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Saw the link posted on FreelanceUK, thought I'd join you all! :)

I'm Lee-Ann, living in Berkshire but that's subject to change.

I look forward to joining in around here and picking up a few tips here and there. :)


Active Member
Hi Lee-Ann,

Welcome to Design Forums, pleased to hear you found us via the post on FreelanceUK, are you a freelancer yourself?

Hi, thanks for the welcome.

I'm not, no. I done a few pieces for friends last year and was considering trying to get into freelancing, but then I went to college instead.

I'm currently undecided over whether to do that or sort my portfolio (I've been putting this off forever!) and hand it around to different companies for the experience of working in the industry!


Active Member
Ahh OK cool, what course is it you're studying? how far through the course are you?

It's always worth putting together a portfolio of your work as you'll most probably need that which ever route you take, be that work placement/work experience or freelancing and going out to meet prospective clients or even prospective employers if you was interested in getting an employed position.
Well, the college thing didn't quite go to plan so I didn't finish the course - change of circumstances and things getting in the way.

I'm quite into the idea that you don't need a qualification to work in this sort of industry. With design, your talent shines through in your work. Obviously, a qualification would probably help, but it's what you can do that would secure you the job you want.

Maybe I'm just biased because that's my situation!

I think I'm mainly at the stage now where I need to decide which direction to take with things. And trying to build up the confidence to do that is proving difficult!


Active Member
Right I'm with you, that can happen to anyone for all sorts of reasons, before completing a graphic media design course I tried a product design course and ended up leaving after just a couple of months!

The good news is that yes with design you don't necessarily need to have a qualification, however as you say it does make things easier, especially in 'opening doors'. Do you have any work from your course that you could use to start a portfolio?

A designer that I know from a business forum springs to mind, Amanda at Truly Ace is self-taught in design, and I'm sure there are many more out there. I would imagine that starting out on the self-taught route is much harder, but once you have a portfolio of good work examples behind you you'll have many more options in what to do.

Do you have an ideas on which way you feel would be best for you at this stage? I know it sounds a bit obvious, but writing out a quick list of pros and cons for your options might help to make things clearer in your mind.

I'm sure a few of the other members will be along tomorrow/later today to offer you some useful advice. We have a great group here! :D
I did manage to get a few pieces of work but because the course was mainly Art & Design, there isn't an awful lot of graphic based work there. There are a couple of things I done that I still have saved on my hard drive, though.

I am pretty much self taught in photoshop, but that is, to date, the only software I've ever used. I was pretty stubborn for a few years and wouldn't contemplate trying Illustrator, Indesign etc. Over the last year or so I've spent my spare time doing alot of "personal" work, just trying alot of different things. Lately I've taken an interest in Illustration and am in the process of creating a few pieces relating to that. I quite like the idea of giving myself time to work on different things so I can at least get a feel for it.

Thanks for the help and advice this far - hopefully I'm still welcome around even though I'm not quite in the industry yet!
Hi Lee-Ann and welcome.

It's weird how some patterns seem to emerge in the creative business. I'm similar to Greg, I completed an HND in Product Design but then in my final year found I was getting more enjoyment from putting the presentations and graphics for the product together rather than the product itself.

I've been in the employed since 2000 and freelancing in my spare time for the last couple of years gaining experience from the people I worked with and personal development. From my perspective I would recommend getting a portfolio together (physical and online) and trying to get a placement as a creative designer (print, advertising, web) to get some industry experience before going out alone. It's good to learn from others successes and mistakes.

Good luck with it all and if you've got the passion you go a long way I'm sure.



Active Member
Welcome Lee -Ann,
If you want any advice about sorting out your portfolio let me know. I must have seen thousands of young designers portfolio.
Thanks for the welcome, guys.

Thanks, Berry, that'd be great.

Most of the "work" I have is online, mostly stuff that I have just done in my spare time but I suppose it would show what I'm capable of doing.

One piece I've been working on is illustrating a learning the alphabet book for my daughter, which I intend to have printed. I thought it'd be a good sort of thing to have to show to potential employers/clients.