Learning and growing
One of the things that is very important in graphic design as it exists now, if that you have to constantly be learning more. Not learning more about design, though it is good to know the latest trends, but to know what software and fixes are out there these days. What is the newest thing? What things do I need to know?
It’s all very well and good to say that there are websites that can keep you up to date on these things, but there are many websites, and I would have to cherry pick what I needed to learn from these. I have tried to keep up that way, but I have found that the way for me to learn is by doing it.
As one colleague used to say, the best way to learn a program is to do a real project in it. That is the way I usually learn.
But it is also good to have friends who are also doing the same thing you are, so you can learning from them. I have it both ways. I am the friend that keeps up on the graphic software, so that colleagues who don’t can ask me questions about, for example, InDesign. Then I have friends that know more than I know about the web, and what the latest thing I should know about is. It is amazing when I come across a problem and a colleague will say, well, I have had the same problem, and this is how to solve it.
It really helps if you have a group that you can post these questions to. I used to belong to once such group, but it has vanished in the ether. I keep saying that I will form another one, and perhaps I will, but in the meantime I work with other freelances to learn as I work.