How To Stay Motivated As A Graphic Designer

Whether you work from home, as a freelancer, or as part of a creative team your success as a Graphic Designer hinges upon one thing; your creativity. And in order to keep the ideas fresh, fast, and coming you need to take care of your motivation levels. When you’re feeling pressure it can be hard to stay motivated, but with discipline, a little time, and attention to the way you work, you can help prevent your inspiration from drying up.

Naturally, each individual will find their own way of working, and you should listen to yourself when it comes to finding out how to get your creative juices really flowing – here are a few thoughts and suggestions to help you on your way.

Motivation Ideas for Graphic Designers

Create your space

Like Virginia Woolf and her own room for writing, you need a space in which you feel comfortable, secure, and inspired in order to do your best work. Whether that means organizing your desk space to your tastes or building your very own home office, take the time to think about developing an environment that’s conducive to creativity.

Set goals

It’s important to set yourself deadlines and targets for your work, but keep them realistic. One of the most common reasons projects fail or turn out to be disappointing is when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Keep your goals manageable – and reward yourself when you achieve them.

Find your flow

Some people are at their most creative first thing in the morning, and find the earlier they start to work the more they achieve. For others, it’s late at night when inspiration usually strikes. Take the time to understand your workflow cycle and try to give yourself the space at these times to think.

Do your homework

Get as much information and facts on each project before you even consider opening your sketchbook. In the classic guide A Technique for Getting Ideas by James Wood Young, he suggests indexing your findings on a card carousel so you can quickly access and flick through information. Learn as much as you can, and then do your best to forget it. You may be surprised by how quickly your imagination can become ignited by a project when you aren’t forcing an idea.

Escape the office

Escaping your nine-to-five environment is one of the best ways to keep your motivation levels high. Take a walk, climb a hill or go for a run – simply getting out and about and enjoying some exercise will clear away the cobwebs and you’ll feel refreshed and re-invigorated when you’re ready to return.

Ignore your peers

This may sound controversial, but if you’re someone who is always comparing yourself to others around you, try taking them out of the equation. Focus on your workload, your priorities, and your imagination. We’re not suggesting you should completely ignore the work of other people,  but if you can give yourself space to think without the benchmark of more successful peers in the back of your mind you’ll find it much easier to concentrate on your own progress.

Meet your peers

The flipside to the above is to make use of fellow graphic designers and draw on the example and inspiration they can offer. It can be helpful to talk to other designers who have gone through the same highs and lows of life in the creative industries. Listen to their coping techniques, source out new work opportunities and get involved in your local design scene – by being present in your sector you’re more likely to feel spurred on to action.

Keep your tools to hand

Next time you see a six-sheet you like, a random piece of type on the train, or want to take a quick sketch of an interesting passerby don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Always keep your sketchbook, smart phone or scrapbook with you to collect random thoughts and musings as they happen. Often these golden nuggets can flourish into some of your best work yet.

Seek inspiration

Whether it’s a gallery, a play a movie or a gig, take every opportunity to broaden your horizons by attending cultural events in your area. Motivation hits a high when you’re developing new ideas and solutions, so enhance your imagination-bank with plenty of rich and stimulating activities.

Excellent Ideas to Make Money as a Graphic Designer

Given the current situation in the world, a lot of people have more time to spend at home. Some take this opportunity to be with their families, while others are looking to make extra money.

While there are a lot of industries that have to stop or become limited, those who work on the internet can still find a lot of opportunities. Graphic designers are a good example.

On the other hand, being a graphic designer does not necessarily guarantee that you are drowning in work offers. Some people will need to look for work. And if you would like to get some ideas for potential ventures, continue reading and find out what this article has to offer.

Idea #1 – Sell Photos Online

There is a high demand for photos that people use for blogs, videos, and other content. After all, visuals make said content more interesting. And high-quality photos could be exactly the thing that you can profit from.

Letstalkaboutmoney listed ecommerce platforms best suited to sell photos online. Since you have designing skills, you can use that to your advantage and edit the pictures so they would sell even better.

And while on the topic of content, infographics are another type of visual that could make you a lot of money provided you do a good job creating them. A lot of sites are using infographics to show information in a simple and attractive way.

Idea #2 – Write a Blog

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A blog might take some time to lift off, but if you have a few hours to spare every day, it would be a perfect opportunity to start blogging.

It could be another channel to express yourself. And writing itself can be a good way to relax from regular work.

You will need to focus on content. Writing fresh and interesting articles can be a bother at times. However, you have graphic design skills, so put them to use.

Also, blogging does not have to be just writing on a website. You can also start a YouTube channel or even a social media profile and become an influencer by leveraging your abilities to create interesting content.

Idea #3 – Develop Print on Demand Store

Ecommerce is another profitable industry. And while some markets are oversaturated, there is still room for newcomers, especially when they come up with innovative ideas.

Print on demand is probably the best option for graphic designers. Even if you do not have it in you to develop a store from scratch yourself, there is always an option to join someone who has and offers your services as a graphic designer.

Print on-demand merchandise is popular. T-shirts, hoodies, mugs, calendars, and other products will sell so long as there is an interesting design on them. Not to mention that there is basically no ceiling as far as potential profits go. 

Idea #4 – Create Courses

Online education is something that has been gaining momentum before the pandemic started. Many people are unhappy with what they learn at high school or college and look to change their lives by learning new skills.

Since graphic designers are in demand, you can make money by creating courses and selling them on platforms like Udemy and Skillshare. It will take a while to establish yourself as an authority and attract potential “students”, but if you like to share your experience with others and make money at the same time, work hard and create insightful courses that people will find useful. 

Idea #5 – Look for Freelance Gigs

There are a lot of freelance websites that have thousands of gigs. Quite a few of these gigs are related to graphic design.

Creating ebooks covers, t-shirt designs, logos, banners, social media content, and infographics are just a few examples. 

The biggest challenge of making money from these platforms is being the one who is selected. You will have to go up against other bidders. Bidding the lowest amount and having a good portfolio to show are good strategies.

You are bound to encounter problems at first but aim to get a few gigs to start off and ask for positive feedback on your profile after you are finished with the work. The more positive ratings you have, the higher the odds of getting hired for future bids.

Idea #6 – Stream on Twitch

Streaming platforms like Mixer or Twitch started as a place for gamers. But things have changed, and you can find all kinds of channels now. 

Graphic designers also make content by showing off their skills. There are even some animation studios that have dedicated channels. 

Donations, subscriptions, and partnership deals will be the main source of income. You should make money so long as you have the talent for designing.

Top 10 Skills Employers Look For In A Graphic Designer

Thanks to the digital revolution, graphic designers are now more in demand than ever in 2013. From logo and banner creation to newsletter and app design, graphic design roles today can be extremely diverse and can vary wildly from employer to employer. Despite this, the sector still remains one of the most competitive in the digital sector as a whole when it comes to securing a new job – so it goes without saying that in order to beat the competition; you need to have a number of desirable skills on your CV/resume.

Remember how I just said that graphic design jobs can vary wildly depending on the employer? While this might be true, from looking at the last 100 or so graphic design jobs advertised on Bubble, it’s clear to see that, in spite of the role specifics, the majority of employers are looking for ten very specific skills from all their web design candidates. If you’re looking to make the move into graphic design or hoping to move up the career ladder, it’s definitely worth trying to get the following ten skills on your CV/resume!

Adobe CS Skills:

Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign were always going to feature in this ‘Top 10’ list –  but I was surprised at just how many employers call for these skills – in fact, it was pretty much a whitewash! Needless to say, if you don’t have experience in Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, you could find it very difficult to get your foot in the graphic design door!

Cross-Browser/Platform Design Experience:

Tablets, mobiles, PCs, laptops – you name it, there are now more devices available to consume web content than ever before so it makes sense that employers are searching for design pros who can create a dynamic design across all available platforms and browsers.

Understanding & Experience Of Responsive Design:

On the back of the upsurge in mobile usage, a growing number of employers are employing responsive designs across all aspects of their website so when it comes to taking on new design employees, it’s little surprise they want candidates who already understand how responsive design works and how to implement it.


There might have been talk of DreamWeaver dying out a few years ago but employers today are still looking for candidates who have previous experience with the program.

Front-End Coding Skills:

When it comes to graphic design jobs these days, it’s not enough to just be proficient in Photoshop and Illustrator, employers also call for candidates to have great front-end coding skills in things like HTML (HTML5) and CSS too. OK, so not all employers call for these skills – but a growing number do so it might be worth jumping across to TreeHouse to brush up on your existing knowledge!


In addition to being a pro with all things CSS and HTML, a growing number of employers are also looking for graphic designers these days who are also experienced with JavaScript, particularly Object-Orientated JavaScript and jQuery.


In addition to JavaScript, CSS, and HTML, it’s definitely worth having Flash listed on your CV/ resume. In terms of specifications, Flash ActionScript 2 and 3 are definitely the flavor of the day!

Newsletter/Email/App Design:

These days, it’s not enough to just be a pro at ‘web design’ – employers are looking for graphic designers with specific skills in a range of areas  – and right now graphic designers with the newsletter, email and mobile app design experience are definitely in demand!

Experience In Pitching Briefs:

In terms of agency-side design jobs, employers want to hear from candidates who have experience in pitching design briefs to potential and existing clients and ones who have experience seeing a concept through from brief to artwork.

Management/Mentoring Experience:

When it comes to more senior graphic design jobs, employers look for candidates who have had previous experience in managing a small team and/or mentoring more junior members of the team.

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