Graphic Designer – a POSITIVE look at graphic design

I’m a graphic designer. Part freelance, part contract, and part full time (I kind of do my own thing). I decided to write something about myself, because I stumbled across this site and noticed all that there was said about graphic design is negative things. So here we go:

A lot of the views on the other articles are partially correct. You will work long hours, and work for people you may not love, and occasionally produce designs that you might not be happy with. These aren’t the things you should focus on. Remember when you first discovered that art is something you’re passionate about? Stick with that.

Many people get into graphic design, and plenty fail. Graphic design is a self-driven business. If you aren’t great at making yourself do homework and things like that, you will fail in this field. Your success is up to you. A lot of people that enter this field only enter it because they couldn’t find anything else to be interested in. Don’t worry about these people, because they too will fail. To be a successful designer, you have to be willing to work long hours, and drive yourself to do great. There is no half-assing in this business.

In the beginning, you have to be willing to accept any job that comes your way, or better yet, that you seek out. One of my first design jobs was creating images and ads for a boardshop site, which I hardly got paid for, and I worked with some real jerks, but that’s not why I did it. Moderating this website, and marketing with materials I made myself not only marketed the business, but it also put my name out there. So not only did I get to create posters and flyers, internet marketing campaigns, and website devices- I got a real portfolio going, that I was happy with. I did this for a year, and already people I didn’t know would recognize me in public (sometimes) or email me with freelance jobs. In fact, the job that I hold now (which I love) came from doing that.

I left that job and started working in a book printing company doing pre-flight file setup and color printing. Sure, not the most design oriented. But I continued to work as a freelancer on the side, so I would work the night shift until 10pm, and I would go home and work on designs. Then I would wake up, get some designs done, and concepts sent out and go to my printing. I still do this, working long hours, but I do it because I enjoy it and want to be successful, instead of a victim in a cubicle. In my mind, it’s perfect — I go from technical printing to designing pieces of art. The perfect balance.

The point is, in graphic design, you can’t half-ass anything, nor be a victim, nor can you be a pessimist. If you are these things, consider something else. If you have a passion for art, stay up late sketching and painting, this may be your calling.