How to be a Graphic Designer

Graphic design is a fun way to put your love of art and illustration into a business setting. After all, you are far more likely to be hired to create custom designs by a company hoping to improve its branding than you are to be featured in a national gallery. Though perhaps not ideal for those of you whose aspiration is to be a fine artist, graphic design does open up a lot of possibilities – especially if your medium is on programs like Adobe Photoshop.

To make a career out of your art, you need to put your talents towards business branding and marketing, but first, you will need to follow these steps.

Master Your Craft

The first step to becoming a professional in any industry is to work on mastering your craft. As a graphic designer, this means knowing how to use the tools of the trade first and foremost. You need to know how to create files in Photoshop, in Illustrator, and even in some cases in 3D modeling programs like Blender. By being able to create a variety of different file types, you will make yourself invaluable to employers and clients alike.

Build Up an Online Following

Visual arts and social media have a very powerful, symbiotic relationship that you can use to your advantage. Create work on the side for your followers to get your name out there and to open up your options. In the future, you might be able to compile a book together of your work that actually sells, as well as partner with fashion brands to have your art feature on their garments. The two main areas you will want to focus on include:

Social Media

Social media is incredibly useful when it comes to building up a community that cares. Some great sites to work on include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest,  YouTube, and DeviantArt.

On Your Website

Try to direct your followers from social media to your site as often as possible. This is where you will be able to sell your work directly, where potential clients can hire you for custom work, and of course where you can monitor visitor stats. You will want to offer something for visitors to return often, so consider keeping a blog.

Get Hired by an Agency

While you are building up your online reputation, you can job hunt search to work within an agency. By having your website up and running, you can easily put your URL into your CV and have a digital portfolio for your potential employers to peruse.

Become a Freelancer

As a freelancer, you can work for agencies on a case by case basis, or for clients. The power is entirely in your hands. The only thing you need to remember is to stay productive. If you find you cannot do this at home, then look into renting out a coworking space on, where you can enjoy a professional atmosphere that will keep you productive and can be used to bring in clients for face-to-face meetings.

There are so many possibilities to become a graphic designer, so long as you know how to sell your talents and stay on track to your goals.

Steve Conway is a content marketing professional and inbound marketing expert. Previously, Steve worked as a marketing manager for a tech software start-up. He is passionate about discovering new software that will that will advance his already well-honed digital marketing techniques.