The following is a quick interview of myself by Meg Hanlon, for a project in her graphic design course at the CATC in Sydney..

1. What’s your name, company/studio and position?

Nick Turner, Bitten By Design and Owner/Designer.


2. Why did you become a designer?

I have always had an artistic talent, always drawing from an early age. I was lucky early on that an artist mentor took me aside and gave me some hard truths about art. That lead me to look at my options, and I discovered graphic design as something that was a steady income and also used my creative talents.


3. How did you get your first job?

I literally went through the yellow pages and called every single design studio and agency till I got a foot in the door. It was tough, but my persistence finally paid off.


4. What suggestions do you have about graduate portfolios?

Show the work you want to do as well as a few examples of your range of skills. Start with the best and end with the next best. Make it easy to review and include an example of your process so you have some talking points.


5. What sort of freelance work have you done before?

Over the years I have built application icons, books, magazines, websites, animations, HTML emails, brochures, logos, blister packs for retail and even album artwork for heavy metal bands

You can be asked to do pretty much anything as a freelancer!


6. What’s the hardest part of doing freelance work?

Freelancing doesn’t come with a steady pay check and you can go for stretches with hardly any work, which is offset by times when you are so inundated with work you don’t have time to even think!


7. How do you find clients/jobs when doing freelance work?

After deciding to go out and do some freelance work many years ago, I went through all the graphic design forums online, advertised my services through every possible website that I could find, even putting up a classified on the AGDA website. It was initially just overflow work from other designers, but it evolved to be more word of mouth referrals from one client to the next.


8. How do you ensure clients/studios pay?

The only way to ensure you get paid is to have a written agreement/contract made that outlines what type of work is being done, and the amount of payment along with the timeframe for payment. A contract leaves nothing to chance, and taking a percentage of the estimated cost of the work up front also means you as a designer are not left out of pocket totally if something happens to end the project prematurely.


9. Who is your preferred printer/supplier and why are they your preferred?

I normally use my local officeworks for quick simple jobs or worldwide for business cards. Both due to ease of web based job submitting and that my clients can organise and track it themselves.


10. Do you have any strategies for working under pressure and meeting deadlines?

Working under pressure and to deadlines is pretty much part and parcel of being a designer, the best way I have found to work with this is prioritise the work and be clear with the client as early as possible if you don’t think the deadline is feasible.