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My Graphic Designer Career
I did not begin my graphic designer career in the usual way. I actually sort of stumbled in to it, if you want to know the truth. I was trained as a code monkey, you see. Although I have been an artist since I was very young, I always considered it more of a hobby than an occupation. That is why I ended up getting into computer science instead of graphic design school. I figured that I could use the coding to pay the bills and do the artistic stuff to unwind in my spare time.
One of my very first jobs, however, had some graphic design work involved in it. I later found out that a lot of graphic designer careers start that way, but at the time I did not realize it. As soon as I started to do the design work, however, I fell in love with it. I have always liked to program, but I quickly realized that a graphic designer career was my true calling. Nowadays, if you want a graphic designer career it is important to go to school for it.
Back then, however, I was lucky enough to just sort of stumble into it. One graphic design job sort of led to another, and soon enough I was doing about 85% design and only 15% coding. That seemed like the right proportion to me, so I stuck with it. There are other ways to start a graphic designer career, of course. One of the most popular ones is to simply put your design work on the web. A lot of people do some demos to show their skills, put them up on a homepage, and try to network as much as possible. A lot of clients – particularly smaller businesses without the money to go through the big design firms – will hire freelance graphic designers even if they have not been tried yet. It is not that hard to get your first break. In the mean time, of course, you need to do something else to make money. Once the calls start to come in, however, you can quit your day job and go full time.
There are a lot of professional graphic designers out there, but there is also a lot of work. Stick with it and I guarantee that, sooner or later, you will make it work. It worked for me, and it will work for you too.