Archive for the ‘thinking out loud’ Category

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

This lovely Spring day makes me think of bicycles. So I thought I’d post a movie taken last September of me.

Moments later, redemption.

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Googling me

Ok, well, here’s a nice boring post.

Google searches are something I’ve taken for granted since they were invented. I’ve figured that there aren’t many other illustrators out there whose names are Brian Biggs, so I assumed that a Google search for something like “Brian Biggs illustration” would likely bring up my site. Now, since I know where to find me, I’ve never really bothered to give it a try. However, the other day I got a comment on one of my images on Flickr that said something about this, that they searched my name and that Flickr image came up. That got me thinking. Thinking leads to trouble, and that trouble started when I went and Googled the previously stated term (“Brian Biggs illustration” for those of you with short attention spans). What to my wondering eyes did appear but about twenty five other links before my site appears. And when a link to MrBiggs dot com does come up, it’s to a random blog entry here in the News section.

I was shocked and more than a little annoyed.

Worse, when one removes the “Brian” part of the query, Google asks whether I’m sure it’s “Biggs” I’m asking for, and not “Briggs?” and then gives me the two top “Briggs” results which are to the lovely work of Alice Briggs. In this case, I got eight pages into the results without a single link to MrBiggs dot com coming up.

Now, not to say I don’t exist. Yes, Google grants me that at least. Plenty of the results are to my work or mentions or reviews or complaints or things like that. My entry in the Directory of Illustration, some mention of me on, lovely comments on Flickr, pages on Random House and HarperCollins’ websites. But in regards to MrBiggs dot com itself, nada.

In this difficult time of recession and hardship, I think we all need to make it as easy to find ourselves as possible. And I’m no exception. Like you probably do, I get several spam emails a week telling me that I can enlarge my raise up my search engine rankings if I just hire such-and-such company. And also like you, I’ve ignored such advice, relying on the fact that my name is Brian Biggs, what I do is illustration, and clearly my website is set up so that this is quite obvious. But when a small entry at Strand Books for one of my books I’ve illustrated is the number one result in a search, I need to rethink my thinking.
Therefore, I ask you, my dear reader, to tell me your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) secrets and send me your linkages. My truck posting last week was a wonderful success (thank you thank you all who took the time to comment), so I’m hoping you come through for me here. The limited knowledge I have comes from a Google search last week in which I realized that pithy title tags and all-graphics homepages don’t help anything. I’m not yet interested in doing away with the all-graphics homepage, but I did change my title tags. I’m also working on a site realignment that will probably make WordPress the backbone of my site, which might help things somewhat.
But what I really would like is some method that when you search for me, my website is what you find.

Any thoughts?

Update 7 April: I discovered that if I Google only my name without including the “illustration” part, the front page of MrBiggs dot com is the top result. So among all Brian Biggseses, I am number one. Among Brian Biggs illustrationers, I am elsewhere. Also, I discovered today that if I Google “Brian Biggs illustration” as I did in the above post, ten hours after posting it, it is now the number one result. I have no idea how this thing works…

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I’m asking for a favor with this post. I would like to know if anyone can think of a kind of truck that begins with the letters K, Q or N. For instance, a Firetruck would be a letter F, a Moving truck is M, Elephant truck would be E. You get the idea. I need K, Q and N trucks. This can be a type of truck, like Pick-up truck. Or it can be what the truck transports, like Milk.
Just leave your idea in the comments. Much appreciated. You shall be thanked heartily.

a little fish truck

a fish truck

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

I’ve been urged by a few to get it together and start selling stuff on Little paintings, maybe some screenprints (you know a good screenprinter?) and that kind of thing. I have a thing coming up this February at the Main Line Art Center in Haverford where I have some space to sell a few paintings. So I’m going to put together a series of monsters or robots for that event.
My question is, and you don’t really have to answer it, is whether people would buy such a thing as a painting of a monster. Or a robot. Or a car or funny airplane. Or birds or octopi. You know, that what I make. Acrylic on wood or hardboard.
I’ll post it here when this gets done and you can start spending your money at me. Likely just in time for the New Year. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Long delay between posts, I know. I was away for the Thanksgiving.
Finally people see me and say, they say “he has a moustache.” The problem is the next thing that they say is likely “I need to keep him away from my kids” or “I didn’t know he was a cop.”
You can see more pictures here.
Read more about this here:

Donate on my page here…:

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

I shaved today, so the wheat is separated from the chaff. Jay and Adam probably have giant furry animals growing on their lips.

Read more about this here:

Donate on my page here…:

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The lovely and talented Adam Rex convinced me to sign up for this thing wherein I will grow a mustache over the next 30 days, and it will somehow help underfunded schools. What’s not to like?
Of course, whether or not it helps the schools is up to you, since you need to go over to this page or follow the link on the thing there on the right, and donate a little cash.
According to the rules, I had to shave clean this morning, and I shall take pictures of the progress as often as possible. It’s not fair if you don’t pledge.
Yes yes, I asked for your money a few weeks ago for the brain cancer run, and I’m doing it again. It’s that time of year.

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

me and Mom

A few weeks ago, my mom learned that she had come down with a bad case of the brain cancer. Specifically, an Astrocytoma Grade 4 Glioblastoma. She’s fighting it like Mike Tyson and I’m running 5k to support her. There’s a “Race for Hope” here in Philly on November 2 and if you’re reading this, I’d like your support.
Take a minute and go to this page and see if you can make a donation.

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

The article for Wired’s website mentioned earlier has been translated and rejiggered for some websites in other locales. Namely Brazil and Japan. The iPhone pictures on my Flickr page got an enormous amount of traffic yesterday so I checked my stats to see why. Apparently, this is the reason.
wired article in japan

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

distorted Waikiki

Well this is different. In a certain career move that has nothing at all to do with childrens books or illustration I was asked to write a small piece for’s how-to wiki. Michael Calore, the section’s editor, asked me to explain how I got my iPhone to take these twisty distorted photos that I have on my Flickr page.
And just so everyone knows, I’m also available to write articles on getting the most out of pocket calculators and electric pencil sharpeners.

Here’s the link.