercolors - the final step! The client said the fur in the digital mock-up was a bit too dark (I based that off a shadow in the "smiling" picture). Oliver was a different color in every reference photo due to various lighting and environments - what was his TRUE color? I asked if the pic where Oliver is looking up is closer, and the client affirmed, adding that his chest and belly area is a little lighter than his back, sides and shoulders. Also, his muzzle is grey because he's an older dog.
With all that in mind, I had a heck of a time mixing the perfect light cream color (it kept turning out too peachy... must've been too much red in that Raw Sienna). Once I got a good mix, I had to find the right balance between shadows for contrast, while still maintaining the overall light color. I found that painting Pro White as highlights over the cream tone accomplished that goal.
Here's a clip from the client's review: "I am not well versed in art at all and I was only able to describe to [Mindy] what I wanted at a basic level. She worked with me to develop the concept I'd described to her, was receptive to my input as the concept evolved, and ultimately delivered exactly what I wanted. The most amazing thing is she delivered my vision that I didn't even know how to describe when we started."
Another satisfied customer! To artists, remember C4 (Clear Communication with Clients is Crucial). It's OK to tell the client your thoughts on a better solution. They'll respect and appreciate your expertise as an artist. Don't be afraid to offer different ideas from what the client initially suggests. To people looking to commission art, it's always best to trust the artist's judgment. By working together with clear communication at all stages of the artwork, both artist and client will be happy!
I grew up with dogs, and I know one day in the future I'll own one again. But at this point in my life I need to save up for a new computer instead of saving up for a dog. Every day dog care like food may not be too expensive, but God forbid if your pet gets sick. If you don't have enough saved up it can be really draining.
My friend Nadia of Tough Spirit Creations and I will be sharing a table at the Brooklyn Friends WinterFest craft show this Saturday, Dec 10th, from 11A-5P! We're part of the Holiday Market in the Lower Gym, but look at all the other amazing stuff they have going on: Log cutting?! Make your own snowglobe?! Terrarium workshop?! This is awesome! Admission is FREE. It's a family-friendly event, but fun for all ages to find creative gifts!
Brooklyn Friends School is located at 375 Pearl Street – one block from Borough Hall, between Willoughby Street & The Brooklyn Bridge Marriott Hotel Plaza. It's also near Jay St.-Metrotech via subway.
For more info, visit http://brooklynfriends.org/winterfest/. They put a pic of our table from a few years ago as the top pic! Very honored! Hope to see you there!
Since the surprising election last week, for many in the arts community it seems like a giant wrench has been thrown into our lives (to say the least). For me, everything seemed to be going fine with art projects pre-Trump. I was just getting into a great routine doing semi-regular nightly personal art coming off of Inktober. But now, post-Trump, I've found myself being glued to news sites and the media to see what the new "chaos of the day" is and am realizing that too much news is unhealthy.
Yesterday I saw a movie (Dr. Strange!) with some coworkers, and it was SUCH a nice break from all the negativity! The movie was very inspiring to me artistically - a refreshing boost! And that night, instead of googling the news during dinner, I researched more about the original Dr. Strange comics. So I've decided to give myself an extended break from the news and limit myself on Facebook (which is just as bad or worse, because of so many fake news articles and people ranting). Pre-Trump, I wasn't interested in the news much unless a major event happened (like an ISIS attack). Some people have criticized me for this, but it allows me to focus more on my artwork and get more done. I even had a professor who told students to not bother with the news, because it's so fleeting, and just do your art.
Now, I'm not saying escapism is the ultimate answer. It has been revealed that our country has many problems to sort out and it will take much time and understanding from both sides to resolve, which we should take part in a positive way. But in the meantime, it's OK to give yourself a break and do something fun and inspiring. You deserve it!
As I knew the 500th comic of The Daily Misfortune was approaching, last week I thought it was time for #500 to be the end. After all, 500 is a LOT of misfortunes, and I have other comic projects I want to work on. I'm actually surprised I did this many without being redundant. I created the first Daily Misfortune on 5/17/12, and have loved creating funny misfortunes from the totally fictional bizarre to the disturbingly too-close-to-home ones based on real life. Earlier this week, I thought "I have to come up with a zinger for the last one." After this election, now you have it. However, I've been re-inspired, and this will NOT be the end of The Daily Misfortune! Sadly, it looks like our country, and possibly the world, will have many more misfortunes to come. The hard part for me will be putting a funny spin on them.
Now, I'm not usually a very "political person," (I don't even keep track of news often - too busy making art) so this doesn't mean that from now on each Daily Misfortune will be a political rant. I really don't want friends and family fighting on my Facebook wall about this. But whether you voted for Trump or not, you can bet the next 4 years will be very tumultuous. To balance out all the misfortunes, I'll try to offer a positive note. As you have seen, truly ANYONE can become president.
This year I tried out Inktober for the first time and it was really fun! What the heck IS Inktober? "Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day the entire month." Artist Jake Parker "created InkTober in 2009 as a challenge to improve [his] inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year."
I'd seen some friends in years past posting art on social media with hashtags (#) of #inktober but didn't really pay attention to the movement until I saw an Inktober panel at NYCC this year. Artists talked about how it doesn't matter if you miss some days and it doesn't have to be a perfect drawing, but the goal is to help you to draw something on a regular basis, and you'll realize you're capable of more than you think.
I started more than halfway through October and did 10 Inktober drawings total. I loved just drawing in my sketchbook something that was not part of a larger project for once. There was a lot of freedom in just playing around with physical ink, which I've done less since going more digital with my work. I hadn't tried ink washes for YEARS until the theme of ink encouraged me to think of it, and painting Jupiter like that reawakened a childlike glee.
Here are the prompts for each day of October. For example, for 10/1, you'd draw something that's FAST. But if you missed participating in Inktober, why wait all the way until next year? These prompts can be applied to ANY month! Who cares if it's not October anymore? It's just fun! Not sure if you'd still want to tag your work with the official #, but that's not the point. The point is it helps you get your daily creativity inspiration! If you already did Inktober, and are looking for more prompt challenges, Tentacularly on Reddit has made a November list with 30 prompts and you can use color or anything. Artprompts.org is pretty cool too, where you click a category and it gives you a prompt phrase. My favorite is the "Situation" category.
Cheers to creating more art!
I've struggled with insomnia my whole life. Over the years, I've learned to not eat certain things in the evening and other habits to help get a better night's rest. Of course, avoiding caffeine after 3pm is ideal. But I've discovered that even eating chips as an after dinner snack keeps me awake! They don't have caffeine, but it must be the grease. Most dietitians recommend against eating anything late at night, but being hungry keeps me awake MORE, so I have to eat something. Lately, if I find that my relaxation/meditation CDs/apps (I prefer CDs because the blue light from a phone or tablet can keep you awake) aren't doing the trick, reading a boring book helps a lot.
This is more likely for a 9-5er, but it happens to artists too. I love drawing digitally for client projects, but it's not the same as drawing cool stuff just for fun by hand. Also, with fall in swing and winter coming, we all need to be reminded to get out of the apartment more! Freelancers, please get outside for some fresh air at least once a day, even if it's crappy weather outside. You'll feel the difference.
This Thursday 10/6 I'll be part of a panel at NYCC about getting girls making comics! Charmz School - The Girlcentric Creating Comics Workshop, 4P - 5P, Room 1A18
The line up has changed from what's on the site, which now includes such Papercutz peeps as: JayJay Jackson (penciler/inker/colorist), Melinda "Mindy Indy" Steffen (penciler/inker/colorist), Janice Chiang (letterer), Amy Chu (writer), and Jeff Whitman (editorial).
We'll all talk about how we started in the comics industry, then go into detail about each step of the comics process, and everyone can draw along! Sure to be a girl-tastic time!
"Hey, that panel sounds awesome, but I don't have a ticket to NYCC." You're in luck! I just checked the site and tickets are still available for Thursday only! $40 for the day. YES it's worth taking the day off work and taking your kid out of school. Flu season is starting - an easy excuse. SEE YOU THERE!
All the air vents in my apartment building are connected. This means I can smell and hear things from other people's bathrooms. I really hate smelling some nasty overdosed cologne when I'm trying to work or eat. But I guess it's better than smelling some other things...
New York Comic Con is next week! As it stands right now, I'm still on the wait list for an Artist Alley table. If you'd like a sketch from me, you can email your order to email@example.com early next week, and I can deliver it to you at the show. OR even BETTER, you can get a sketch at the NYCC after party at Lovecraft Bar that I'll be exhibiting at with 20 other artists, 5 bands, and cosplayers! Missed your chance for a ticket to NYCC? No worries - stop by Lovecraft for tons of comic-con fun! This video highlights last year's party.
Lovecraft Bar NYC 50 Avenue B, New York, New York 10009
THURSDAY October 6th from 8pm - Midnight.
$5 entry, which will be donated to http://fotvm.org/ to help the homeless. One drink or food purchase min. 21+ event
Get Tickets Here: https://nyccafterparty.eventbrite.com/
For more info, check out the facebook event too. Hope to see you there!
Unfortunately, I always fall into the trap of buying food on sale. Unfortunately, Key Food is the closest grocery store. "When in doubt, throw it out," but I may as well get my $ back too. Returned 2 Marie Callender's pot pies today.
Pretty busy this week, but that's a good thing! Enjoy the Daily Misfortune!
A few months ago at a party, an art school friend of mine and I were talking about drawing tablets. He wanted to get rid of his old Cintiq because he didn't use it anymore and couldn't get much for it online. "Donate it to ME!!" I excitedly said, and it happened! This Wacom Cintiq 12WX, while being many years old (first of its kind made in 2001), is BETTER than my much newer Wacom Intuos Pro, which I got about a year-and-a-half ago.
With any Cintiq, you can draw directly on the screen. This is MUCH more intuitive than the Intuos or Bamboo, where you draw on a separate surface and there's some guess work of hand-to-tablet/eye-to-screen coordination, resulting in having to redo many lines. I can draw curves SO much better with the Cintiq! With the Intuos, I'd have to redo curves up to 5 times before an optimal result, but now with the Cintiq I rarely have to redo lines twice.
It did take 4 hours to set up before being fully functional though. The Cintiq 12WX, being an older model, has many cords and extra stuff I didn't understand at first glance. But I just had to carve out a few hours to study the whole manual and then this diagram made sense. I discovered that I also had to download an updated "driver" from the Wacom site. But hey, for this device being free, I'll take it!
So far it's working great! The only problem is the screen color being different than my Mac screen. I've tried tweaking the calibration and fiddling with different amounts of brightness and RGB, but it's still off. I may have to switch back to the Intuos for color stuff until I figure out the perfect harmony for the Cintiq. Any suggestions are welcome!
Announcing the publishing of a comic book I worked on with the RLS Foundation: The Adventures of Patty Pillow! It's a 10 page comic/workbook for kids with RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome) to help them cope with symptoms. Basically, RLS causes a person to have pain/discomfort in their legs at night, but walking around eases the pain. This causes lack of sleep, which causes a decreased quality of life.
Quoting an article the RLS Foundation published in their quarterly Nightwalkers journal, "this booklet follows one boy's RLS journey, teaching him the value of a support network at school, with friends, and at home. With RLS superhero[ine] Patty Pillow by his side, the child explores how to track and treat symptoms, and learns that RLS is just one of the things that makes him who he is."
The story follows Patty and the kids through various playground activities, interspersed with tips on treatments of symptoms (in the yellow and pink boxes) and interactive spaces for kids to draw what their symptoms feel like.
It's so awesome to hold a book that I drew and colored all by myself! It's ALL digital too, drawn from my wacom tablet. I worked very closely with people from the RLS Foundation who wrote the script. We had many discussions and they were very open to my story suggestions, so it was a great collaborative effort with lots of freedom! I think the hardest part was the layouts - there's a ton of content the foundation wanted to get across, and I did my best with breaking up the text. But I think the comic's strongest point is the characters and how they care about each other :) Patty Pillow ROCKS and the RLS Foundation has been incorporating more of her into their awareness campaign! For more info, go to www.rls.org
Haven't had much of a problem with bugs in my current apartment until now. I have a feeling someone else in our building sprayed and so the roaches scattered and escaped to the safety of my clean apartment. But these ones are small compared to the giant ones I had to deal with in other buildings. In other news, I'm getting close to 500 Daily Misfortunes!
Limit-Break interviewed me at Boston Comic Con! I've done some Dead Pool sketches for Jared in past conventions, and it was cool that he chose to spotlight me. Here are some other Limit-Break interviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClC0JJmkLAwFLf0z-nO6Gcw/videos And if you have trouble viewing my interview, see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pkNzxP7Ll0
In other convention news, I will NOT be tabling at Baltimore Comic Con this weekend. I'm not too sure how successful the show will be considering it's Labor Day weekend. Conventions are growing due to the large influx of new fans due to all the super hero movies. I know the hard-core fans will always show up for conventions, but most new fans probably will not give up barbecues, parties, and other vacations to go to a comic convention. I'll have to ask other tablers how it goes.
If you live in Baltimore and would like a sketch from me, I can totally still do that! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of the sketch you want and I can mail it to you.
Keep in mind I exaggerate the Daily Misfortunes, haha! I do spend a lot of time at the post office though, even in the daytime during off-peak hours.
Do you have a bag of business cards hiding in some corner of your room? This is a bag of business cards, flyers, and pamphlets I've accumulated from comic conventions, art shows, and more over about 6 years. In years past, I was not the best at following up with all of these people (that's what the cards are FOR, right?). But recently I've optimized my follow-up strategies! Here are some tips to help you avoid the overwhelm of following up when you find yourself with like 50 cards after any event:
1. Pick the TOP 5 most important people you met and get back to them the week after the event. How you define "important" will vary based on your priorities and goals. Your criteria could be people from major companies, people most likely to lead you to a job, or just new friends you felt a strong connection with!
2. Pick the NEXT 5 most important people and get back to them in the following month. Beyond a month and you risk them not remembering you. A month seems like a long time, but a solid follow-up email requires more work than you'd think. For my follow-ups, first I review all notes I took when I met Person A (if you don't take notes, START!). These notes usually include recommendations of people and companies Person A said to check out. Next, I check out said peeps/companies online, which can be like going down a rabbit hole. One cool link leads to another, and before you know it, hours have gone by! Make sure to keep track of your time to not get too caught up in this research step, but have enough knowledge to mention something about it in your follow up email to Person A. They'll see that you're more serious about taking their advice.
3. For all other business cards beyond those 10, just follow them on social media. Think quality, not quantity. With my busy schedule, there's no way I can write a thoughtful email to every person I've met, which is why in the past sometimes I just put it off entirely, which lead to that gigantic bag of cards. It makes me wonder what happens to all of my business cards...
The next step after following up is... will you actually DO the advice those top 10 people gave you beyond just checking out so-and-so? Granted, take all advice with a grain of salt - you may even get conflicting tips. Pick what advice feels right to you. Make a list of specific steps you can do to improve your artwork (or any other skill!) and begin implementing them. All too often in the past I've just let this last step go, but it's important to moving forward in my career. That could be a whole other blog topic of project organization and implementation, but that's for another time!
Oh yeah and that note on the bag is an idea I had one time to scan all the cards. It's a project on my "rainy day" to-do list. Considering following everyone on social media, or just throwing it out.
Hey peeps in Boston, I'll be back for Boston Comic Con this Friday thru Sunday! I'll be tabling with Jennie Wood once again in Artist's Alley table D421. Stop by and say HI! Not much time to blog now, gotta get up at 5AM for that Megabus...
And then on my to the subway, I had to stop in TWO grocery stores on the same street to try to cool down from the oppressive heat (life tip = frozen food section). The effect was good, until right when I stepped outside again.
Tomorrow I'm exhibiting in Pete's Mini Zine Fest! A celebration of little works of joy: zines! Though zines (short for magazines, of the indie kind) traditionally consist of written works, cartoonists are gradually taking over zine fests :)
Saturday 7/30 from 2-7pm at Pete's Candy Store (the "store" is actually a bar... there is no candy, but it used to be a candy store) 709 Lorimer Sr, Brooklyn NY 11211. Take the L to Lorimer or G to Metropolitan Ave. Here's the facebook invite. See you there!
Last week I got to experience and exhibit at Comic-Con International in San Diego!! (more on that in the next blog) and I realized I need to prepare for Boston Comic Con in 2 weeks. Do I even still live in New York?
I met Tim Young this past MoCCA Fest, and he not only interviewed me at the show, but also did an in-depth review of my comic "Apartment Hunt" for his "Deconstructing Comics Podcast!" (Click here to listen!) Tim lives in Japan, so now some people in Japan know about my comics! It's a fair and balanced review, and I think it comes out slightly on the positive side, which is great considering Tim and his friend were pretty harsh on the first 2 comics! They start talking about mine at 22:45.
Tim and his friend were very spot-on in communicating visual details in words. I appreciate that Tim liked my clear panels and style! I totally understand about getting confused towards the end, and maybe I could have explained the 3rd girl differently. Yes, I could have made a 24-page comic going into every detail of the hunt, but that seemed boring to me, and I think the shortness better conveys the urgency of finding an apartment in NYC. But I'm super glad they both wanted MORE story! The sequel will have slightly more pages, though not as many as 24, but this review is great to think about while making it!
Ah, they caught me on the size! I was hoping people wouldn't notice it... Originally, "Apartment Hunt" was supposed to be a quarter page in size, like my other mini comics (The Misfortune Cookie, The Lucky Penny, etc) that are drawn at 8.5x11 size to scale down to 1/4 size. But when printed, the text was just too small, so I printed at half page size, which lead to that white space on the top and bottom. Although for the sequel, I'll have to make it the same "wrong" size to match the first story. To answer their question, I printed it at Staples. I never photocopy my work, as the quality wouldn't be as sharp!
Thanks again, Tim, and everyone please check out the Deconstructing Comics Podcast!
This is a comic I've been working on for awhile with writer Patrick McEvoy - called "Integration"! I met Patrick at a small convention at Lovecraft Bar months ago, and he liked my work and sent me some scripts to look over. (It's good to exhibit at conventions large and small because really, you could pick up freelance work anywhere!) It's great that I had a lot of freedom with the drawings - from the green mohawk to the disco ball stoplight (of course stoplights will look different in the future... so why NOT a disco ball?) I love futuristic themed stories - they're so fun to draw! Glad this comic is complete and seeing the light of day - as freelancers know, projects without solid deadlines are always the ones to be pushed back when other hard deadlines loom. But I've been improving my time management skills and was able to fit this between other projects whenever possible.
In other tech news, I replaced my computer's RAM (random access memory) all by myself with success!! It's a big step for me - at first just the thought of opening my computer's insides was scary. Thanks to talking with the Mac Doctors at the Apple store, watching lots of YouTube videos about it, reading some articles, and asking tips from technology-inclined friends on Facebook, I found the process pretty easy to do once I got started! Knowledge is power!! I wouldn't recommend doing this if you're not prepared though. The biggest thing to watch out for is the electrostatic thing, which sounds scary! No, you will not be electrocuted, you just need to touch something metal to discharge any static electricity. Honestly, the hardest part of the process was getting the new RAM out of the damn clam shell packaging!
I'm not going to give a step-by-step process, as others could do it better than me, but I'll give a tip. From watching YouTube demos, I learned that there are different sizes to the 10 screws on the back of the MacBook Pro. To keep track of what screws went where, I put them in 2 shot glasses and drew a little map of where those sizes of screws should go.
A few years ago I had to get my Mac's hard drive replaced. I've blogged not too long ago about how I had to take it in to get the logic board replaced. Well soon after that I had to replace the battery. And now with 16GB of RAM (vs 4GB), my computer is 4 times faster!! This Frankenstein computer pretty much runs like new now - the difference is unbelievable! I can definitely extend the life of this baby for at least another year I think.
One other thing - computer repair places will charge you a lot to do a simple RAM upgrade. Installation can cost anywhere from $40 (if you've already bought RAM online) to up to $200 if you buy RAM from their store. When getting RAM online, make sure it's compatible with your OS (operating system - in my case, a MacBook Pro). I chose the Crucial brand, recommended by the Mac Doctors (Genius Bar people), and it was half the cost stores charge. Some other complicated things, like the logic board, should definitely be handled by a pro, but newbies can save a lot of money and feel empowered by getting your feet wet replacing RAM.
Going against the tech theme for the Daily Misfortune - I don't want to jinx my computer :P