Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in graphic design but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tim Hankins, Owner of Tim Hankins Design, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a graphic designer that creates both physical and digital products. I love helping new brands come to life or extending and refreshing existing ones. I've been fortunate enough to work for a wide variety of clients– including models, musicians, sporting events, consumer goods products, and cultural institutions, among many others.
I also create design resources for other designers like me, focusing on the creation of digital brushes for Procreate and Adobe Photoshop. I also have created a few custom fonts and resources for other apps, like Adobe Illustrator, which are available in the shop on my website.
Tell us about yourself
I started out by creating the album covers and logos for my high school band. What had started as a hobby became a career when I started a full-time job as a graphic designer after graduating college. Shortly after that, I created my own design firm (called Methods of Madness), where I had a diverse clientele, including Walt Disney Records, supermodel Marisa Miller, and the LA Philharmonic.
I love creating things every day. It's just what I do. I'm always doodling on my iPad. I love seeing rough ideas come to completion and every step in between. The journey is sometimes more important than the destination when it comes to design– all of the failures in the process are where the real knowledge is learned.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I always say that I hope I haven't accomplished it yet, but I've been fortunate enough to see my work displayed in a Times Square takeover, shown on late-night talk shows, covering every inch of a large-scale sporting event, and even at my kids' school. I'm proud of everything I've done, no matter the scale or scope. Honestly, my biggest accomplishments come from seeing my work out in the wild, serving its purpose and providing the expected results to my customers.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Staying consistent. You have to just keep at it and not lose faith in yourself and your process. Start small and slowly build. If you can stay consistent - in whatever way works for you – you will start to see results. Don't get discouraged, though – remember you're starting small – just trust your process.
I started incredibly small with the design resources that I began selling on my site last year, but each month seems to gain more traction, so I have to keep motivating myself to keep at it because I can actually see the results of the work I've put into it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat.
Each is equally important. You can't accomplish anything without at least trying it first. You then need failure in order for learning to occur. If you don't learn from your failures, you'll never grow. Finally, just repeat the process.
I've followed these steps in everything that I've done - as a designer, as a business owner, and as a person – and it's served me well throughout my years.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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