Why You Hiding?

      37 Comments on Why You Hiding?

So a few weeks back I wrote about your internet presence and how it can bite you in the ass.

About what would happen if you Googled yourself and some nasty, embarrassing stuff showed up that you can’t erase. Not so good.

But there’s a flip side to that.

Last night my manfriend wanted to show me a blog of a colleague of ours. He’s been in the animation business for a very long time and is super talented.  And apparently he has a little blog where he posts up some work and writes stuff now and then.

You know. Like you might be doing.

So we Googled him.

I found some politician in Australia, and a few entries that might have been him, but no blog. My manfriend then remembered he called his blog something else, it wasn’t under our colleague’s own name.

Which is fine. But my manfriend couldn’t remember the other name.

I went searching again today and found a site that mentioned his business name. So I went on the lookout for that and I finally found his blog. He used the business name before the blogspot.com.

So it didn’t really take too long when I knew what to look for.

But it got me thinking.

What about you?

By ‘you’, I’m talking to the animation person using a blog as a portfolio.

The ‘you’ that’s putting their stuff all willy-nilly on a Blogger blog.

The ‘you’ who may be using the most obscure name you could think of in front of that ‘blogspot.com’.

The ‘you’ who also misspells that obscure name so it’s even more unrecognizable and unmemorable.

The ‘you’ who doesn’t have their real name anywhere on that blog.

The ‘you’ who uses that lame-ass Blogger ‘about’ link that tells us a big bunch of nothing about you. Yeah, the same one that has no real contact information.

The ‘you’ that only uses some drawn avatar and no real photo of yourself.

The ‘you’ that has a montage of naked chicks in your banner.

This is the same ‘you’ that expects to get work from this very blog.

You ain’t.

Why you hiding, dude?

No one will ever find you!

You are putting your work out into the big, internet world and are doing everything humanly possible not to be found. And if we, the public, do happen to stumble across you, we still don’t know who the hell you are.

We don’t know what you’re about. If you’re even a real person. How to contact you if we happen to like what we see (despite the naked chick banner).

A blog that can’t be found is not a blog worth having.

I see it over and over with young artists. It’s like they want to put their stuff ‘out there’ but feel they have to hide behind some pseudonym. Hide behind the avatar. Hide behind everything while still saying, “Um…here’s my stuff…I want to freelance…I want to work in a studio…Umm…OK?”

Sure. Great. Fine.

But who are you??

There’s a reason I started this blog using my own name. First off, I already owned the domain, so there’s that. But it was also the logic that if someone wanted to find me, the first thing they would do is search my name.

When someone tells someone else that I have this blog, they are going to search me first. And guess what? They find me.

Look at the name of this blog. Not very fancy or imaginative, is it?

But I had to ask myself, “If someone wanted to find a blog about storyboarding, what would they search for?”

Storyboard blog.


It worked because I’m number one on Google for that term. I’m also number one for Karen J Lloyd and now for Karen Lloyd (take that, karenlloyd.com!)

Yes, that is the reason I use the ‘J’. Plus there’s lots of Karen Lloyd’s out there in internetland. I needed to stand out a bit. So I embraced the ‘J’.

Embrace your ‘J’, people.

I also have the domain ‘http://storyboardblog.com’ parked at ‘http://karenjlloyd.com/blog’. Because if someone can’t remember the real blog name, what’s the easiest to remember?

“Oh, just go to storyboardblog dot com.” Easy peasy.

Notice I didn’t use “storibord” or “storeebo@rd”.

All of this is just food for thought. What are your goals with that blog of yours? Is it doing it’s job? Could it be doing a better one?

If you want it to help you get work, don’t hide.

(And dump the naked chick banner while you’re at it.)

Read the Storyboard Blog by RSS Feed or by email in its naked chick-less glory.

37 thoughts on “Why You Hiding?

  1. Kathryn

    Fantastic advice, Karen. It’s always amazing that things that seem like common sense to folks like us are so often not done! Thanks for spreading the Web wisdom. 🙂

  2. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Kate – Well, sure it’s awesome if you have your blog attached to your LinkedIn and business cards.

    But is your LinkedIn attached to your blog? Are you using your full name on LinkedIn? If so, why not on your blog? Do you have contact info on your business cards? Then why not your blog?

    There’s got to be a heck of a lot of ‘Kates’ in the world, no?

    It’s all part of the package. Don’t be open in one area and hide in another, especially if you really want work. Do everything you can to help it along. Can’t hurt.

    Anyway, like I said it’s just food for thought. 🙂

    @ Kathryn – Hey thanks! Not that I’m any web expert. I’ve just seen these things too many times! 🙂

    @ Brian – Hey, I didn’t see no naked chicks in your banner. Liar! 😉

    Naked chicks in portfolio is OK though. You know…’arty’ ones.

  3. Brian

    Haha, made you look! Really though, thanks for bringing all this to my attention. I’ve made a few “adjustments” since then. I’ll probably forward this to a few other blogger-users too.

  4. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hey, that’s great Brian! (And making me look is always a shrewd move.)

    Even having your About fully in the sidebar with a photo and everything is great. Yes, spread the word!

    (Frankly, you should all be switching to WordPress, but that’s a whole other ball of wax. One day, maybe.) 😉

  5. Friar

    “Why you hiding, dude?

    No one will ever find you!”

    ….EXACTLY! That’s the way I like it.

    (Too many in-bred hicks with pitchforks and torches, where I live).

  6. Djordje Zutkovic

    Hi Karen,

    It’s taken me a while but I’ve finally managed to catch up with your posts, starting with the very beginning. I love this blog and think you have some really fantastic insight and information! I learned quite a bit!

    I’ve had a question on my mind and have to ask, how do you go about analyzing animation/live action from a storyboard artists perspective? What do you exactly look for? Is it a combination of composition, staging, rule of thirds, depth and shot choice for individual frames and scenes? Then would you look at how the scenes cut together and flow?

    There seems to be a lot to consider and I wanted to know how you break it down? Thanks very much for all the fantastic information that you’ve shared with us thus far and for what is to come. Keep up the awesome work! Take care.


  7. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Friar – Well, you’re not an animation artist. You’re not using your blog as a portfolio. You don’t use your blog to find work.

    So I’m not exactly talking to you, am I??? 😉

    Blogging for blog’s sake is one thing. Fine. Be anonymous. But if you’re blogging for the reasons in my post…don’t be.

    @ Djordje – Wow! Thanks a bunch (and for reading everything…holy cow). It would be a little difficult to try to explain all those fabulous questions here in the comments. So how about I try to make a future post about it?

    Short answer: I’m not quite sure. It’s kind of a ‘sixth sense’ thing with me. 🙂

    @ Andrew – ALL of them? And you didn’t even give a link? Aww, man! Naked chicks and everything??

    I would have preferred a ‘before’ and ‘after’ myself. 🙂
    (Yes. You are forgiven.)

  8. Friar


    Okay…point taken. My blog is for fun. I’m not using it to find work.
    Sorry to disturb you.

    I’ll just leave now…and let the GROWN-UPS talk… 😉

  9. Djordje Zutkovic


    If you could make a future post related to my questions, it would be great. Thanks again.


  10. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Friar – Grown-ups? Ain’t no grown-ups around here. (They’re no fun) 🙂

    @ Djordje – (Boy, I’d like to know how that’s pronounced!)

    I will do that post. If the not the next one, then probably the one after that. Interesting topic. 🙂

  11. Patricia

    I put my name out because I blog not just for fun and to write but because I want someone to read it and someone to communicate with and learn from.

    I am also careful because I do not wish to have my children found – I have had lots of garbage dumped on my front porch because of people in my town deciding they were afraid of me….

    I am also learning how to protect my work, while my audience is small because I am seeing some it used without permission …

    Sometimes it feels like a fine line?
    Good post. Thank you

  12. Lillian

    I absolutely agree with what you are saying here. I actually found this blog by typing in storyboard on google! I didn’t think I’d actually find a really good blog, but to my surprise I did.
    I don’t yet have my own website. I do have a sketchblog but I plan to make a blog that specifically only portrays my portfolio so it’s easy and ready to see. It will definitely have my full name.

    Oh, btw, capilano college’s open gradshow is april 25th at harbour centre 12-4pm. If you’d like to stop by, that’s be great! If you can’t, don’t fret. The displays will be up during the week before the 25th for everyone to see.

  13. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Patricia – Sorry for editing your comment, but that one part just felt a little ‘much’ for a teaching blog about cartoons and stuff. Like I told Friar, I am speaking to a *very* specific audience in this post.

    Animators. Storyboard artists. Using a blog as a portfolio to try to get work. That’s it.

    There are many, many blogs out there about many, many topics. For all those others, it’s the author’s personal choice how much they expose of their real selves. You should totally protect your children. Your personal life. And anything else you feel you need to.

    I certainly don’t talk much about my personal life here. It’s not my blog’s purpose. It’s one of the reasons I’m not on Facebook. I have no interest in putting my whole life all over the internet. Some have no problem with it.

    You have to draw your own line, right? Thanks for your input though, I appreciate it. 🙂

    @ Lillian – And I’m so glad you did find me!

    I may have to write another post about this stuff because I actually think you shouldn’t even use a blog (like Blogger) as your portfolio site. A static site will serve that purpose much, much better.

    That’s why WordPress is a good option. You can have static pages and get some pretty neat themes that cater to portfolios. (But yes, use your real name. Go buy your domain name now.)

    Ooo, I’d love to drop by the Cap grad show! I might have something going on that weekend though. Drat. But at the very least, I’ll drop by in the week to check it out. Thanks for the info. 🙂

  14. Lorin Wood

    Nice post. It’s funny that the most fundamental element of self-promotion/marketing is the one thing NO ONE every thinks of doing. I’ve given several lectures to PhD candidate courses at the University of Texas-Dallas for several years regarding networking and self-promotion and it’s always astounding to discover how…how should I put this…STUPID these brilliant people are, who have thrown thousands upon thousands of dollars at their education to become proficient in a field…and yet don’t know the basic steps to letting the world know they exist.

    Your point that your name is a good idea to put out on the inter-webs is valid…that is unless you’re at a level of your career and have evolved beyond the need for direct contact and work via reputation (case in point, my friend Ty – http://www.alieninsect.com). Then there’s the rest of us.

  15. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Oh those silly PhDs. With their overpriced educations and all. You tell ’em Lorin! 😉

    And your friend is doing it *right* actually. Go to his site. Look at the top of your browser and in the tab on your browser. What’s the first thing you see?

    His name.

    If it’s showing up there, it’s showing up in Google. He knows what he’s doing so his domain isn’t hurting him. He can still be found by name.

    And he’s in fact number one on Google for his name and his site. Well done. 🙂

  16. @TheGirlPie

    Great post that I wish more than just storyboard artists would read (my Dad’s a painter and just got all excited about getting his paintings on some site you can’t even remember while you’re looking at the name!) This advice goes to anyone who has a portfolio, a body of work of any kind that can be shared online in words & media. Very smart.

    And swell comments too (and yep, I bought my dad’s name as a domain and am giving him a surprise site of his 70 years of paintings for his 80th b-day this summer!)

    Thanks for the great blog ~

  17. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Speaking of anonymous… 😉

    Nothing like not even remembering the name of a site while you’re ON the site. Holy moly.

    Thanks GirlPie. What a great gift for your Dad. That’s awesome!

  18. LudO

    Hi Karen,
    Thank you for the wealth of infos here.
    I am LudO (a frenchman with an irish twist so to speak) and I run an online community on the topic of storyboard
    Please take a look and tell me if I may I include your blog address there.
    The community’s readers would be most interested.
    I do that out of storytelling love more than for my own profit really.
    I only started to work on my online presence recently.
    Yes, I am looking to break in the industry and I am definitely going to read all your precious advices!
    I am also about to send you a suggestion for a book on storyboarding.
    I studied Animation in Ireland and my teacher has written a book on layout and storyboarding that is pretty unique, simple and worth its weight of peanuts. It isn’t a best-seller but it is only because it is insufficiently marketed. To me it is a gem, although it could perhaps be improved or developped, I recommend it.
    Hope to hear from you.
    All the Best,

  19. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hi LudO

    Thanks for dropping by and telling us about your community. Of course you can add my link. 🙂

    And while your book recommendation looks promising, it seems to be pretty much unavailable or out of print on Amazon. Does he sell it from his own site or anything?

    Glad to have you and I hope you enjoy poking around the archives.

  20. t.sterling

    So, um, where as I know you weren’t necessarily talking about me, it sure seemed like you were pointing me out. I’m not really showcasing a portfolio though, but I am currently on Blogger (for now) and my “About me” picture looks like I’m hiding. (It amuses my friends, so I kept it… and this was pre-Breakfast Face.)

    But I do remember your previous post about Internet precense, and I’m very aware of it and work on being #1 for most search engines. Foruntately, “indoob” isn’t a real word, but I enjoy the fact that anyone who looks up the word will find it linked to my name. Unfortunately, my name isn’t always #1 on the search engines… but I’m working on that too. I’ll add a couple naked chicks if that helps.

  21. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    No sweetie, I wasn’t talking to you. And I wasn’t pointing you out. 🙂

    But since you brought it up, you can ditch the Oscar poll and the teensy-weensy white type on black (my eyes! Oy, my eyes!).

    You’re not showcasing a portfolio and you write about a bunch of stuff. I like your little breakfast face.

    Like I said, this was food for thought. If your blog IS serving it’s purpose, no problem. If it isn’t, some tweaks may be needed.

    And yeah, naked chicks could really work for you. 😉

  22. t.sterling

    I’ve heard the pleas for white text on black top, and like my idol Sam Cooke says: a change is gonna come. In a way, it’s already happened but I’m pretty hush hush right now. I’ve also been M.I.A. from blogging altogether, but April I should be back full swing and will have a new post. I didn’t have any topics for the poll yet, but that will be gone too, no worries :o)

  23. LudO

    Hi Karen,
    Too bad about the book,
    my teacher must be printing on demand only…
    I’ll try to see if it can be available from a reliable source/publisher
    but I can’t promise I’ll find.
    Thank for your replies,

  24. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ T – You could have a poll about favorite breakfast foods or something. 😉

    Yes, plus your copy has serifs and is kinda small, so I find it really hard on the eyes. I see stripes when I look away. Yay for change!

    @ LudO – Yes, it’s from 1999 so maybe it’s out of print. The few copies out there were from second hand vendors for too much money! 🙂

    But thanks for the heads up.

  25. Friar


    PhD’s. Don’t get me STARTED!

    Sure, there are normal ones here or there. But 90% of them are all KNOBS with zero social skills.

    Remember the dorky kid in the schoolyard who always got teased and beat up? That’s who all your PhD’s used to be.

    Just think of it that way, next time you lecture them.

  26. Angela

    Hi Karen,

    great post as always. I’ve been striving to figure out ways to make my blog more transparent, user-friendly and easier to find on Google and your words of wisdom are always helpful. Thanks!

  27. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Friar – You’ve got to learn to form an opinion one of these days. 🙂

    @ Angela – You’re very welcome! I’m working on another post about this stuff so stay tuned.


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  34. Anna

    Hi Karen!
    Im just moving into a process of building an animation/storyboard career in Vancouver after a bouncy time of doing animation school and travelling.

    My interests are pretty diverse in story content after all my travelling and I am thinking about doing nicely planned out webcomic intended for an adult audience (nothing too intense, but sort of punky).
    I also want to work for companies that make kids content.
    How underground do you think I should take my affiliation with content not intended for kids content job applications? I am suspecting I will make my other work under a pseudonym, though I’m worried about wierding out employers by going ‘too’ discreet over minorly crass material.

    I am wondering what your thoughts are on the culture around personal projects is in the animation industry? I would not put a link to a comic that might have curious content on an application, or on a blog intended for employers, but do you think I could run into trouble if I want to put a design or two from a comic made under another name into a portfolio or if I run into folk from animation at a comic oriented convention? I am wondering where to draw the line between professional discretion and coming off as not being confident in all my creative expressions? Would I risk serious enough damage to my professional image to censor the content of the comic in the first place?

    If I commit to keeping my non-youth-friendly work completely separate from my name I will need to limit the energy put into that work more as well.

    I would really appreciate your thoughts!
    By the way, I am in the process of reading through your archives, and the information you’ve put up is really helping me out! Thank you for making this blog Karen! It is exactly the resource I need right now.


    PS: I am thinking about investing in one of your mini-critiques once my portfolio is hashed together in a month or so when I get back to Vancouver- I was wondering if you would consider meeting in person to give me feedback? I will happily buy you the trendiest of Vanny coffee! (Starbucks is the high end of the bean in most of Europe. As a student I never realised how much time I ended up drawing in coffee shops until they were removed from my cultural environment. I kind of miss them.) You are welcome to reply to my email privately if you would like.


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