You’re a freelance graphic designer. I know it, and you know it, but are we the only two? Do people often ask you exactly what a graphic designer does?
Do you get a snicker on the phone when people call and ask what you’re doing, and you reply, “I’m working”? Do people ask you in so many words, when you’re going to find a “real” job? I feel your pain… As many of you have read, I’ve been building my business from the ground up since 2005. I’ve had some high highs and low lows, but overall, my business has grown by leaps and bounds. I’ve done a total rebranding of my company, logo, my website and my promotional material to be even more professional and eye catching. And people still think that I sit at home all day gluing Popsicle sticks and dry macaroni to construction paper! Any entrepreneur will tell you that their business is their life, and I’m no exception. There are lots of people out there who clock into their corporate 9-5 jobs and look at us with disdain. But, at the end of the day, who spends the most time actually working? Heck, defending yourself simultaneously as an artist and legitimate business owner is a job in itself. It is not up to others to determine the worth of our businesses, how our time should be spent and the decisions that we should make with our lives; it is only up to us. Your decision to become a graphic designer was the correct one, and don’t let anybody convince you otherwise. Right now, during your “paying dues” period, you might get a chuckle or two about your finances, your progress and your overall growth in this industry. But the most important part is who gets the last laugh. The next time someone questions your work, realize that the less they know about what it is that you actually do, the greater the opportunity to showcase yourself as the expert that you are with a detailed explanation of why being a graphic artist is one of the most important and sought-after professions in the world. Glue that to some construction paper!