This afternoon we feature the work of freelance web and graphic designer Matt Pealing. Based in Liverpool, Matt specialises in designing and building custom WordPress themes as well as logo design.
I work mostly for UK based design agencies who outsource projects to me as well as the occasional direct clients that tend to crop up through referrals. I then work remotely from the desk I have at Basecamp3, the shared ‘creative hub’ that I love to work in, surrounded by other freelancers and small creative outfits.
“Although I work in both design and frontend development, I am much more passionate about the design side of my job. My favourite part of any job is the design stage, which includes sketching out ideas before taking them into Photoshop or Illustrator. Waiting for the client’s feedback is always one of the most exciting parts too! I still take frontend development very seriously, however, and try to keep up to date with current trends such as responsive / mobile design, new WordPress plugins etc. Designing responsive layouts for mobile is particularly exciting as it’s still fairly new to the industry and a lot of people haven’t taken it on board yet, I currently have 3 responsive web design projects in my portfolio and am keen to get a lot more in there!”
“Aside from currently working on several jobs for various design agencies and direct clients, I am also working on a series free WordPress themes that creatives will be able to use to showcase their portfolios (in whatever field it may be). I rarely get the kind of design work that is based around the arts, which is the kind of design that I am truly passionate about. For this reason I have decided I will design a series of free WordPress themes and post them in my blog to showcase my skills in designing for the arts and creative industries, so keep tabs on my blog people! www.mattpealing.co.uk/my-voice. Hopefully this will attract some more ‘dream clients’, but even if it doesn’t, personal projects are a great way to maintain enthusiasm in what you do.”
“My passion for design was sparked off during my BTEC in Art & Design at West Cheshire College, after studying a web design module in my previous course. I then went on to study Internet Technology at university to progress my qualifications however most of my design / development skills were self-taught outside of it (long story! Feel free to ask why).
My advice for design graduates would be to get an internship with a well established design agency before anything else. Even if you’re not getting paid (or getting paid very little), it will certainly be worth it for the industry experience. Money isn’t everything, gaining experience up front with a reputable design agency will ensure that you have the skills and portfolio to look for a paid (hopefully well paid!) job later on in your career, one that you are passionate about. Or who knows, the agency themselves may offer you a job!”