Graphics designers offer the economy an immensely valuable skill which is very difficult to acquire by others. They know they're born talented, and in that, they're right. But where most graphics designers make the mistake is their approach to their work. They view their work as a 'solo' effort, and this frame of mind is the one sure way to limit your opportunities and drive down your income. Let me explain.
In the world of programming that I come from, web design projects often can't be completed without graphics design work. But all the time, web programmers commit to projects that involve extensive graphics design work, even though they know full well that they lack the full set of skills needed to complete the job. How so? They know that they can outsource the graphics design part of the project to a creative lead. In the web programming world, this is perfectly acceptable; it's the standard.
For some reason, however, this approach hasn't caught up yet to the world of graphics design. A graphics designer immediately strikes off a potential project once she finds out that the job involves some programming (or what we call 'theming' when the programming has to do with creating web templates). Do you see how limiting this approach is? You know you can provide this client with exactly what they're looking for, but, alas, the job involves programming.
Fortunately, there is more than one way to empower yourself beyond this dilemma.
One way is to team up with one of the many freelance programmers who can complement your artistic abilities. It's easier than you think. Simply post a project on one of the freelance networks, and explain that you're a graphics designer seeking to partner up with a web developer who is well-versed in skills such as PHP, HTML, Drupal, and WordPress.
I guarantee you that several people will respond to your project. Talk to them as much as possible before you test them with a small collaboration project. And be sure to work with a new programmer every time for the first few projects before you finally decide on a long-term partnership.
It's better to team up with a programmer who is roughly the same size as you in terms of the number of clients. This will ensure that their experience and time availability are compatible with yours. I also advise against partnerships with firms, because you are unlikely to get with them the same level of fast and personal collaboration that you will get with an individual.
Another approach is to begin expanding your skills beyond graphics design and consider stepping into the world of theming. The main difference between graphics design and theming is that graphics design is a hard-to-acquire talent, while theming is a skill that anyone can learn. I have not been able to learn graphics design, but most graphics designers I teach wonder why it hadn't occurred to them earlier to learn theming.
If you are a graphics designer interested in exploring this possibility to enhance your options, visit [http://www.webcmssquad.com]
This article was written by Jeff White. Jeff is the lead programmer of the Web|CMS Squad. The Squad has released a DVD geared towards graphics designers, entitled "How to Theme WordPress" on theming the popular WordPress blogging platform. The DVD is presented by Aleks Monahan, published by Stallion Press Group, and is distributed through Amazon.com as well as [http://www.webcmssquad.com]