Are you looking to make a successful living as a graphic designer? Are you frustrated with clients or coworkers rejecting your design concepts? Are your projects not profitable? Do you need more efficient workflows but don’t have time to figure it all out? Design Domination is here to provide answers to those questions—and more.
I’m going to give you a little background on myself and why I decided to start this podcast. I want to help aspiring designers, whether you’re working on your own or for a company, boost your confidence by enhancing your skills and challenging yourselves creatively so you can get more respect and command higher fees. I want to help solo designers who work on their own get out of a rut and stop working in a vacuum. I want to help you recharge your skills so that you can work more efficiently and profitably—because who doesn’t need more money and more time?
I’ll be sharing my own experiences of what I’ve done really well and what was really crappy. This is based on my 20 years of experience in logo design and branding, print and publication design, and website design and development, plus 15 years of making a successful living working for myself—which means my commute is from my bedroom to my office, and I spend half of my day in pajamas. I’ve also won some awards for my design work, and I’ve developed a reputation for having an eagle eye for details.
I’ve also had some really rewarding client experiences, but I’ve also had some that have made me pull out my hair. So I want to help guide you through some of those situations that you may find yourself in. So here’s how I got to where I am today.
I’ve always been artistic and I discovered I was also a bit techy when our family got our first computer when I was 10, and I learned DOS—if any of you even know what that is anymore. So it was natural for me to study graphic design in college. After I graduated, I went to work for a nonprofit for two years and then I left. But when I left they didn’t replace me, and I had been the only designer. So I did freelance work for them while working a full-time job for a publishing company, and I worked in the evenings and on the weekends for myself. I got a lot of referrals, so it helped me build up my client base.
I maintained a full-time job and worked freelance for myself on evenings and weekends for seven years. I was busier doing my freelance work than I was at my job, and I was making more money in my freelancing than I was at my full-time job. So I decided at that time to go out on my own full-time.
I was also utterly exhausted from maintaining a full-time job and then coming home and working. But what I really was ending up doing was coming home and sleeping, and then having to stay up so late sometimes to get my freelance work done that I’d have to call in sick or take vacation days with my full-time job just to get sleep. My only regret was that I didn’t go out on my own full-time sooner, but I wasn’t confident enough, and I just was like waiting for a sign, I guess, to tell me when I should break that tie.
I finally did it and then never looked back. But I’ve learned an awful lot along the way, and I really want to share that with other designers who are looking to do the same. But whether you’re an aspiring designer looking to enhance your skills, and you’re working for a company and eventually thinking about going out on your own, or if you’re already a designer who’s working on their own, you know you can get bogged down with work. You forget to sharpen your technical skills or challenge yourself creatively, and you get buried in deadlines and that becomes the priority: just to get the deadlines done, get the work off your plate. And then you might be frustrated because you know you could be doing something better but you’re not sure how, and you don’t have time to look it up and try to find out.
I also know what it’s like to be a self-employed designer who has nobody else to bounce ideas or pricing off of to get some kind of feedback to see if that’s even reasonable, if it’s too high, if it’s too low. So whether you want to work for yourself, or if you want to work for a company, I think that you’ll find my information and my experiences helpful to you, and I hope that you’ll tune in to future podcasts.