DesignerMim Home » Blog of a Freelance Creative » Life of a Designer » A Month in the Life of a Surface Designer

How is it April Already? Where did March go?

How fast is 2022 going? I wanted to log what I’ve been up to recently as time is just flying by! I want to be able to look back and see how my business grows over time. Do you keep records like this? I used to keep a written journal many moons ago. Wherever I looked back on it I would cringe, but also smile at how I’d changed. So I want to write about this life as a surface designer. Let’s see where this takes us!

Working for Myself

By the time I get to Friday I am exhausted! But it’s a different kind of tired nowadays to now that I work for myself. Now it’s a ‘I’m exhausted and sometimes overwhelmed but oh-so happy this is what I’m doing’ kinda tired!

I have never been on such a steep learning curve as I have since I started my business a year ago. From learning a new design programme, to web design, to so much more. The learning has not stopped. It’s been an exhilarating ride so far! I took the bull by the horns and dived right in!

Of course there have been times when I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing! But then, I have to reach out and ask for help. I don’t find this easy as I’m not the most outgoing person! However, if I want to keep my business alive and healthy, I have to get over myself!

Website Maintenance

This is something that needs to get done weekly. I scan for malware, bugs, and spammy comments. This is automated but I like to run additional checks too. I check all plugins are up to date and functioning properly. I keep an eye on announcements from WordPress and my plugins.

This month I added a new page. It’s for my shop. Yes, it’s not perfect but it’s live and directing people to where they need to go. Being a visual designer means I can get stuck on the way things look instead of focussing on whether they serve their core function. And sometimes, that is good enough for a start. You can always revisit something at later date! (Kinda like this blog too!).

Getting More Social

I usually like to work uninterrupted. I have trouble focussing if I get notifications while I’m concentrating on a different task. However, I am also acutely aware how important social media is as a visual designer. I know there has been talk about the importance of Instagram declining. This is not wholly a bad thing! However, in my line of work it’s a pretty useful way to get people to see what I’m up to.

This past month I’ve made more effort with social media. I’ve been connecting with more people on a person-to-person level which feels much more organic to have conversation. Just pressing the like button does not do anyone very much good.

If you’d like to connect with me you can find all my links here. I’d genuinely love to hear from you!

Building DesignerMim’s Redbubble Shop

Growing my collection of prints on my RB shop has taken up the vast majority of my time this month. But I now have 12 unique and original designs that I created being sold in my shop. They’re available on t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, cards and wall art! To name a few.

Due to how my designs will appear so differently on the various products, many of them need to be custom-edited. I do one overall illustration or pattern, and then need to tweak it specifically for each product. It’s time consuming as I want the best quality product.

I have fun with this process! Its awesome seeing my designs on physical product as opposed to just on my screen. However, until I start doing different colourways of the same print I will continue have to keep labouring over placement! But as I said, I love this part of my day!

These socks with the eye design is my most recent pattern I’ve put up this week. It’s called Good Luck Greek Eyes Pattern. It’s inspired by a long-ago trip to Greece! I have never seen so many evil eye symbols as I did there. Inspired by the warm colours of Greek sunsets. It’s available on a whopping 90 different products! Whoop! Have a look here.

Bright and colourful Greek Eyes surface design by DesignerMim on socks made of recycled polyester
DesignerMim’s Greek Eyes Pattern shown on the socks

Being Brave

Being brave can look very different to different people. For me asking for help doesn’t come easily. For some reason I can ask for help from strangers without hesitation — thank goodness for the anonymity of online forums! But when it comes to me asking for help from people I know for some reason I find it tricky. I get embarrassed and feel self conscious. Does that happen to you too?

But we all need help sometimes. And we need to be able to rely on those around us. So I reached out in my personal capacity to ask for help.

DesignerMim is registered on Google as a verified business. One of the steps of getting your name out there is helping build a good reputation. So I asked previous colleagues and friends who know my work to either send me criticism or feedback, or if they were willing to give me an honest review on Google. And you know what, after I asked for help several people stepped up to help my business.

Feel free to Google my business! You’ll see a curated collection of what’s for sale and get a good idea of the what my designs look like on a variety of products.

Screenshot of DesignerMim's Google My Business reviews this month
DesignerMim’s Google Reviews as of 1 April 2022

DesignerMim is a Work in Progress

I can feel like such an awkward penguin sometimes! I’m not a natural marketer or seller. But this is what I have to do now that I have my own business. So I am working on myself! So please bear with me as I ask you: have you seen my shopping platforms? You can find them listed here. I’m current selling a few metal posters as well as a wide range clothing, accessories, and wall art. I’ve been adding more designs to both platforms this month, and I must say that I do now have new favourites to a few weeks ago! Isn’t that always the way?

Thanks for Popping In

DesignerMim is here to make your day a bit more colourful, quirky, and playful! That’s pretty much why I design the patterns and illustrations that I do. I want to see more energy and hopefulness in the world. And designing my patterns and illustrations the way I do is my small way of spreading joy.

Bye for now,

Miriam.

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