Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. 1) Client: Rachel Dupard "Child of the King"
Mission / Project: Album Cover Design, Web Consulting for Momager, Business Card and Stats Card Design
Rachel recorded her first CD demo with the Grammy Award winning producer, Madukwu Chinwahwho has worked with Eryka Badu, Kirk Franklin, N'Dambi, Snoop Dogg, Raven Symone, Sy Smith and many, many others. Rachel has a couple of broadway productions under her belt, performing the last four years with The Black Academy of Arts and Letters under the guidance of Mr. Curtis King. She was the guest vocalist at the 2009 ESSENCE Music Festival in New Orleans, opening for the Youth Empowerment Session where she warmed over the audience with her soulful rendition of the National Anthem and then one of her own songs.
Rachel recently played a small role in the 2011movie, Seeking Justice staring Nicolas Cage.
2.) Client: Alexander Inventions
Mission / Project: Website Design, Business Card Design, Flyer Design for Trade shows
Alexander Inventions markets Smart Glass products for the automotive industry.
3.) Client: ComputeU Software and Solutions
Mission / Project: Web Site Design, Logo Design, Business Card Design, Flyer Designs, Stationary
Compute U offers computer softwares, repair service, and upgrades on PC and Mac operating systems.
4.) Client: Down South BBQ and Hot Wings
Mission / Project: Website Design and Hosting Setup, Web Menu Book, Photo Editing, Business Card Design
Down South BBQ and Hot wings offers BBQ Ribs, Rib Tips, Chicken, Beef Shoulder, Pork Shoulder, and Hot Wings; located in Memphis Tennessee.
5.) Client: Pretty Girl Hair Designs by Margaret Fowler
Mission / Project: Photography, Website Design, Business Card Design, Digital Hair Style Booklet
Pretty Girl Hair Designs is owned by Margaret Fowler, know as the American Idol winner a fews back and the lady in pink from BET's Sunday Best. Margaret creates unique-creative hair styles for girls and woman of all ages.
6.) Client: Furballs of America
Mission / Project: Logo Design, Flyer Design
Furballs of America have been caring for puppies for over 20yrs; offering petsitting services and selling small breed puppies as well as help place rescue dogs in safe homes.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Before you hire a graphic artist for your project, make sure that he/she can actually perform the task that you have in mind. Some graphic artist are new to the industry and will accept almost any project and keep their fingers crossed hoping they don't mess up and take too long, prolonging your project and affecting your budget. Make sure you look through their portfolio and notice if there are posters, designs, or layouts somewhat similar to what you have in mind. . .in other words, make sure they CAN actually do the job!
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Get familiar with Stock Photo agencies such as Istock and Getty Images. These stock photo agencies can be very helpful for your website advertisement projects and poster/flyer design projects. They offer high quality photos and vector images. Some stock photo agencies offer FREE images every week for their members. Istock and Getty Images are two giants in the stock photo industry; signing up is FREE.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. 1. Are you a verified PayPal user, if not how do you handle payments securely online?
2. Do I need to make an appointment? If so, when?
3. Do you offer a RUSH design service?
4. Do you have a policy?
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Are your photos or images copyrighted? Do you own them? Make sure that you have the right to edit and manipulate your photos or images, if a professional photographer have taken your pictures, ask them to provide a photo release form for you to give to your graphic designer.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Freelancing has given me the opportunity to meet many people in different places; in person and on the web far far faaaar away. I am very fortunate to have worked with such incredible minds and other figures of talent. I feel honored to post my work here in my own artistic way and know that it is truly a blessing to be able to showcase my portfolio the way I dreamed it to be years ago. I wonder about the next project, who will be next . . . maybe you?!
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
What is required from me and how long does it take to finish my poster?
First, I will need to know:
1.) Output Size of the poster(s)
2.) Quantity or Amount of prints that you need.
3.) Deadline or Day you need them by.
If you have a special title, quotes, or text to be included then I send them in Microsoft word or note pad. . .or you can always email it to me, attached with your photos or images.
I accept projects on a first come / first served basis, so I recommend that 'rush' projects be handled in advance - a few weeks before your deadline. I will give you a time frame of how long it will take me to finish your 1st proof. Once I complete the layout, I will allow one more day of changes; if necessary. If there are some changes to be made then I will give you a 2nd proofing day. If there are no more changes to be made, then I will go ahead and finalize your poster design and send the required prints or files at the location you choose. More editing beyond our agreed time will require an additional fee.
Most poster designs are completed in 3-5 days.
More complex projects take longer, depending on what the customer needs and how much editing is required.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I Don't Compromise On Quality!
The special ingredients that goes into creating beautiful portraits, montages and eye-catching designs is passion, personal time, attention to detail and self-energy. The amount of time and energy I put into an assignment will vary depending on the complexity of the project. I don't compromise on quality; my work is a reflection of me, so I give my best every time I get into action. I have worked on projects ranging from 10 hours up to 50 hours.
Seeing the excitement on one's face and reading the wonderful comments from others about my work is a reward it self.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. I would have to say that my organizational skills and level of concentration are my greatest strengths. Before I work on a project, I make a check list of all the things that is to be included in my clients design as well as the things 'not' to be included - such as certain colors, styles of banners, text / characters and other elements such as vector images and stock photos. I also create special charts and invoice forms to use, which I use to write down important things about a project, then I make a digital copy of it and back them up for a certain length of time just incase the client come back later on down the road and need me to make modifications. I jot down things such color codes, descriptions of fonts used, links / sources of stock photos used and hours of editing involved on a specific image just to be brief. I think its important (for me) to do this. People put a huge amount stress on their brain when working; trying to take in so much information and remember everything instead of writing them down then move forward to something new. We should learn to put our mind at ease. Learn to take notes. . .good notes! Work smart, not hard. If I happen to become sick or very ill and consider another artist / photographer for my projects, then I won't have to worry about explaining blah blah blah. . .it would be much easier for him / her to use my notes, charts and forms to understand whats needed, whats been done and other important things about the project. I want the project to go smoooothly as possible, so I continue to work on my organizational skills and inprove the way I take notes and prepare for a graphic design project or photography assignment.
In order for me to stay focus and not get so easily distracted from my ringing cell phone while designing, I forward all of my messages to my email, this way I can see in my browsers tab 'miss call' and 'voice message'. Yep, you guessed it. . .I use google voice! I can listen to my messages online. . .right in my inbox; which is saved as a mp3 file and I receive text messages as well. Its hard to concentrate on a project and talk at the same time. I have to stay focused and work until I finish; I chat during breaks. So now you know if I don't pick up right away, its not because I am being antisocial or dogging your call(s), its only because I am sooooo focus and dedicated to my work : - )
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. I am always trying to improve the quality of my print products and find an easier way of handling things without having to go over budget. I also want to change up my print pages; offering recycled-made products which is great for the earth. We use up soooo much paper when it comes to advertising and portraiture projects, but I don't want to be one of those people crippling the environment and sickening the earth. I should have been using recycled paper products long ago, but hay. . .now is better than never, right!? I have been designing and printing for almost ten years and to this day I have never printed using recycled paper - shame on me! This is what I am currently working on improving.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
Can you edit my professional photos with a copyright mark?
As long as your photos are not copyrighted; owned by someone else, then I will be glad to edit them. I require that everyone sign a photo release form before any work is started. All graphic designers require this (if not, then they should).
Copyrights protect the photographer of the original image/photo, this is how they make a living and provide food and shelter for their families. If you have copyrighted photos, just get in touch with the photographer that took them and ask if its ok for you to have them edited for your special project, usually they won't mind at all and will be more than happy to. If not, then you can always use stock photos for your poster project.
I can pick out some great images to use for your project. I have used several stock photos and images on several of my 'Before & After' videos. I can incorporate background / foreground images, animals, people, and other objects into your poster. The sky is the limit! - -heck, I can include a new 'sky' in your photo too! Some stock photo agencies offer images for as low $1.