One of the biggest hurdles that any creative, professional, or not, will inevitably encounter at some point in their lives (and, in all likelihood, plenty of times over) is the hurdle of translating that complex, labyrinthine and, at times, creatively nonsensical stream of ideas, visions, concepts and artistic aspirations into something that others can comprehend.
For the creative individual, making sense of that jumble of ideas amounts to a life’s work – one that drives them forward through their career, and continuously onto better and brighter things. Therefore, when thinking about how to create your own website and taking into account all of the variables needed for this, your primary task should be to decide how to design your website in a way that distinguishes you from others in your niche.
Still, in practical terms, translating that unique language into solid evidence of your value (and raw power) as a designer is one of those necessary evils of finding success in this incredibly fast-paced and competitive industry. The reward is, of course, incredibly worth your while, but achieving visibility – and, most importantly, creating a streamlined, cohesive ‘face’ for your work that puts potential clients or employers in no doubt about your artistic prowess – is rarely a walk in the park.
For that reason, we have put together a list of some of the best resources for designers to utilise, in order to create a strong face for your work on the world wide web.
Read more below.
A UX Portfolio
The internet represents the most versatile platform any of us can utilise, wield and make our own, and one of the strongest examples of this is in a designer’s ability to create their own UX portfolio. By opting to build your own, unique space online – and, of course, make it available for potential clients or employers to see – you have complete control over the face of your personal brand and, by extension, your career.
Detailing every aspect of your users’ experiences – and, more specifically, how you as a designer are able to forge new pathways in the realm of navigation, color, letterform, and every other step in the UX design process – with a dedicated online portfolio is one of the most effective things you can do to convey who you are, what you are all about, and, most importantly, whose sites you can transform.
If a digital UX portfolio represents a close range view of your accolades, skills, and voice as a designer, consider social media to be broader snapshot. While you can’t – and needn’t – got into the same level of detail as you would within your own, professional site, you can utilise digital marketing for your business – namely, the emphasis it places on content creation, the ways in which it lends itself to unique use of mixed media, and, of course, the fact that it remains free for you to use.
Optimizing your Instagram account is an obvious choice; its emphasis on mixed-media is ideal for anyone working in the arts. Even more recent content sharing platforms, like TikTok, represent as-of-yet untapped resources for your unique position in this industry. Beyond static imagery and animation, TikTok enables your followers to get a birds’ eye view (literally) of your creative processes, and the ways in which you turn ideation into remarkable and effectual results for your clients. For this reason alone, there are already a number of successful graphic designers on TikTok.
In essence, social media continues to represent an open book – particularly those who thrive in environments that prize passion, creativity, and originality.
A Freelancing Platform
Gig economy is steadily growing in popularity – and, as a result, experiencing something of a resurgence after many years’ of traditional employment ruling the soundwaves.
One of the biggest advantages to pursuing freelancing ‘gigs’ is, of course, the ability for you to diversify your portfolio, and spread your powers of creativity and ingenuity across a much broader playing field. Not only will you be able to network, grow your client base and stake your claim over jobs and clients that will bolster your design portfolio and bring it to the next level – but you will also be able to pursue more personal development, and gain more experience working to meet what can, at times, be some pretty exacting requirements and demands from clients.
There are certainly more benefits to pursuing gig economy, even as a side hustle, when you work in a creative industry that’s always aiming to be on top of the curve and in tune with current trends – and a few pitfalls to watch out for – but, when it comes to bolstering your personal and professional portfolio, it’s difficult to beat.
Working as a designer is, undoubtedly, a vocation. To be successful, you need to have strong measures of drive, motivation, perseverance, originality and creativity, ingenuity and, of course, that indefinable spark that makes artists great. For anyone without these traits, it can all too easily prove overwhelming – but, if you’re willing to continue plugging away at your skills and, as we mentioned above, your visibility, the potential payoff is certainly worth the years of hard work and perseverance.
Keep working to ensure that you are utilizing the internet, and continually honing your own corner of the web, in order to reach your prospects better – and show them what you’re made of.