Holiday Graphics: From Talent to Business


This time we have Jess from Princessica of Books talk about how she turned her talents into a business that she can benefit from! These are some great advice, not only for the graphics-maker but anybody else who has a hobby and wants to expand their field. Seriously, if you are doing something that you like and are good at it, why not go beyond the limits and see what you can do for other people?



Hi everyone! It’s Jess from Princessica of Books. You might know me on Twitter as @PrincessicaOB. You might’ve also seen me on the hashtag #booksfortrade. Over there I advocate books I have for trade and something else… Custom bookmarks!

Here is how I get paid for my talent.

*Note: This is not a permanent step by step guide. I am also not a professional. This guide does not guarantee promising results but it is a good step!*

1) Find your talent!

Personally, I’m pretty good with graphic design. Because I’m good at it, my designs would be more desirable than someone who isn’t familiar with Photoshop. Even though this guide is primarily for graphic designers, or aspiring ones, you can also apply this same technique to other talents like baking, blog themes, and other crafty stuff.

2) Make some designs!

Before you even advertise, you MUST have something to advertise. I would say 3-5 works are a good foundation for a portfolio. I draw my inspiration from several things: books, quotes, art, and even other bookmarks! I must add, though, make sure you turn your inspiration bookmark into YOUR OWN. Draw inspiration from, but do not copy.

3) Advertise!

If you want to turn your talent into a business, this is a very crucial step. Since I primarily use Twitter, that is where I advertise the most and, like I said before, on the hashtag #booksfortrade. However, I think that Instagram would also be an amazing outlet; especially if you have friends who wouldn’t mind featuring your crafts in their photos. Just shout into the void every now and then. However, try not to come off as desperate! Simple reminders here and there, maybe a couple times a month, will let people know that you are open for business.

4) Set up your system!

So you got the job and they are wondering how much you charge and what not. Make sure you have this information ready! Ask yourself: How many bookmarks is how much? What kind of payment do I want? Are there any obstacles that you need to admit?

For example, here is my system:

Hi! I do 6 bookmarks in return for one book [that is my choice of payment but feel free to go with PayPal or something]. I have some past work that you can look out or if you have your own ideas, feel free to share those too. Send in art, quotes, saying, etc,. and I’ll see what I can turn it into. I do have to admit that I am in school so my designing process might be slower. However, I will get to your bookmarks at the earliest convenience. I always send drafts before printing out and sending the finished copy. Let me know if this system works for you and I’ll get started designing!

5) Get to designing!

Simple enough. Of course you’ll already have some premade ones so make sure you pitch those. However, I get the most orders when I tell them I customize. Do note: WATCH OUT FOR COPYRIGHT. Many people on the Internet put out copyrighted material, meaning you must ask their permission before using. Because this is kind of risky for images, I suggest just taking your own.

6) Send drafts, revise, get paid!

Congratulations you just did your first job! Do steps 3-6 for more orders and check out the tips below!

Some other tips:

1. Watermark! Despite how great the blogging community is, there WILL be people who will steal your design without paying for it. I personally have not encountered it because I have always watermarked.

2. They are also amazing for giveaways!

3. Respect their choices! If they decide they don’t need your service anymore, don’t lash out at them. Just say, “Okay, I understand. Thanks anyways for the consideration.” If they want changes after you send over a draft, change it!

4. With that being said, BE COURTEOUS AND PROFESSIONAL. This is an absolutely crucial step to this process. Quality and good service is key! Personally, no matter how good of a designer the person is, if you give me crap service then I will not ask you to design for me. Also, proofread your messages before sending them out and such. What you do and say reflects your work.

5. My last tip: know when to say no. If a client is seriously bugging you or being disrespectful, tell them. Stand up for yourself! Be polite and serious, along the lines off, “I’m sorry but I don’t think I am interested in designing for you anymore. To be frank, your attitude towards my work and me is not okay. I do not want to spend the time and effort designing something for someone who won’t appreciate it. Goodbye.” You CAN give them another chance if you’d like, but personally, I wouldn’t.

Good luck and go forth! Be safe, too :).

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at princessiccaaaa[at]gmail[dot]com, or DM me on Instagram or Twitter!


About the Blogger:

vPGpH0ojJess is your local blogger, bibliophile, feminist, and a future cat-lady. She enjoys supporting her local library and absolutely adores indie bookstores. When she is not reading or doing any other bookish sorts, she is probably listening to Troye Sivan, tweeting (@PrincessicaOB), or doing schoolwork [yes, although she hates it, she is quite responsible]. Feel free to chat with her on Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram or email her at princessiccaaaa[at]gmail[dot]com. Yes, two c’s and four a’s. She only likes showing half her face or silhouettes. She is not sorry about making you wonder about the rest of her face.


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