New Year’s Design Resolutions

Looking at the year ahead, officially the first year of the new decade, I am taking an earnest inventory of my professional goals and the steps that lead to the completion of those goals. Making more money is on everyone’s list, but what method is going to be most effective? Most creatively satisfying?

When I went to college, the clear division between the fine arts majors (me) and the graphic design folks was the final product of our portfolios. The graphic design portfolio was a resume, proof that you had the skills necessary to obtain a job or earn someone’s trust to invest in a future project. The fine art portfolio turned out as a “product” that could be purchased or presented at a show.

The professional world for creatives is very similar. You can either provide a product or a service. Being a graphic designer for hire, a role that I have explored to some degree of success over the last year, is a service that I have provided based upon the client’s specifications. What I am considering is more along the lines of my entrepreneurial fine arts instruction, which is to create products within a body of work that can be sold on their own. I create the project and the final piece, available for mass consumption through the many online sale channels like Zazzle, Cafepress and Etsy.

  • Designing T-shirts has always been an interest of mine, and I have made a few printed designs in my time already.
  • Of course I would love to continue working with my current clients and seeking some interesting design opportunities.
  • Comic books are cool, but take a heck of a long time to write and illustrate.
  • Writing a novel has always been a dream, but also takes way too much time to complete.
  • Painting is out of the question – too small of a space, too many hazardous chemicals used around the baby.
  • Continue writing on this blog is a must, even if no one is reading.
  • Illustration or pencil / charcoal drawings are certainly possible. I am capable of a photo-realistic drawing style, which can translate into commissions.
  • Anything and everything else?

Of course, that’s the doing side of things. I am always a student of my trade and would love to learn more. Some items that I would love to research in the next year:

  • Establishing a business entity for being a freelance artist.
  • Legal issues surrounding copyright and contracts.
  • Gather some inspirational design / art books.
  • T-shirt printing – design and execution

So, as I’m putting together my list of resolutions, or goals that I aim to accomplish this year and I encourage everyone else to do the same. Happy New Year’s and God Bless!