There are so many paths you can take to find yourself with a beautiful career as a freelance print designer. The most important place to start is by answering some very important questions about what it is you want from your career.
Do you want to work from home and make your own schedule or do you thrive in a team setting?
Do you want to manage multiple clients, or have a steady job within a company?
Do you know what industry, market and brands you want to design for?
What are your financial and emotional needs?
Once some of these questions have been answered you can begin to reverse engineer a path that will gain you the experience and skills necessary to move toward your freelance print design career.
If you are looking to gain experience with layouts, repeats, indexing…an in-house job as a graphic artist or design assistant would be a good fit. If you are a seasoned designer who wants to paint and draw all day long and not worry about sales and business, getting an in house design job with a studio would be a good fit. If you are looking to find your style, learn new techniques, test out different mediums and play with design briefs, working with a print studio or two on consignment is a great option!
Always be practicing your craft, trying new things, staying on top of market trends and understanding what market you prefer to work in. Market alignment is the most important thing to figure out before you begin your job search or building out your client list. You will not be happy at wrapping paper company for years if your ultimate goal is women’s apparel. And similarly, if you do not like coming up with new prints all the time and would rather develop a set of branded prints you use again and again, Licensing might be the way to go. Even if you change your mind along the way, just begin somewhere that feels right for you in the moment.
Interested in learning more about working with a print studio on consignment? Purchase my workshop, Consignment Design 101, here!