Essential Tips for Success from Designers We Trust

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From Designers Who Know Best.

It’s a big, bad world out there.  We asked some of our favorite designers, what is your #1 tip for success?

Based in Portland, Oregon, Dan Stiles creates art that is a visual combination of music and design. Best known for his Poster art, his work has garnered numerous awards.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Dan Stiles creates art that is a visual combination of music and design. Best known for his Poster art, his work has garnered numerous awards.

Dan Stiles: “Hustle. Always be hustling new work, new angles, new products. If you’re working for yourself there’s no other way to stay alive. And if you’re working for someone else there’s no other way to get ahead, so you can quit and hustle for yourself. And keep some money in the bank, for when the hustling isn’t working.”

NoPattern is the art & design studio of Chuck Anderson.

NoPattern is the art & design studio of Chuck Anderson.

Chuck Anderson: “I’d say my #1 tip for success is to always do what you feel most passionate about. That should always be the driving force behind everything you do in order to have long term success on top of the short term joy that doing what you love brings. It’s easy to get off track and do things for the money or get caught up in projects you’re not super thrilled about. That’s fine every now and then, but ultimately you should be pursuing the things that you most lose yourself in.”

James Flames is an illustrator and printmaker. His artwork has been featured in galleries from London to L.A., Chicago to NYC, on beer labels and album covers and all sorts of things. And he creates rock posters for some of the top touring bands out on the road today — posters which he screen prints by hand in his studio tucked away in the woods.  Come see him at WMC Fest this year.

James Flames is an illustrator and printmaker. Come see him at WMC Fest this year.

James Flames: “Sleep. The busier my days get, and the more crammed my schedule becomes, I realize that there’s one of two ways to get it all done: let my work day bite into my sleep time slowly until I become a zombie and never sleep again, or make my work day more efficient so that I can always get the same amount of sleep. Lately I’ve been choosing the latter, and it’s working wonders.”

“What I’ve found is that when my brain and body have a consistent amount of sleep each day, the efficiency almost takes care of itself. My clarity on my day and the tasks at hand are immeasurably better, and my instincts become more true. All because I’ve recharged my batteries – instead of draining them to the last drop each and every night like I used to. And the thing is that sleeping a few extra hours doesn’t mean I’m working any less, per se. I can get more work done in 10-12 hours now then I used to at 16-18, and the work is way better too – because I’m not halfway dead during my time working.Yes, easier said than done – old habits are hard to break (especially for all of us night owls) but I can almost guarantee it’ll make folks’ design work better.”

Mary Kate McDevitt is an illustrator and lettering artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, NY. See her at WMC Fest this year.

Mary Kate McDevitt: “My #1 piece of advice to designers, specifically those just starting out, is something we were all told growing up and that is to be yourself. Have honesty in your work. When you are finding what you are passionate about don’t let others, or Pinterest determine what or how your work should look. You will drive yourself crazy trying to be as good as someone else, but you will be crazy awesome if you approach your work from an honest place. ”

Brian Jasinski is the artist behind Grey Cardigan, a line of prints and cards.

Brian Jasinski: “My number 1 tip for success would be: Go out of your way to make the client happy, be it driving a proof over personally in a last minute crunch. Asking them about their weekend. Being open and honest. Simply being real. It allows you to have an open conversation with them that garners trust and makes working together easy and natural and positive.”

Julia Kuo is an illustrator working out of Chicago and Taipei.

Julia Kuo: “My #1 tip for success is to work hard!  For freelancers and those with flexible schedules, keep your hours professional (for instance, starting your 8 hour workday at 9am everyday) and maintain productivity when you’ve got a lighter workload. The product of your hard work will be transparent through the quality and amount of work you do.”

Blanca Gómez is an illustrator living and working in Madrid, Spain.

Blanca Gómez is an illustrator living and working in Madrid, Spain.

Blanca Gómez:  “My tip for success is to have your own particular voice; what I mean by this is not necessarily a unique style, but a strong personality behind your body of work that can help you to become noticed. Also, work hard, being patient while waiting for the outcomes, and have a good online presence.”

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Have a tip for success? Share it with us in the comments section below!

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About the Author, Go Media

Go Media is a creative agency based in Cleveland, OH that specializes in print design, branding, and web development. We are also behind WMC Fest, GoMediaZine, the Arsenal, Mockup Everything and others.

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