05 Sep 2016
Next in our interviews series is Cat Rose, designer, entrepreneur, and overall creative. Cat works as freelance on design and online marketing projects, writes at The Creative Introvert blog, and ran the Get Your Art Out Summer Camp online course to teach artists how to successfully promote their work.
Where did the road to become a successful web designer and entrepreneur began for you?
I think it began back at university: I was in my 2nd year of a rather out-dated print-based design degree, and overheard some older students say 'All the jobs are in web design!" So... I decided if my university couldn't teach me, I'd learn it myself!
After landing an internship at a digital agency during my final few months of studying, I've been able to live off those web design skills. That's what enabled me to pay the bills whilst going down this more 'entrepreneurial' route!
You run The Creative Introvert blog. Where does this project come from?
I suppose it was my personal fascination with personality types: learning I am an introvert and what that means for me as a creative entrepreneur. I wanted to share my experiences with others who might be in the same boat, and that's when I started blogging about it.
I also began the League of Creative Introverts: it may seem odd for an introvert to start an online community(!) but I really wanted to create a space where we could connect yet not feel pressured to be pushy or 'loud'.
What do we introverts have to offer to the world?
So much! My favourite introvert quality is our ability to listen. It seems like a lot of the advice online is all about speaking louder to get our message across, which I agree is necessary, but it's through listening that we really learn and connect with others. Introverts are fantastic at that.
You still do a lot of freelance work. What qualities does a client and project need to have for you to feel comfortable and motivated?
Interestingly a lot of projects that sound dull at first become really fun when the client is open to new ideas. That's all I need: for myself and a client to communicate well, and see eye-to-eye makes any job enjoyable!
What good (and bad) things do you feel the Internet and the new technologies have brought to the creative sectors?
I think, particularly as an introvert, we're given the impression that everything (from setting up our business to getting clients or customers) can be done from behind our laptop screen.
I'm all for the 'lifestyle' creative, who can work from anywhere in the world, but I've found that meeting people in person is the key to finding fulfilling work, and having more of an impact.
And last, but not least: What would you say to aspiring illustrators and creatives about the importance of finding clients and paying attention to the marketing side of their careers?
Be patient. I can't say I'm the most patient person, but it's something I'm learning. It can be tempting to give up on a project or career choice when things aren't moving as quickly as you like, but it's amazing what happens when you relax and let it be.
I like to look back at the end of each month and see everything I've accomplished - it keeps me motivated to keep on truckin'!
Thanks a lot, Cat!
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