Life as a Graphic Designer – Part 2

What is the hardest thing about graphic design?

I feel that this depends on you as an individual. It could be anything from taking critiques to coming up with concepts or it could be revisions.

Taking Breaks

For me the hardest thing is taking breaks. Taking breaks for me is really hard. I get so focused and wrapped up in my work that I will look up and realize that 5-6 hours has gone by. I now notice that I’m a little stiff and hungry since I tend to skip breakfast and have been working through lunch. It seems like a common trait that we as designers don’t know when to shut down the computer and stop working. I find that once I leave my desk I am still thinking about work and my project.

Stepping Away From Difficult Projects

I also find that taking a step back from the project that is being difficult is hard for me. I know for me it I matter of stubbornness that I don’t want to quit working on that project until I get it right. However, it can be very beneficial to get up and take a walk or even just work on a different project. Once you have done that you can come back to the project with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

Revisions

Revisions are not hard for me but they can be tedious. The thing with revisions is that it could be a quick, few minute process or they could be something that takes days, weeks and even months depending on how many times your client or boss wants to change something or if they are a little bit on the indecisive side. I think revisions are something that can be really draining for just about any designer.

Can you really work at home or do you feel more productive working for a company in their offices?

This is a question that I get asked most often. For me, the answer is yes. I can completely work from home; in fact I enjoy working from home and wish I could do it for the company that I work in-house for. The question is can you work from home? Will you be motivated enough to get the work done that you need to get done if you’re at home. If you are a very social and active person, than staying at home will be more difficult for you. If everything in your life needs to be a social event – you will most likely hate working from home. Another reason why you might not like it working from home is if you don’t have the ability to keep others away from you while you’re working.

Tips:

  • Designate a work-space: I think it’s so important to have a work desk or table just a space for you to work in that are quiet and closed off and you can tune out the world. You don’t need a whole office, it can be in your room it could be anywhere in the house it just needs to be a space that is yours for when you’re working.
  • Get dressed in something other than pjs: I feel that it’s easy to lose motivation when you’re still in the same close you were and when you were sleeping. If you get up and get dressed (it can be something comfortable) you’re more likely to sit down and get your work done plus if you need to run out and meet a client you’re already ready to go.
  • Don’t feel like you have to stay at home: Set up a lunch or coffee meetings for potential clients, it gives you the ability to get out of the house.

Do you prefer working with a company over freelance?

I don’t really have an answer for this question. I love the thought of working for a company or a studio or even an agency. I like the stability of it the guaranteed work. Plus I actually do like the ability to meet new people. You get to learn from them and they learn from you, its just a big collaboration. That being said freelancing definitely has its advantages. These advantages range from being able to pick and choose the projects you want to work on, being able to set the price, and being able to take as much work as you want to take. You have no set schedule – just how many projects that you choose to take on and how long they will take you to complete.

Personally, I like the idea of working full-time for either a company or studio and working freelance on the side part-time. Which is the beauty of freelance, you can take it on as much as you want – when you want.

Tips on when it is a good time for an internship:

You can take an internship at any time. I feel like if you are in your junior to senior year of college that is a great time to start.

You can also take on an internship if you are part time or have flexible hours. Just keep in mind that you will need some kind of income to pay any bills you may have.

The point of an internship is to get experiences and to get your foot in the door to that place you’re interning at or in that industry.

Thank you for reading.

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