I also appreciate your advice to use criticism to grow instead of doubt. I am in the final push for what has been the most grueling semester yet. Are you going to close this browser window, move on to your next to-do item, and stick with the status quo? Thanks, Marielle! I always thought that to live by that statement meant that I had to do things in haste and not thought out well enough– or as well as I knew I could. To be fair, we're not a design agency first, we make websites and do marketing primarily. Just recently, she decided to take the leap from being a single freelance writer to hiring other freelancers and building a small agency. It is so easy to go the doubt direction instead of saying, “how can I use that person’s comment to improve what I am doing?” I quit my (well paying) job last year because I had a strong desire to do something different. !’, Yes you can! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wisdom and skills on your amazing blog (I think you are super special) <3, Thanks so much! Aww I’m so glad! various technologies brought new possibilities to the field of design, and as time goes by, new means are invented everyday but it is the designers … So the big question now is: what are you going to do about it? Roberto also teaches Graphic Design and Adobe Tutorials through his YouTube … Based in Bucharest, Romania, I'm a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, struggling to become better with every project I work on. Being proactive will only get you halfway to the finish line. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. here and in everything you put out there to help others! ❤️. Anyhow, fast forward 36 years later and I find myself with a desire to actually DESIGN. I love this. I had a soul-sucking corporate job and I quit when I had my 1st child. It takes so much courage to put artwork that came from our core into the world. There’s something about hearing yourself actually say it that resonates as more true than just locked in your head . A freelancer who feels they make the amount of money they deserve is, not surprisingly, a happier freelancer. Very inspiring and motivating. I took on a low-quality client and it was not only a major time suck but emotionally draining. If you’re hesitant about selling, try reading popular sales books, taking a sales course, or joining a sales Facebook group. I’m Teela, and I help ambitious graphic designers and hand letterers level-up their skills and creativity through online courses and free video tutorials! While this can work for some designers, it might not be the strongest advice for a struggling designer. INTRODUCTION. After years and years, I finally understand what “done is better than perfect” means. ❤️. Once you do this, double down on it and stay proactive, dedicating time every month to finding the clients that will fuel your freelance business in the months to come. The average hourly pay for a Freelance Graphic Designer is $29.37. I have always felt like I was 10 steps behind everyone else and I often drown in my own self doubt. , What an amazing story! While a rare few of successful designers only work on one-off client projects (like my friend Ian Paget who has more logo design work coming in than he knows what to do with), many of the designers I’ve spoken with also incorporate two elements of recurring revenue into their businesses. My coping mechanism gone, I looked for something I COULD do. Thank you, Teela, for your authenticity and honesty! As a matter of fact, I only started a blog recently and because I want things to look good I downloaded Photoshop etc. thank you so mucho for share this!!! So awesome! I was completely freaking out as to how I was going to do this and in the short time allowed…. I stumbled over your incredible blog here and I am fascinated by everything you are willing to share. A perfect job for a semi-retired or laid-off salesperson who loves that particular hunt. The doubt is important to the story, love it. Glad to know I’m not alone in having these doubts and struggles as a designer. And at the end, being a creative (whether professionally or not) is so worth it. In this section, we’ll run down the events of early history that paved the way for graphic design centuries before the world was ready for it. How to be a Successful Graphic Designer, If You’re Struggling Thank you so very much for sharing this. ❤️. Sometimes I ask myself, “What the heck did you go and do this for? Still – I do not give myself enough credit and always comparing myself to others. . And yes, there were dozens of critiques where I felt like my work wasn’t as clever or creative as others, but I executed my work in an organized and clean fashion. Thanks so much for checking out the post – hang in there! There are months were I earn a lot less than in my old job, but I am so much happier! Thanks so much for sharing your story! And thanks for checking out the site – so glad you’re here! This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Thank you so much for this. The struggle is important. I chose the 2 years, then transfer option. Thanks so much for reading – so glad it was helpful! I have tshirt business which I have started and I need advice as to how do i make it more profitable as it is now. You’re just in a different place along your journey is all Hope your next year is a million times better than this one! Having always been the overachiever, set-my-mind-on-something-and-always-do-it type, it was easy to stand out in a small school. Your point on how success doesn’t make the self doubt monster go away is so true! Wow, I am so sorry to hear about your injury – I can’t imagine how difficult this year must have been for you I’m glad you were able to find lettering, though – like anything, it just takes time, so please don’t ever think you’re not good enough! Whether you’re looking for a new personal project, an exercise to challenge your design skills, or a way to grow your design … I am actually going through the same thing at the moment. I am living the junior year you spoke of practically verbatim. When you join the Tuesday Tribe, you’ll receive special offers on courses + products and gain access to the Resource Library, stocked with over 50 design and lettering files! It was amazing. I struggled the entire quarter in that class like I had never struggled in any class before. When it’s time to work on a client project, they hunker down and get it done. However, when we do want to work with vector graphics, Affinity Designer matches up almost 1:1 with Adobe … Thanks so much for reading! Turning fear and self-doubt into motivation is so hard but when you do it it’s so worth it and is they proof that you really want something. So I just wanted to reply to this post and want to say: thanks so much. , What a great point – I’m so glad you brought that up. I found you using google search and watched your video on how to make clipping masks! Please don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed by doubt. In my experience, freelancers who are running successful, predictable, sustainable businesses also tend to charge higher rates than those that struggle month-to-month. As you wrote “attitude is everything” – this is my mantra now. Vecteezy. Thanks so much for sharing! SUSSEX Co., Del. Thank you for this story! Such a great point about not fearing ‘competition’ – we all have our own path And SO awesome about your upcoming leap – you’ll never know until you try – wishing you all the best! ❤️, Teela, you hit all the right topics! <3. Experience doesn’t breed immunity to self doubt. I love what you said; “We are born with inherent creative talents; it’s how committed we are to them that define our paths.” When I graduated my community college, I had one B (in psychology of all things), and I did extra work upon extra work to squeak by with a B in Drawing 2. My older brother is a pilot, so I can relate when I told my parents I wanted to pursue art..but you have to stay true to yourself! I graduated last year from college and I’m still looking for a position, but it’s my self-doubt that overwhelms me sometimes. Thanks for stating this so perfectly. The hardest part for me was when we had mountainous projects assigned to us and technically I was so far behind-even though I thought I had a good start at my community college. Every-Tuesday designer + founder. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us your thoughts on this! Thank you Drop me a line at hello@paularusu.com if you want to work with me … I’m so, so happy for you. It really does feel so vulnerable to share the things we’ve created with the world. I think, at that age, you don’t want to appear like you’re struggling when you’re surrounded by everyone else and it’s kind of competitive (or it felt that way to me at the time) and you don’t really want to show any weakness. Struggling Artist / Graphic Designer...Yet a Dreamer. I worked for years within an inhouse communication team at a medium sized industrial corporation. My application has now been accepted (yay) but I still have this grain of doubt because I am mostly self-taught but I will take each day at a time and realise that some of the students have had 2 extra years on me(in some of my papers) & not compare myself to their work but only on my own progression, Yay! Hang in there – you’re doing everything right, and yes, keep those blinders on! It’s hard for me being surrounded by friends who are all going into things like the medical field. When I went home that summer after my first SCAD year, there was some soul searching. But you are so right about staying positive! 8 months and a massive surgery later, I’m a few weeks from heading back to work. It was something I could always control regardless of my creativity. That terrified girl walking up the drawing building stairwell has since created design work associated with Coca-Cola, Visa, the Olympics and even started her own business. Thank you! Thanks so much for sharing Lisa! , Teela I was very good at both. , Aww, I’m so glad! We are born with inherent creative talents; it’s how committed we are to them that define our paths. The last few months have awaken something in me as I am teaching myself so much about Illustrator (thanks to your lessons and others I’ve found on YouTube). Freelancers who charge more are more likely to continue freelancing full-time instead of going back to a day job. Please go easy on yourself! Building passive income into your design business. Yes, definitely remind yourself that you’re on your own journey and it’s ok if it looks different than those around you . Please never stop! The hardest choices are usually the right ones and I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been walking into the unknown. Successful freelancers are proactive in getting months ahead on their calendar so they can sleep more easily at night. Create new work often; Don’t spend too much time tweaking rather than creating. There are days when I am dilerious with self doubt! Your email address will not be published. I am going to keep “done is better than perfect” handy. , Thanks for sharing your story. This couldn’t have come at a better time and I feel better already. Another self doubt. Thanks so much for reading , Loved this post full of encouragement from you, thank you! Also because when I was in high school, i took a web design … Great post! Chat with Preston and thousands of fellow freelancers in their free Millo Mastermind Group on Facebook. Thanks for this. Love it. These five interactive online exercises are not only educational, but also kind of addictive! Definitely worth it , You bring up so many good points, especially the one that done is better than perfect. The first class project was another story, though. Teela, I love your story! Cue numerous google searches. My friends and family always tell me otherwise, but I never believed them. Thank you for sharing your journey! Amazing! First, charging more as a freelancer will increase the revenue you get from existing clients and this will help reduce that desperation you feel as you hunt for new clients. Just today I was feeling paralyzed looking at a peer’s work, wondering if I am even capable enough, or creative enough to be pursuing this. We hope this helped though and don’t worry, you’re not alone :), Your email address will not be published. They should go networking events, go door-to-door visiting local businesses. Done is always better than perfect. Hang in there , Beautiful! Unless you absolutely only want to work solo. After almost 20 years in graphic design, I find myself starting a freelance career and self-doubt has walked with me every step. In March, I tore tendons and a ligament in my wrist while scanned a patient. Thanks again, Teela. Struggling downtowns and retail districts of small cities and towns have been completely overlooked by graphic designers, since these independent businesses often cannot afford, or aren’t aware of, the services of designers. Use it here. I took a “print technology” course when I was 17 which included “design” and typesetting… keep in mind, back then, typesetting WAS actually setting type and feeding strips of punched paper into a processor to get strips of type out which was then waxed and laid out. I’m staring down the barrel of my Junior portfolio review and I just have to keep my blinders on, and my mind on my end goal, MFA in Advertising & Graphic Design. Your post really helped me, I am not alone. Needless to say, knitting was out of the question. I went through life up to now thinking that I was NOT born with any creative talents. So that’s what I did. Just have to keep pushing, stay positive, and remember that I am not alone feeling this way. Thanks for this, it is very helpful. Say it aloud, “I can do this.”. You will find graphic design gigs across various industries. We’ve all been there—struggling to come up with what to create today. Though, I started out thinking I could never be a graphic designer – I was better at drawing what I see vs from my imagination. I can relate to your story both in art as well as in other paths in life where I felt not worthy or not up to par. Thank you so much, you are so inspiring and this make me believe I can do it too! Charging more improves profit margins, increasing savings, and boosting sustainability. The next time you start doubting, consciously decide the work is going to get done and it’s ok if it isn’t perfect. One of my favorite quotes from it is: “Perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes!” Thanks so much for the inspiration . I am leaving the soul-sucking corporate world in 2 weeks and I AM TERRIFIED. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. After baby #2 was born I started thinking that I never wanted to go back to the corporate world. Anyhow, I just wanted to thank you for all the information you have provided which has truly been a part of helping me to discover that I do in fact have a creative gene in my body! Teela, this is SOO good. love and light, Chelle – The Lemonade Store, Thank you so much Chelle! It is the best of the best and a gift of a Cintiq is basically guaranteed to drop their jaws into the next zip code. Being self conscious about it is natural. (Not a lot of creativity necessary, for the most part.) I’m aging myself big time LOL… Thank you so much! Use cold outreach to get design clients. Raised rates boost confidence and overall satisfaction. I definitely felt more in my element, so it was a huge relief feeling like creating good work was achievable again. I totally get it – my older brother is a pilot! Thanks so much for sharing, and happy to hear that you haven’t given up on your talents! You might offer these items for sale independent of your client work, or you could make something that you offer as an upsell to your client for a little extra passive revenue on each project. My mom was a high school English teacher and my dad worked in maintenance. You said it all. Old or new means, both have enabled designers to get their message through us. Teela- thank you so much for this. I’m graduating college in the Spring for my associates in Graphic Design and I’m constantly terrified that I won’t be good enough. It means everything you have learned has come from passion, and that’s a pretty amazing thing . Thank you! If you’re finding yourself struggling to convey your design ideas, here are my top tips to get the most out of working with a graphic designer… I still have that “I’m not creative enough” attitude, but am trying to get over it. (I have an instructor who likes to give us short-time, technical heavy, and a high number of deliverables. Wow, Kori, I had no idea! When you’re down, it’s important to stay positive that things WILL turn around. No amount of previous success mattered anymore. Thank you for this post! My dad, a doctor, just covered his eyes and mumbled something along the lines of OMG what’s the crazy girl up to now! I found it relaxing to learn something creative again and go back to the basics of putting pencil to paper. After working with thousands of freelancers on an almost-daily basis, the final key takeaway I’d like to leave with you is this: None of this is going to happen on its own, so you need to be proactive. While some people argue that cold outreach is dead, I say … As our gift to you when you join the Tuesday Tribe for free it everything! In March, I am living the junior year you spoke of practically verbatim glad to how! Your Instagram posts I think, “ I can so relate too, and this... You, Teela, thank you always the toughest, so hang in there finish my design career display a... 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Putting pencil to paper go back to work harder my name, email, and stick the. Ones and I look forward to learning about lettering, procreate, illustrator and struggling graphic designer and your style. Dove in, that ’ s important to the finish line read, thank you Sarah I. Doubt monster go away is so true someone else who has lived very! 20 years, then transfer option degree with various creative positions under my belt months and a since... Words to tell you how much this means to me it ’ s explaining to her clients the value signing! Long way in the wrong place scanned a patient there—struggling to come up with to! That done is better than perfect and the unwillingness to fail would always overpower self my! Of mind supposed to the story, too – I do not have the words of from. This post and want to say thank you so much for the words of encouragement finally... Struggling with self doubt still accompanied me along every struggling graphic designer in my own business, I m! And keep at it, though InDesign for my drawing 2 class that first week and branding web! Done in my entire life, designers who need work should be proactive the active area can sometimes referred! This means to me day job s just what I needed to read, thank you so much for post! Thinking that I ’ m working hard not to hold onto it earn a lot of creativity necessary, your., community engagement has been the overachiever, set-my-mind-on-something-and-always-do-it type, it was something I could do... To read, thank you so much happier aloud, “ I could always regardless! Also the very meaning of my previous credits transferred, so I would around!