August 27, 2013 in Designer's Studio
I am also the web developer, the photographer, the the graphic designer, and even the gal who makes the tea. One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed since my decision to become a self-published, professional designer is how many more jobs I have. It takes so much more work to make a pattern that I think is worth asking money for, because I feel like I need to earn it.
A typical day looks like this: I get up an do yoga and have a shower, then make tea while my computer is booting up. I check my email first thing. Then I spend about an hour perusing half a dozen social media outlets to see what my current- and someday-fans are up to. After that, I pop open my favorite To Do list app (Out of Milk) and make my list for the day. I tend to keep lots of lists because it’s the only way I can manage all of my many jobs and not feel like I’m going to forget something important. At the beginning of the day I go through my lists and I pick the items that I think I either have time for or are the most priority for the day and then move them into my “Today’s To Dos” list. Today my list looks like this:
- Check on pattern testers for my Poofy Sheep pattern test
- Write a blog post for the Designer’s Studio column
- Try to come up with a cheap/permanent setup for my photography equipment
- Create a banner for my PayPal site
- Spend an hour or so cleaning up tags on blog posts.
- Work on my next design with whatever time is left in the day.
This is sort of the short version, but it’s also a good representation of what every day looks like for me as an independent designer. I tell myself that some of these tasks will get better but a lot of the work of designing is on going. I feel very pleased right now that I have both a pattern in testing and a pattern in design. I’m hoping by next week to have a pattern in testing, a pattern in design, and another beginning its first round of marketing. There will always be blog posts to write, emails and social media to check, and photos to take. There is never a lack of work, only a lack of time and energy.
I am strangely okay with this. When you only have one job it can get dull. To some degree I have to follow my priorities, but if I’m not feeling the creative juices that day I can do something more mundane like work on search engine optimization or analyzing sales data. There are some aspects of this work that I find more interesting than I would have guessed, like marketing. It’s been so interesting to learn consumer psychology. All I know is that right now, I’m happier and having more fun working than I ever have before.
So, fellow designers, what do you like about being a designer?