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Experienced Designers Reveal Advice They Would Give To Their Younger Selves

By Yoon Sann Wong, 04 Dec 2017



Navigating the creative industry isn’t a walk in the park. From managing difficult clients to negotiating rates, these are all part and parcel of a designer’s daily grind.

Reddit user Chrisbscotland recently initiated a discussion on ‘r/graphic_design’ where he posed the question:

“If you could go back in time and tell yourself [something] as a young graphic designer[,] what would you say?”

The thread sparked a wave of responses but the top voted comment, by user LanceThunder, is one that can be applied beyond graphic design and to creatives in other fields, including illustrators and photographers.

“EVERYONE pays if they want your work/time. No exceptions. Only charities get discounts. EVERYONE pays a 50% up front deposit before any work starts. No one values free art.”

“If you are struggling to find work, using all that free time wisely by staying busy. Make yourself a really nice looking website or make your current site better. If you don’t know how to make websites, learn.”

“Still can’t find work? All charities are in desperate need of design work, though they might not realize it. Seek them out and negotiate a deal. They don’t have to pay you in $$$ but make sure you get something extra out of the deal. No one values free art.”

“If a potential client mentions the term ‘exposure’ or says ‘discounts now could lead to more work in the future,’ they are not potential clients. They are a potential waste of your time. Don’t bother with them. No one values free art.”

Check out more noteworthy responses that surfaced on the thread below, or read all the comments in their entirety here.

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[via Reddit, main image via Shutterstock]
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