At Shillington we see a lot of students join us with aspirations of embarking on a freelance career after graduating. That’s exactly what full-time London graduate Adam Morgan did. Since graduating in December 2015 he’s successfully launched his own freelance business, building up a client base and expanding his skill set and awareness of the industry.
We were intrigued to see how Adam approached the Freelance route and hear more about his design journey following graduation. Read on to hear Adam’s advice for those hoping to develop a freelance career as well as a look at some of Adam’s work both from his student days and as a freelance designer.
What initially attracted you to study at Shillington, did you have any previous experience before enrolling?
I was at a place in my life where I wanted a change and I wanted it fast! I had heard good things about Shillington through a family friend so I decided to do a little research and attended the open day. The intensive full time course and high quality of the work made up my mind, so I signed up the next day. I had previously worked in the welfare sector and had virtually no design experience, however I did study conceptual art at university.
What was your experience of the Shillington course, do you think it set you up for pursuing a career as a Freelancer?
I loved every minute at Shillington. The course was perfectly paced, easy to pick up but very intensive towards the end.
There is a focus on teaching the raw design skills in a manner that simulates real work, the whole process was very encompassing.
I also developed a deep passion for design and I wanted to learn more and be involved in the community. The teachers all do a fantastic job of encouraging this and it’s the main reason I when into freelancing.
What do you feel was your most successful project in your studio portfolio?
It’s an interesting question because now after working I have a different perspective then when I was learning. Now I think the most successful piece was one that nearly didn’t make my portfolio; my charity/cause poster for ADHD awareness. But my personal favourite is still my Herman Miller annual report—for some reason I still get excited about a bit of juicy type setting!
Can you tell us a bit about your journey into Freelance, was there any particular networking or personal projects you did to gain a client base?
Networking was key—I let everyone know that I was a designer and I was hungry for work. Luckily I came across someone who need an entire branding job/website/the works! I think getting a project like this was a confidence boost, but it was intimidating, I wanted everything to be perfect but by being strict with my time management I managed to deliver a project that I was really proud of.
I found that once I got going word of mouth can be your best friend.
Is there any advice you would impart to students or graduates who wasn’t to become a Freelancer?
I think the best thing you can do is treat it like a professional business, make a detailed plan for networking, promotion and all the stuff that is not directly design. On top of that I never stopped working on my personal brand and making sure that I can present myself to new clients in the best possible way. As long as you remind yourself that you are designing for your clients and their demographic then word of mouth should do a lot of the work for you.
What have been some of the projects you’ve worked on since becoming a Freelancer? Are there any exciting upcoming projects you can share with us?
So far the work I have done has been very varied and I am always learning something new. I have designed websites for musicians, worked on health and fitness and elite travel brands, printed flyers, digital publications even created MS word documents. Probably my most interesting project was working with the University of Utah to create a wall mural form my illustration work. In the near future I hope to have a branding and identity project for a language school.
Finally, what would you say to someone thinking of enrolling at Shillington but unsure whether it will lead to a career in graphic design?
I would say that Shillington will definitely give you what you need to get started in a career in graphic design.
Having done the University thing I can confidently say that it’s the best education I have ever received.
Whether or not you end up in a graphic design career can only be down to you, the course will give you everything but you need to give yourself to graphic design.
Huge thanks to Adam for taking the time to talk with us. You can keep up to speed with Adam’s design journey by following him on Twitter and don’t forget to check out his website to see his full portfolio.
If you’re keen to find out more about changing careers or up skilling you can learn more about graphic design at one of our Shillington Info Sessions. Learn more –> www.shillingtoneducation.com