Sent from me;
I'm currently finishing my degree in Illustration and Print, in Plymouth, England at The Plymouth College of Art.
With my major study I have to put forward some of my favourite artists works, explain why ect.
I wanted to go that step further and just ask you a little about your work, if that’s OK of course?
I'd just like to know what you did to get into clients eyes, initially?
How long did it take you to get noticed properly?
Leaving this year has really hit home and I've realised I've had next to no commissions, I'm into hand-rendered typography and chose you because of your 'Denver Music' work. I love the combination of type styles! Answering my few questions would really help.
Thank you very much,
Reply from Justin Fuller;
Thanks for getting in touch. I'd be happy to take a shot at answering your questions...
I'm a self taught designer (studied Business / Finance in college), and it's been a long journey to where I am now in my career. During a transitional time between jobs around 10 years ago, I began designing posters for bands that I was enjoying at the time for local music venues and occasionally for the bands themselves. I taught myself how to screenprint, and as a result, my design skills began to evolve around simple typography and they types of 2-4 color designs that are easily replicated in screen printing. Eventually, I started a small design business with another person that was a more classically trained designer, and through that, I managed a sort of real-world design education that allowed me to make a full shift in my career trajectory away from the world of finance and into design. Although we were running a small business, it wasn't much different than being a freelancer in most ways.
After about 5 years, we mutually parted ways and I freelanced for a little over a year before founding Good Apples with two new partners. In the past 2.5 years, we have managed to gain more traction in our local community, as well as some awareness nationally (thanks to the Internet!), so that people in other places have at least heard us and are familiar with our work. Having one of the business partners focus solely on growing and running the business has been a very important part of that.
The short answer is that it's taken a long time to gain some recognition and awareness. The projects that seem to have gotten the most buzz have always seemed to be the ones that were self-initiated or done for little or no money. So, I would say find the opportunities to execute projects that you find the most interesting and potentially rewarding, and that will lead to good things. I'm NOT suggesting that you work for less than something is worth or do any sort of speculative work, but when the chance arises, always allow yourself the space to do design for love of doing it.
I hope this was helpful, and best of luck with your transition out of university and into the real, fun world of being a designer for a living :)