Graphic design is a skill that is very marketable, especially here in Kenya. Everyone, in one way or another interacts with graphics and media every day to communicate. Graphic design is essential for communication and enhances how we make decisions. Therefore, a graphic designer is someone who lays out this information and knows best how to communicate the intended message to the target audience.
My Graphic Design Journey
My life as a graphic designer started way back in 2017 when I developed an interest in graphic design and came up with Kelx Graphics. I wanted to explore, create my own designs, and bring my ideas to life. I started by following up on YouTube tutorials and learning about Adobe Creative Suite software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
My first encounter with Adobe Photoshop was exciting I can remember designing my first design, which, to me, was very good. But looking back, the design was honestly not the best. But that’s what I could do at that time, so it was my best work at that time.
I was doing it for fun at this time, and this exciting experience taught me a lot of things I never knew before. At this time, I knew I was just a beginner, so no pressure.
My skills and information were limited, and to grow, I needed to associate myself with people who do graphic design on a daily basis. I was hungry to learn.
- At this time, I was still on campus, and I used to do menial jobs just to make ends meet.
- I wanted a professional job and was ready to go for it.
Graphic Design Internship
In January 2018, as I was walking around looking for jobs in Nairobi Westlands, I saw a very big banner advertising a company that dealt with graphic design, printing, and branding. That day, I had walked miles, and luckily I got a job as a carwash attendant at Westlands.
I started working as a carwash attendant but still desired a more professional job. While I was working there, one day I had the courage to approach the owner of the design agency and ask for an internship.
Luckily for me, I got a chance, but with the condition that I would not get paid since they had no budget for paid internships. I struggled and completed the six-month internship, and the rest is history.
The knowledge and skills that I learned were crucial for me to move on to the next level. I was ready for the market.
My First Paid Project
After completing my internship in July 2018, I created my first business cards that I would use to give to people. I flopped and failed badly. People used to ask me about my company, and I never had a portfolio at that time. I applied for jobs, but I couldn’t get any. I needed to do something.
My first paid job never came easily it involved a lot of trial and error. In my head, I thought that when I completed my internship I would immediately get clients, I was wrong. I needed to learn many things including marketing myself.
I got my first paid graphic design job in November 2018 from a friend who used to be our client at the design agency. The client was running a small agency, he asked me if I could help in social media designs and I gladly accepted the job.
At the agency, would create designs for clients and get paid at the end of the month a small fee which could only sustain me at that time. I did my best and it reached a point that I wanted more.
In 2019, I decided to go back to freelancing. I would approach shops and small businesses talk to them and market my skills. I would sell them ideas on how they could advertise their businesses by getting printed banners. Also on the side hustle, I would grow my digital marketing skills while working online as a digital marketer blog.
In 2020 I would go fully into the Graphic design industry, designing logos, brochures, print material, and social media posts for clients and offering digital marketing services. This time, I decided to be a jack of all trades.
Biggest Achievements As a Graphic Designer so far
My experiences as a freelance graphic designer come with challenges but I turned these challenges into learning experiences. I will highlight my biggest achievement as a graphic designer in Kenya.
- I have designed for high-profile clients and individuals.
- I have designed all sorts of graphics ranging from small to big projects
- I have been able to express myself creatively through my designs.
- 5+ years of experience and industry success
- Handled social media campaigns for high-profile individuals & companies
- Worked with 50+ clients in the past years and counting
Graphic design is all about passion and every day is a learning experience. The skills you learn in graphic design help someone become a better person who can express themselves creatively. For me, I take graphic design as part of my life. It’s just something inside me that I enjoy doing. It’s fun getting paid for doing what you love.
You can check my work here.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I share my recent work, also see my fair pricing. Let us work together.