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 Post subject: Trying to become a graphic designer
 Post Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 1:01 am 
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I'm hoping to change careers. I come from a newspaper background, so I'm familiar with Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, which should ease the transition some. I'm a pretty good sketch artist.

I just decided on this wild right turn, so I haven't nailed down a lot of specifics. I know I'd like to set up my own business and maybe work from home. I'm not sure if I need to go back to school or not. I also don't know if it's better to become a graphic artist over a graphic designer. Any advice, especially from professionals, would be appreciated. Go Hawks.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to become a graphic designer
 Post Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 3:24 am 
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First off, speaking as a freelance illustrator, I wouldn't be so quick to pigeon-hole yourself before you've even started. Your new profession can cover a multitude of areas. Art, graphic design, illustration... whatever the next project is, it'll help if you can turn your hand to it. You'll get more follow-on work that way.

I'd suggest sorting yourself a website with examples of your work, some business cards and as much presence on social networking sights as possible (but DON'T start spamming people - that'll guarantee you'll get ignored. Worse still, remembered for it).

Oh, and you'll need a whole hill of patience. It may take time for you to pick up enough work that your diary is seemingly full. Hopefully it won't but the slack time between projects can be demoralising. Patience is key at those times.

Best of luck! It's a fantastic line of work. My only regret is that I didn't make the jump sooner.


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to become a graphic designer
 Post Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 9:09 am 
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There's a lot you can do in the digital graphic age. I can't draw, but I always loved creating. I did web design for years and now I'm in web product design. It's not drawing beautiful masterpieces but I do get to create awesome user interfaces and experiences.

Whatever you think you want to do, start doing it. I got my first job by redesigning a major website and posting it on my portfolio. Eventually someone in that company found it and hired me.

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 Post subject: Re: Trying to become a graphic designer
 Post Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 9:18 am 
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Uncle Fester is right. I would put together a broad portfolio of your work to show off to potential clients. Most businesses these day like to use free lance contract work.

In the past I never had enough work to employ someone even part time. However I did hire a fair number of contractors for tasks such as website work to designing icons


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 Post subject: Re: Trying to become a graphic designer
 Post Posted: Mon May 20, 2013 8:04 pm 
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I don't have a graphic designer's/artist's portfolio yet. Like I said, I'm just at that first stage where I'm trying to figure out what to do to become one. What path did you take early on toward getting your first clients? Did they bother asking if you had a degree? What sort of portfolio were you able to build before getting your first gig? Just mock-ups or what? Thanks again for any input.


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