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Freelance Graphic Designer

Raegan E. Morgan

Tell us about your work---what do you do? I work out of a home office , designing print pieces such as newsletters , brochures , logos , magazines , etc. What skills are needed? Working knowledge of desktop publishing software , knowledge of offset printing and prepress procedures , good editing and writing skills ; good time management---you must be able to meet deadlines . What was your major? Mass Communications (emphasis in print media) with minors in art and marketing . How did you get started in your career? After graduation, I started with a small advertising agency , then moved into corporate marketing . I started freelancing after a corporate layoff. What experience do you need in this job? Aside from the above listed skills, you should have experience working with all kinds of people. Your client is the "boss" and it's hard sometimes to meet their demands. You should have good organizational skills, since you'll be working on multiple projects at the same time. If your clients are corporate, it helps to have some background in a corporate setting. Describe your "typical" workday: It varies---some days I work full time; others I work half time or not at all. It depends on the workload. It's very flexible. Since I work at home, I can work at 6 a.m. or midnight, my choice. What is the hardest aspect of your job? Going to the "office" when I don't want to! It takes discipline to make yourself go to work when there's no "boss" looking over your shoulder! Conversely, it can feel like you never leave the office if you can't stick to a definite "quitting time." You must be a self-starter. Also, some clients can be rather difficult to work with---good people skills are a must! What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? The flexibility . I have two small children, and I am able to tailor my schedule and workload around family. What are your suggestions for someone considering this field? Just because you have a computer and the right software doesn't mean you can do this job. To be good at it, you must have the artistic talent, plus the working knowledge of printing and prepress processes. Good writing and editing skills are essential. You must be willing to start small and be prepared for fluctuation in the workload. It's usually feast or famine. It's hard to keep up with the ever-changing hardware and software requirements.