Q. When did you first become involved in graphic design?
TP: I was 21 years old, working in a seafood restaurant in Salisbury, Maryland, the Governor of MD at the time, came in, saw me drawing on the menu board, and suggested, I pursue my artistic talent. I applied to the University of Delaware's Visual Communication Program. Of 180 applicants 90 were accepted, I being one of them.
Q. What made you decide to come to the Twin Cities to pursue your career?
TP: After college, I was working in Wilmington, Delaware for a few small agencies, I couldn't make ends meet (LOW $$$) and was very familair with the successful firms in Minneapolis. I like the weather, there was low unemployment I figured if I couldn't make it here, I would change careers.
Q. What are the benefits and challenges associated with working as a solo graphic designer?
TP: Challenges: Inconsistent workflow-you never feel real secure; Late nights; Disciplined money management (have to invest in my own retirement. pay taxes quarterly-- although now I am incorporated I pay monthly); hard to plan social activities or take a vacation. Benefits: I make more money; I have freedom--no office politics; Rewarding feelings of self worth that come with running your own show.
Q. What is a typical day at work?
TP: There isn't a typical day. Every day is different. Some days I can shopping and run errands. I very seldom work an 8 hour day. I usually average 4-6 hours or I'll work a consecutive 15 hours and have a few all-nighters. Some days I have meetings and then I have to work at night-it varies.
Q. What is your studio and work space?
TP: Presently, I am subletting space in the Warehouse District, but I am moving my office back into my home in August. I am very excited about the freedom that will give me as far as dress, time saved in travel, money saved in eating out and driving.
Q. How do you promote, market or publicize your business
TP: I have not had to as yet. I get all of my business word mouth.
Q. What advice to give to aspiring graphic designers wanting to go out on their own?
TP: You have to be disciplined to save and pay taxes, self-motivated and very good salesperson.
Q. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
TP: Hopefully, I will have a client base of 8-10 agencies/clients and working a consistent 35 hours per week. Otherwise, I will be working for some cool agency that respects me, and pays extremely well.