Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer
Advertising is big business, and no matter your line of work, you’ll more than likely need a logo, flyer, infographic, or other promotional material. For any business to be successful, it must be visible and visually appealing, and that’s where graphic designers come in.
Many graphic designers, and especially freelancers, spend the majority of their work day behind a computer. A friend of mine is a full-time graphic designer and he always had at least three tabs open on his laptop: Adobe Photoshop, Google Search, and YouTube. Photoshop is the premiere software for making graphics, so much so that other software that offers similar functionality is often called by its name. Google is where my friend would go to find a number of pictures and other visuals, download fonts, get inspiration, and connect with clients. YouTube was what kept him sane and motivated enough to pump out graphic after graphic in no-time. When he put those headphones on, you knew not to bother this man who had turned into a graphic-making machine.
One of the biggest benefits to working as a freelance graphic designer is the freedom to work from anywhere at any time. My friend would come up to me at work and grab the cubicle in the back where he’d set up his portable workspace. If it wasn’t for the (disruptively) loud music sometimes heard coming out of his headphones when I walked by, I’d altogether forget he was there! . The work of a freelance graphic designer is not as contingent upon an office or institution as other fields, so they set the workload, pace, prices, and just about everything else. As long as they create quality and timely material, the graphic designer has virtually full control over how they work.
A huge amount of time and effort has to be put into marketing yourself if you do choose the freelance route for graphic design. No one is going to request your services if they don’t know you exist. Tweets, posts, and graphics have to be posted frequently, repeatedly, and religiously. It doesn’t hurt to post the same thing more than once, either. Many designers have a number of graphics on their web pages just to show off their work and grab the interest of potential customers. They also go out and connect with a number of people and companies to have a network they can reliably find jobs in. Connect, connect, and connect! Even if they don’t find work immediately from connecting with someone, they will likely find a link to someone else who needs them.
The average annual salary for a graphic designer is 40k, but nothing’s average about having the freedom and flexibility to increase your workload any time to make more profit. Really, the only limitations to how much you can earn as a freelance graphic designer are your willingness and your creativity. Even if you work as a graphic designer for a business, you most likely won’t be making chump change, even at entry level.
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