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The Circle of Trust

The Circle of Trust is the paid subscriber content for listeners of the Adventures In Design podcast. Containing over 300+ episodes and 500 hours of design, illustration, printing and business tips n tricks. Hear every episode in it’s entirety! The Circle of Trust has the full Adventures In Design audio catalog, featuring every episode with bonus content added or you can choose to go straight to the bonus content. Every topic possible on following your creative passion as a hobby or career has been covered in this collection and we’re not even close to finishing the conversation adding another 200 episodes in 2016. 

603 - Presenting Your Work To Clients with Billy Baumann

David Defeo

{preamble: skip ahead eight minutes to get right down to business.}

While the visually stunning work you've created for others is what you got you into a meeting room with potential new clients; how you visually present your ideas behind closed doors is as important as the final product everyone sees. Creating a complete experience for your client is what will ultimately determine if you got the job and how much your new clients believe in your ability to get it all done. Billy Baumann of Delicious Design League and Mark Brickey share their secrets to creating a pitch deck that will walk the people behind your next paycheck from Point A to Point Chimpanzee all while selling your intellect, abilities, and attention to detail. This workshop will help you build an unshakeable bridge between creative and client that will put you a cut above a crowded marketplace filled with designers who could be anything from artistically better than you to just flat out cheaper than you. Stay ahead of it all with a well thought out plan all held between a cover page and a thank you.

Talking Points

  • The work to be done before the pitch.
  • Branding your company and building the client's confidence in your abilities.
  • Deck Building with openers, closers, and the ideas you want to see through.
  • Presentation pointers.
  • Handling the client through the rest of the design process.


  • Understand what the project is to guide how it should be presented to the client. 
  • Develop a road map for how your creation process to mentally prepare who you're working with for every step they'll take. 
  • Doing the up front footwork to find aesthetics that resonate with your client and helps instill their ownership in the entire project. 


  • The branded and necessary bones of your template. 
  • Jpegs, Pdfs, and building confidence. 
  • Sketches, color roughs, and getting your executed idea across to the client.
  • Openers and closers.
  • Controlling the leeway in the presentation and conveying the value of your design intellect. 
  • Make what you want, make what they want, but make sure it's what you want to do. 
  • Emulating Neil deGrasse Tyson and reading the room. 


  • Once your client knows the deal you can pull back on the dog and pony show. 
  • Walk throughs that require multiple meetings for projects with a larger scope.
  • The necessity of designing for mobile. 
  • Don't forget that swag. 
The following pitch decks are the explicit property of Delicious Design League that Billy Baumann (The Godfather of AID) has graciously provided as a visual component to this workshop allowing you to see exactly how DDL practices what is being preached. With that being said... please exercise some common sense and don't spread these all over your hometown or on a reddit thread somewhere and potentially land The Cobra in some hot water with his clients when he only wanted to help out because you're in the Circle Of trust.




Thanks in advance for being cool about this.

You landed the job with your incredibly well crafted pitch deck that you devised after taking copious notes form this workshop? Great! That's only the first part of the battle and now you have to keep that client coming back for more... and more... and more because you got bills to pay.

How do you get to sit down with your dream clients in the first place? You could have the best deck around town but if no one will meet with you to see it then what's the point. Billy and Mark lay out strategies to get you in front of the people you've always wanted to work with.

Every DKNG Show episode is a resource to see exactly how an agency runs from soup to nuts. Get an overview of the entire process but most importantly take a look at the pitch decks you'll find in the slide show to get an actual glimpse at how the handle presentations.

602 - Social Media Advertising with DKNG Studios

David Defeo

Pull back the curtain on social media marketing and uncover methods that yield the results you're after. The design powerhouse that is DKNG Studios and podcaster extraordinaire Mark Brickey share their strategies that work inside of and outside of the algorithms governing social media advertising. Debunk the boost and get into the long game that can increase your brand awareness, capture sales, or grow your audience. With so many continually shifting variables advertising through social networks can be feel intimidating or fruitless causing you to give up too soon. This workshop will help lay down the groundwork for a long term plan that can help you accomplish your advertising goals with field tested advice from creatives you trust.  

Talking Points

  • Define your social media goals up front.
  • Debunking the boost and fine tuning how to get something out of it. 
  • Adults go to the Facebook Ads Manager to build and expand their audience. 
  • Using Start Today as a case study for effective advertising on social media. 
  • Crafting your audience to maximize sales, or fans, or acquiring new customers. 
  • Awareness and analytics. 
  • Setting up a long term plan for success with social media advertising. 
  • Can you get better results by taking your money elsewhere?
  • Make an ad that doesn't feel like an ad. 
  • Organic marketing and bonding with your audience. 
  • Advertising without a budget. 
  • Buying likes or buying followers and perceived value. 
  • Theoretically operating outside of The Christian Way.


This is the birth of buying followers or buying likes debacle that haunted Mark when AID 594 premiered. Hear the initial rumblings of working with Social Media Pirates and bucking the system Instagram imposed on us.

There's more to marketing than the chosen medium. Be it Snapchat or a Super Bowl Ad Paul Gaudio gives us a peek at how Addidas approaches their audience and telling an entire story that social media is just one component of.

Mark and DKNG give you a sneak peek at some of the concepts expanded upon in this chapter of The DKNG Show. However, don't stop there because these episodes are jam packed with applicable information about design.

601 - Concept And Production Art with Jason Edmiston

David Defeo

Masterpieces don't just happen, they're meticulously planned out and you'd be surprised how much can happen before you make a single mark. Master Illustrator Jason Edmiston has spent years honing his craft with techniques that made the painters of yesteryear the craftsmen they were and bringing them into the modern era through his own work. Mark Brickey sits down with Jason to break apart the wind up before the canvas he takes with each piece to consistently produce jaw dropping work. From troubleshooting your composition to nailing down a color story, every step you need to set yourself up for success is explained and scrutinized for over an hour and a half in this workshop. Sharpen your creative edge and learn how to put in the work that will take your work to the next level of greatness.

Talking Points

  • Budgeting your time and locking in client expectations.
  • Setting rules, developing thumbnails, and collecting references.
  • Home photo shoots to help with lighting, viewpoints, and creating entirely new scenes,
  • Contact sheets and Voltron versions.
  • Developing the final sketches and the first pass at color.
  • Getting it all onto the canvas.


  • Start with a schedule and budget time for potential revisions.
  • Hash out rough concepts to begin working on your composition.
  • Talk with your client about what types of artistic liberties you can take.
  • What is the visual intersection of your client's expectation and your client's budget?
  • Put rules in place to guide the scope and scale of your designed work.
  • Compile thumbnails and reference materials to create a strong composition in the final format.
  • Add elements to indicate mood or character elements.


  • How to set up traditional photo shoots.
  • Finding and organizing your research materials.
  • Working from your roughs for better reference shots.
  • Camera angles that add to the narrative.
  • Fooling the audience into thinking you've created an entirely new piece they've never seen.
  • Culling your references into a contact sheet.
  • The ultimate Voltron version at seventy five percent accuracy.
  • Shedding light on lighting.


  • Scanning in your work and stitching it all together.
  • Establishing a color direction for mood.
  • Using graphite paper to transfer your final line art over to the canvas.
  • Full Value Underpainting for a unified color palette and harnessing the alchemy of art.


So now you know what Jason does to create a painting. But turning that into a screenprint... that's a different animal entirely. On AID 209 Jason lets us into the process and how his unique dithering techniques work.

Every time Jason gets on the AID airwaves he imparts some incredible wisdom in the politest way possible. On the heels of releasing Visceral we sat down for a one on one interview with Jason to talk about the long span of his career.

A landmark in his work, Jason's piece for The Hateful Eight is an incredible summary of everything you've learned from this workshop and what he shared in AID 209. Never a dull moment with this Canuck on the mic.

600 - Portfolio Do's And Don'ts with DKNG Studios

David Defeo

Learn how to show the world the work you want to do as Dan Kuhlken, Nathan Goldman, and Mark Brickey lay out the do's and don'ts of crafting your portfolio. Between the physical and digital realm a portfolio can take on so many shapes with various pros and cons amongst each iteration. DKNG and Mark Brickey have reviewed hundreds of portfolios and their advice from the other side of the table can help you fine tune what you need to add, subtract, or update. A portfolio showcases your creative talents, problem solving intellect, and communication skills all in quick glance so use this workshop as a way to get that competitive edge on other artists going for the same gig. This workshop will transform your portfolio into a resource you can use again and again to land more jobs and get more money.

Talking Points

  • The many faces of the portfolio in today's world.
  • What do you want your portfolio to accomplish for you?
  • Have talking points for every piece.
  • How many pieces do you need in a portfolio?
  • Making your project seem real.
  • Emotionally detaching from your work and going all the way.
  • Starters and finishers
  • Having good judgement and boiling things down to your best work.
  • Taking your portfolio online and differentiating between a list of services.
  • Formatting your pieces to have a consistent through line.
  • Customizing your portfolio for the job you want.
  • Quick round of do's and don'ts.


  • Craft your portfolio to work for what you want.
  • Use self initiated pieces to show people what you're capable of.
  • Have information about each piece that you showcases the passion you have for your work.
  • Make sure each component of your portfolio can stand on its own.
  • Vary the application of your work in real world settings to cast the widest net possible.
  • Show your work in a way that visually stimulates the person that's hiring you.
  • Play devil's advocate with your work and practice in mock interviews.
  • Learn to listen during an interview and ask for more than they offer.


  • Cut your Michael Bay pieces and don't have too many pieces included in your portfolio.
  • Don't become emotionally attached to sub par pieces.
  • Make sure every project included looks like a finished thought.
  • Avoid hot button topics unless it fits the job you;re applying for.
  • Remove any pieces that show poor judgement.
  • Remember... it's a portfolio, not an archive of all the work you've ever done.
  • Keep it under twelve pieces in your portfolio.
  • Don't take a failed interview personally.


  • Create a through line across your work to show off your problem solving skills.
  • Group similar wok into services you can offer.
  • Design your resume to the same high standard.
  • Switch out projects to customize your portfolio toward the job you want.
  • Only show work you're excited about.


Get a few tips and tricks on simplicity and effective communication from a real life Mad Men character in the flesh, Alan Siegel. His thoughts on design can help guide you through analyzing your portfolio. 

On the latest installment of The DKNG Show Nathan gets into what he learned at the latest Behance Online Portfolio review that he participated in. Mark and Dan join in on some quick tips for your portfolio. 

Bluu Dreams and West Park Creative get a sit down with Mark Brickey and some follow up notes on their current plight with Ben Neuhaus and Mitch Putnam. Tough Love episodes are like a portfolio review but on an entire business.

599 - Saving Money For Freelancers with Sean Mort

David Defeo

It's time for a difficult dose of the truth; saving money as a freelance creative will be difficult to accomplish. Between the Net Ninety paydays always coming in a few weeks later than you wanted and all the financial stresses that undeniably come from running your own business it can seem pointless to even open a savings account. Lucky for you Mark Brickey and Sean Mort sit down to share financial tips and tricks they've used for years to stay above zero and out of the red. This workshop will help you develop a plan that will work for your unique situation that is flexible enough to withstand anything thrown at it and help you build better financial habits once those actually show up and get cashed. Forget the faceless blogs that have are full of plans that won't work for your unique lifestyle and take down some notes from your favorite podcast duo on how to effectively save money as a freelancer.

Talking Points

  • A pre workshop pep talk for the difficult road ahead.
  • Get up close and personal with your budget.
  • How to pay yourself first. 
  • Games to help hide money from yourself. 
  • Designing a dark spot in your bank account to stay in the right mindset. 
  • Finding the real bottom line. 
  • Diversifying your saving strategies. 
  • Congratulations you made too much money! Now save it. 
  • The cushion that keeps you pushing.
  • Adding your equation into the initial invoice. 
  • Fun projects for an early retirement. 
  • Specialization and opportunity.
  • Finding the constant in the chaos for a financial peace of mind. 


Need more financial advice? Who doesn't besides maybe Warren Buffet and Richard Branson? In this AID Live episode we get to meet Paco De Leon of The Hell Yeah Group who specializes in the world of finances and knows how to talk to creatives.

Mark and Billy take a long look at looming financial changes on the horizon of Trump's New America. Whether you listen to this episode tomorrow or ten years from now, this Shop Talk can help you understand the mindset you need to be when you're more or less on your own.

Ok. Ok. That's enough about losing money. This workshop with Sean Mort and Greg Kerr is the first part on making money through wholesale. Add another arm to your income stream the right way and get your foot in the long term game of wholesale.