Official Book Launch: Calling All Artists

forpostSee details and purchase options here.
(or go directly to Amazon)

Well it’s finally here. Six months in the making (although I could argue decades) with many late nights and early mornings, encouragement from my wife, kids, and great friends, I’m proud to announce the official release of my first book: Calling All Artists. (See printed manuscript from last week at left.)

After compiling and editing 210+ pages (39,790+ words), setting the master manuscript up with all of the correct styles needed for e-readers, uploading to Amazon it’s finally ready for purchase.

It’s available for Kindles (and Kindle app on iPhone/iPad and other devices) at


I was extremely humbled by these generous endorsements from some very kind industry veterans. Some also have some amazing interviews in the book along with several other TV, Feature Film, Broadway, Music, and Video Production veterans!

An immensely practical guide for the creative in all of us. Todd Hampson’s work has blessed me and thousands of others – his writing about the nuts and bolts of being a working creative will bless many more. Highly recommended!

Phil Vischer — Creator of VeggieTales and What’s in the Bible?

When someone with Todd Hampson’s credentials and experience talks about creativity, I listen.  In fact, his new book, “Calling All Artists” was the kick in the pants I needed to move forward on my next project.  If you live a creative life (and all of us should), then I recommend the book.  You won’t regret it.

Phil Cooke — filmmaker, media consultant, and author of One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do

Having been an adjunct professor in the cinema and media departments of two major universities, I know firsthand the positive impact this book will have on students.  Whether graduating from college or deciding what to do with your life, this book answers hard questions,  provides insightful information, and gives you life changing tips on how to make better choices and start a creative career in the 21st century.

Kathleen Cooke —, Co-Founder Cooke Pictures,

Todd Hampson’s “Calling All Artists” e-book is a GREAT tool for anyone just getting into animation or even those that have been in it a while and want to reinvent themselves and/or reignite their passions.  As artists, we are not very good at looking internally or into the future, so planning our careers is a mysterious journey.  Todd really gets you to organize your thoughts and aline them with your talents!  That is THE path to success for any artist!  Additionally, his optimistic viewpoint toward the industry, and his excitement about it, is a breath of fresh air we all need to hear!

Tom Bancroft — former Disney Supervising Animator, Director, Studio Owner, Character Designer, Author

Todd Hampson listens and delivers! I have personally had the privilege of working with Todd and his company Timbuktoons developing an animated series for kids. He and his wonderful team were able to grant my every wish, and then some. The information he shares in this book will absolutely help artists on their creative journey.

Cassie Byram — actress, singer, song-writer, and Executive Creative Producer, Oodles World Inc.

Needless to say, I’m really excited about this book, most of all because I think it is going to help thousands of artists discover their creative calling and how to thrive in a creative career. I’m planning a few promotional events to help get the word out about the book but I couldn’t wait to share the news. Please tell your friends and share this link ( on social media to help get the word out!



Book Recommendation: “APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book”

APEI’m not quite ready to mention an actual release date for my new e-book, “Calling All Artists:Why There’s Never Been a Better Time To Be A Creative” but we are very close. My editor/wife (who also happens to be a middle-school language arts ninja) will begin proofing the manuscript today.

By the end of this week I should have a locked manuscript formatted for the myriad of e-publishing exports and by next week I’ll be able to announce an official release date. I’ll share some teaser info later this week, but first, I wanted to tell you about a great book that has helped me tremendously over the past few weeks during my research for self-publishing resources.

Guy Kawasaki, author and former Chief Evangelist at Apple, along with Shawn Welch, wrote this book to help authors of all experience levels in their quest to self publish. 

If you are thinking about self publishing, please start here! It will save you hours of sifting through forums, blogs, and web searches. It’s an easy read and you can dial right in to the chapter you need at that moment, or read it from e-cover to e-cover!


Freelancers and Uncle Sam: How should I Plan and Pay Taxes On My Own?


As I mentioned in a previous post, a freelancer is really a small company. As an independent contractor, you are responsible to estimate and pay your own taxes (usually 4 times per year unless you are just starting out). If you work for a company, they take taxes out for you, but as a freelancer you have to do this yourself. Don’t worry, this sounds scarier than it really is. One disclaimer here. I’m an artist and an entrepreneur, not a tax specialist or a CPA so please contact one before you implement any of this advice.

I highly recommend finding a good CPA (Certified Public Accountant) to help you with this. They can give you guidance on how to track your expenses, estimate quarterly taxes for federal and state payments, and help keep you on track with all things tax related. It’s really not that difficult, especially when you have a CPA.

If you are just starting out ask around to see what CPA’s your friends and family use. Or check your local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce to see what CPA’s are listed in your area. Meet with a recommended CPA (or 2 or 3) in person to ask questions and see if you feel like they are a good fit to help you.

You should expect to pay a few hundred dollars per year for CPA tax planning as a freelancer. It’s money well spent to keep you on track and to allow you to spend your time generating income.

There are 2 basic things you need to track as a freelancer: income, and expenses. We use Quickbooks for my company. It’s pretty easy to set up a company with it and begin tracking income and expenses. There are other software packages to use or you can even track income and expenses in a spreadsheet to give to your CPA. I prefer Quickbooks because you can send estimates and invoices to clients with it and you can generate several different types of reports to give to your CPA and for your own planning purposes.

The purpose is to track income and expenses so you can deduct expenses from the income to determine a final income amount you need to pay taxes on. For a freelancer, this is tied to your personal taxes so there are many factors which vary from person to person including tax bracket, marital status, dependents, wether or not you also have w-2’s from part time or full time employment, and geographical location.

As a general rule, when I’m budgeting projects I assume 25% will ultimately go to taxes. Ouch. Yes. That hurts. Embrace it. Again, your CPA will help you with quarterly tax planning (which means once every three months you pay a chunk of taxes to federal and state), but it’s good practice to set aside 25-30% of every payment you receive to have for taxes. The last thing you want to do is get to the end of the year and find out you owe more than you have set aside. Been there. Done that. Not fun.

Depending on your specific situation, your taxes may not be this much but it’s better to set more aside than you need to. As a freelancer or small business owner, cash flow is life and death for your endeavor. Plan ahead and plan for murphy’s law to kick in. Murphy always shows up at some point so be prepared. Having cash set aside for taxes and unplanned dips and emergencies is wise and will serve you well as a freelancer.

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