Being a self employed graphic designer must be great. You are your own boss. You don’t have to follow any rules or schedule. You get to use your creativity. If you’re productive in the morning, you wake up early. If you like to sleep in, you work at night. Easy.
You can stay in your pajamas all day if you want to. You can take time to appreciate your coffee in an actual non-portable cup. You can give a second go at your daily morning shit if you feel like it.
You can even dump and sip coffee at the same time, for extra laxative motivation!
No one is there to judge you.
- Party until 3am on a Monday? Fuck yes!
- Mid-afternoon beer? Why not!
- Yesterday’s indian food farts? Let them out!
- Fap and nap after lunch? Always!
Not having to deal with other people sounds nice too. You can listen to music or even watch the next episode of your favorite Netflix show while working. You know you were supposed to wait for your girlfriend to come back from work to watch it with her, but hey, It’s not your fault if she chose to do a regular office job when you can do pretty much whatever you want...
This is what most people think about our noble profession…
If only they knew.
The path you must follow to become a successful graphic designer is filled with death holes and traps that you will need to dodge all the time. You will have to adapt to a totally new and weird reality.
A world where people don’t fully recognize your work…
They think of you as some kind of free spirit/artist who gets paid to draw and have fun in front of a computer at home. This concept can be a little hard to understand for your usual nine to fiver.
This is why the 7 commandments of a graphic designer were invented. It’s a tool to help you understand how this unique world usually works.
A graphic designer:
1. Works for free, always.
All contracts you will accept. Every client you will value. With a smile on your face you will work. Budget’s low or simply unexistant you will often hear. With a "just enough to get by" bank account you will learn to live.
2. Will draw exactly what you want in 5 minutes, tops.
To good use your talent you will put. Better than yourself clients will know how long it takes to do your job. In under 2 minutes an idea you will find. In under 3 minutes a perfect illustration you will draw.
3. Enjoys working for exposure.
Your future you will master. Out there your name you will get. For the coolest companies you will work. Fame you will taste. New contacts you will add to your list. The fact that exposure won’t pay the rent you will have to face.
4. Loves working for friends and family.
Your loved ones you will cherish. No matter how busy you are, for them you will find time. Proud they will be. Among your peers you will be praised. Below poverty level you will be stuck.
5. Always submits endless design variations.
In no time you will create. To your clients a choice you will offer. Hours of work you will put in. Many options you will deliver. One option they will choose. One option they will pay for.
6. Works with your screen grabbed logo.
Every problem you will solve. The client’s demand you will honor. Out of nothing, miracles you will be expected to perform. A below par pixelated job you will sign your name on.
7. Deadline is tomorrow? No prob!
Your unpaid bills you will finally clear. Intense stress you will flirt with. A breakup you will go through. Depression you will endure. Stomach ulcer you will develop. Money you will win.
Your life you will lose.
Graphic designer print > Shop
I love a good junk food feast, but just not when I’m going skating. Two times out of three, physical efforts mixed with beige colored food give me diarrhea, but that day, I had no choice though. Already late for the session, I didn’t have time to cook lunch.
I was condemned to gastric hellfire.
Bummed I was, sure, but it all changed when I got to the A&W drive-thru, where I saw the most beautiful thing a man could ask for. Right in front of me, a guy was receiving his food from the window on a mobility scooter! Drive-thru ordering at its finest. This random encounter looked really cool to say the least. It was a glorious moment.
"I was condemned to gastric hellfire"
Weird situations involving old people on mobility scooters is what I live for, so I got out of the car to snap a picture of the guy, then ran back. I was thinking : « This guy is a real trend-setter of fast food ordering. I wish I could just talk to him… »
- "Why are you on a wheelchair? How fast can you go with this thing? Is it true you’re supposed to use a little stool to take a dump properly?".
I had so many questions to ask the mysterious man, but as soon as I got back in the car, he was out of sight.
- "He’s really fast too. I thought".
I was truly disappointed, but two minutes later, after getting my food, I saw the guy parked next to the dumpster, eating what seemed to be a Papa Burger.
Everything happens for a reason, I took the opportunity and went to talk to my new inspiration. As I got out of the car, I looked at the sky, put hands together, and told myself : « Thank you fast food Lord for putting a Double Mozza in my way today. »
"a real trend-setter of fast
The dude had no important secrets to tell me, but there was something so special about him. He didn’t know about the proper way of taking a number two or whatever, but he did know he loved cool art. So weird… I gave him a couple stickers that he instantly slapped on his cart.
Such an honor. With a strange, yet peaceful look in his eyes, he shook my hand and said goodbye.
I got diarrhea later that day…
- Brother Merle
Spent a couple of days at the Frog Tradeshow in Montréal riding an high class mobility scooter.
Photos: Dan Mathieu