the pigeon letters blog

Your Cheat Sheet For Entering The Real World As A Designer

entrepreneurship Feb 16, 2021
learn surface pattern design

When I first embarked into the world of artistry, having a checklist would have been incredibly helpful. Everyone's story and timeline will be different, and some of you will add and take away from this list, but here's a golden checklist for entering the 'real world' as a designer.

Pssst... a reminder that enrollment for the Surface Design Immersion Course is open, but will be closing soon (February 23rd).

 

The Aspiring Designer Checklist

 + The Whole Package

Start working on the 'whole package'. Beautiful work by itself just isn't enough anymore. What else do you have to offer? This is where you need to craft your brand. If you haven't already, be sure to start a website and an email list. Grab any social media accounts that you think you might use with your design name and start sharing your work. Do a little homework and make them all look cohesive. A professional look will also help build your brand.

 

+ An Email List

Nothing is more important to your business than a thriving email list. If you don't have one already, start one today and offer a worthy 'freebie' to start gathering subscribers. Growing a list is the #1 thing I wish I had started earlier! So much so that I made an entire class about it!


 

+ Your Bio

Consider having a professional photo shoot in your workspace so that you have several good bio images to use in your online spaces. People want to connect to YOU, the person behind the business! Write a short bio, and have one writing in 3rd person to use when requested.

 

+ Logo

It's important to keep a consistent brand appearance, so I suggest nailing down a logo and brand name early on in the process. This will benefit your whole package and let people know that you're serious and professional (“fake it ‘til you make it” if you have to!).

 

+ Work hours

No one will take you seriously until YOU start taking yourself seriously. Though it may seem that you're at home all day and without a 'real job', you are on a mission and you're the only one who's in charge of it. Giving yourself office hours will help others take you more seriously, as well. This may look like turning down brunch dates with friends or telling family that you'll have to call them back later.

 

+ Signature style

If someones ask, "What is your style?", can you describe it without hesitation? Nailing down your signature style and being able to communicate it easily is important in the 'real world'. Even though this one seems unique to designers, it can be for anything - flower shops, fabric stores, cake decorators. What makes you, uniquely YOU?

 

+ A portfolio or resume

For many, this is the key that opens the door into the 'real world'. Having an amazing portfolio or resume is everything. 

 

+ Your LIST

Once you have a portfolio or resume ready, it's time to make your list. You know the one - it holds every potential company, collaborator or client you would love to work with. Make a list, start filling in their contact info and start getting in touch with them.

 

+ Courage

The last thing you must have is courage. This is going to be scary, overwhelming, nerve wracking. But if you can just find a few seconds of courage to introduce yourself, dial a number or show someone your work, your life could be changed forever. Mine was!

 

And a little plug for one of my absolute FAVORITE courses in surface pattern design…

If any of this gets you excited, and you’d like someone on your side - who’s been through it all themselves - guiding you step by step, come join Bonnie Christine’s Immersion Course.  Not even kidding. I wish this was the only course I'd invested in when I was first researching surface pattern design.

Enrollment closes February 23rd for a year.  

I would love for you to come join me!

 

Note: The Immersion Course link is an affiliate link, meaning I'll get a small commission if you sign up using my link. That being said, this IS a course I've gone through and I swear by it. I'd never promote a course I didn't fully believe in!

 

In addition, should you choose to sign up through my link, I am offering access to my exclusive community and resources: The Flock Membership!