I live by lists and I love having a detailed plan of attack for the big goals in my life.
When I graduated from college (way back in 2013), I did so without knowing what I wanted to do with my art degree professionally. When I discovered pattern design, it was like a light bulb flicked on above my head, and I knew that that is what I wanted to do. The problem was, I still had no idea where to even start. I think having a checklist would have been incredibly helpful for me. Everyone's story and timeline will be different, and some of you will add and take away from this list, but here's my checklist (learned from Bonnie Christine!) for entering the 'real world' as a designer.
Psst. Just a reminder that enrollment for the Surface Design Immersion Course is open, but will be closing soon (February 26th).
+ 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!
+ Your Bio: Consider having a professional photo shoot in your work space 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 written 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 ‘till you make it” if you have to!).
+ Work hours: No one will take you seriously until YOU start taking yourselfseriously. 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 a killer 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.
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.
Enrollment closes February 26th for a year.
I would love for you to come join me!