Chuck Anderson
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
As a freelancer, there is a lot of worry when you first start out about money and security. Your success doesn’t necessarily always reflect the effort you put in—you could work really hard and be incredibly talented but if the economy is in a bad place or the market your work is best suited for is bad, that can take a toll as well. I think its important to remember to be patient and know that success takes time. If you have to make money with a dayjob to support yourself while you work on your own things at night, there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever. I think you just have to do what’s best to keep your life in order so you can focus on your best creative work without being distracted.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Nag and bother people. You need to have great work and then share that work with people, then let them decide if they want to hire you or not. You can’t go through life shoving things in peoples faces and expecting results. You put it out there and do the best you can in a professional way. Again, patience is the key and while you’re being patient, you should be busy making things.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
I really don’t have any regrets about how I started my career. Sure there are things that would have been nice to know, but the beauty of doing things for yourself is that you learn things in phases over time, not everything at once right when you start. So really I’m thankful that I didn’t know everything when I started, that way you can be more carefree and not think so much the way you start to do as you get older. One thing I’m very lucky I did know at the beginning of my career was how important it was going to be for me to save my money. I started saving for retirement when I was only 19 years old because a friend suggested I should. I’m very glad I did that and I think everyone should be smart with their money, especially if they work for themselves.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
If you work from home, make sure to get out of the house every single day. It’s really unhealthy to wake up and work in the same place you sleep and never leave. You’ve got to give yourself breaks, whether its to go for a walk, get some exercise, go out for lunch, coffee, or even just going out for dinner at night. In order to keep my sanity I’ve got to manage my time and be intentional about taking breaks.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
I’ve really enjoyed the book Manage Your Day-To-Day which was published by 99U and the Behance team, which is made up of some incredibly smart people. The book is filled with realistic advice from people who are entrepreneurs, designers, and artists about how to manage your time, life, and work. It’s been a very helpful book for me.
Chuck answered the questions on June 13, 2014.
The answers were published on June 14, 2014.