As we shared last week we have decided to start an ongoing series in which we will be featuring entrepreneurs who are living their dreams. We have named it the “Dream Team” series, and this week's dream catcher is Graphic Designer Pierre McCummings. Pierre is a creative artist who always thinks outside of the box. We are more than certain that he has a bright future ahead of him! Check out his interview below!
D.O.L.L.S: What made you pursue a career in graphic design?
Pierre: After showing several of my illustrations to different students in college, they became familiar with my skill as an artist. A few of those classmates introduced me to aspiring entrepreneurs who asked me to help with their creative branding. My all-time dream was to be a comic book artist but I got more jobs as a graphic designer than as an illustrator so I just used my illustration in my graphic design to keep my artistic talent alive.
D.O.L.L.S: What educational background and professional experiences prepared you for this career?
Pierre: Along my journey as an artist, I’ve had people mentor me from the age of 6 to now but the Art Institute of Atlanta helped me understand the professional growth of an artist. As far as my professional experiences, I’ve done extensive work for free and little work for a payment. Each client taught me how to prepare for the next. After each experience, I have become increasingly more organized in what I said, what I asked, what to wear to the meeting, where to meet, what type of paperwork to bring and the list is STILL growing after 6 years of professionally doing graphic design.
D.O.L.L.S: How would you describe the creative process that you go through in order to create your designs?
Pierre: With me I have to do a consultation, whether on the phone or in person, to get the full understanding of the vision that clients’ see for their brand. While we are talking I take notes and do sketches to start off. After that I throw in my own concepts and ideas to widen the horizon of possibilities for the specific brand. Once I’m done with the conceptual stage I narrow all concepts down to at least 5 digital compositions and let the customer decide which one fits their brand.
D.O.L.L.S: What advice would you give someone who is just starting out as a graphic designer?
Pierre: Stick to your passion. Make sure that nothing deters you from what you feel you’re set out to do but remember it cannot, and I repeat it cannot, interfere with God’s plan for you. Another piece of advice is to know what you’re worth but also stay competitive. Make sure every clients is seen as a relationship instead of a quick buck and keep yourself covered at all times! The best way of doing that would be documentation.
D.O.L.L.S: What makes your designs stand out from other artists out there?
Pierre: Nothing! The difference is actually in the execution of the job. I make sure that I accurately and effectively design for all brands. That’s how you make a career out of jobs.
D.O.L.L.S: What are the most important skills for a designer to either already have or develop in order to be successful?
Pierre: Understanding--Make sure that every thought is understood fully with no questions. Creativty--because without that you will limit not only yourself but the type of work is out there waiting on you.
D.O.L.L.S: What has been your most creative design project to work on so far? Who was it for (i.e. company, person, etc.) and what inspired you to create it?
Pierre: Well my clothing line, Collaj Couture, is by far my most creative project to date. I’ve used most of my skills as a designer, such as illustration, graphic design, and web design, to create it and I’m still at the beginning phase of production.
D.O.L.L.S: Have you ever had to deal with negative responses from clients regarding your work? If so, how did you resolve these issues?
Pierre: Yes, I’ve had to deal with a few negative responses, especially in the beginning. I attribute this negative experience to only taking information about the job without the getting a true understanding that a consultation gives you. As a result, I now do consultations for all clients to make sure I understand every concept and every possibility.
D.O.L.L.S: How did you build both your clientele and your reputation as a designer?
Pierre: Mostly word of mouth helped me but I do a lot of networking and explaining what I do now more than ever.
D.O.L.L.S: Last but not least, where can our readers see some of your work?
Pierre: I have my graphic design site up which is www.pierrethedesigner.com. Check it out and let me know what you think!
You heard him! Let him know what you think and comment below!