Greg Grigoriou is an example of the flexibility of owning one’s own graphic design studio – this year he packed up his family and moved across the country. In the midst of juggling his own business, Van Paul, a family and a major relocation, Greg took some time to dole out advice to future designers, discuss outsourcing and explain why a fly swatter is essential in his office.
Last week we published the post Keys to Getting Your First Web Design Clients. As I was writing that post a while ago I was thinking back to my own experiences and wondering how the experiences of other designers compared. I decided to reach out to a number of designers and ask their input about how they landed their first clients.
For those of you who are just getting started, I hope this will serve as some encouragement as you will see that a successful design career can start from very humble beginnings. In total there are responses from 18 designers to the question:
How did you find your first client?
Danny Outlaw – Outlaw Design Blog Being the cereal entrepreneur that I am, I was probably my own first client. Rather then building dummy sites to add to my portfolio when I first got started, I built websites for my own little online projects. As far as real first customers go, I got mine from browsing Craigslist. At the time, I didn’t really know where else to look for entry level design projects. It isn’t the ideal place to find design work from, but it is one of the places where many of the people looking for designers are on a tight budget. This translates to mean that they are usually much more willing to try out new talent.
I recently had the opportunity to interview multi-media designer Dan Noe. Many DesignM.ag readers have probably seen Dan’s portfolio site for Noe Design Studio showcased at various design galleries or blogs. Dan works at Screenscape Studios in Des Moines, Iowa. I hope you’ll find Dan’s insight and experience to be helpful in your own work.
Ryan Putnam is an amazingly talented designer and illustrator. Many of you are probably familiar with his popular Illustrator tutorials at Vectortuts and his own blog, Vectips. Ryan also provides services to clients through Rype Arts, and I recently had the opportunity to ask him some questions about design and business.
Over the past few years there has been a drastic increase in the number of premium or commercial themes available to WordPress users, and more theme sellers have continued to enter the market. Some are well-known individuals or companies who have developed a reputation in the WordPress community, and others have just recently started selling themes.
I recently reached out to several people who sell and/or design WordPress themes either through their own companies or through ThemeForest. I asked the same questions to each participant and their responses have been collected in this group interview. For anyone who has considered selling themes or templates, I think you will find a wealth of information from this experienced panel. If you’ve ever bought a WordPress theme or have wondered what it’s like to run a business selling themes, I think you’ll find some helpful info here as well.