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My worst day as a graphic designer will always be better than my best day as a bank employee.

Freelance Graphic Designer

Olivier Adam

You had a very different career before Shillington. Tell us about making the change from a steady banking career to the life of a designer.

I have been passionate about graphic design and visual arts since high school, but I never thought I could make a career out of that passion. Probably because ten or fifteen years ago in France there wasn’t enough information regarding the access to graphic design school and courses. I majored in Economics, and one thing leading to another I started working in banking. I worked in the bank industry in San Francisco, Paris, and New York for six years. As a matter of fact my last job in NYC was something that anyone who is looking to grow in that industry could wish for: steady salary and growing opportunities, paid vacation, insurance, bonuses and more.

But all these perks couldn’t fill the emptiness that I felt from not knowing why I was getting up in the morning, and not accomplishing something at the end of the day. I decided to become a graphic designer. I quit my job and went to Shillington.

Now I work as a freelance graphic designer with all the “risks” that it entails, and never been happier. My worst day as a graphic designer will always be better than my best day as a bank employee.

Why did you choose Shillington?

I was switching to a new career and an entirely new industry so I could not afford to take a two or three year degree. I needed an intense course that taught me the necessary skills to aspire for a graphic designer position upon graduating. After some research, an Info Session, reading amazing reviews, and looking at former students work online, I found Shillington in New York.

Now you work as a freelance designer. What’s your typical day like?

When I freelance in-house for companies or agencies my day is pretty much dictated by the needs of the team. When I work on my own schedule, not every day is typical, which is why I love graphic design.

I work on two types of projects: of course I do work for clients, and I work on personal projects which are a way to add material to my portfolio, prospect new clients, and gain experience on new aspects of graphic design. The day usually starts with emails, organizing my day, then designing, whether it is for a client or a personal project. I usually produce in the morning, for some reason that’s when I feel inclined to create; but if I have an urgent request I can produce day and night. I take the afternoon to look at my marketing (website, social media, etc.), evaluating some of my work and how I could improve it, prospecting, finding inspirations, learning new skills or improving my set of skills. I try to keep the day as diverse as possible, otherwise I start procrastinating which can be very counter-productive.

Visit Olivier’s website and read his full interview on the blog.

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