As a graphic artist and illustrator, I’ve got to be honest. Sometimes it feels like the vast majority of people really don’t understand the value of a well designed brochure, eye-catching poster, or custom created illustration. “It’s just a picture or a piece of paper,” I imagine them saying. “How could it be worth THAT much?” But as designers, we spend many hours researching our subject and trying to figure out the best way to present and market complex ideas in a visual form. Especially in an era of social media, it can sometimes be “just a graphic” or “just a cartoon” that will promote ideas and thoughts in ways that an essay or blog post won’t.
That’s why I couldn’t help but be a little discouraged recently after hearing an advertisement on a popular podcast for MoonPixlar. The host stated how they needed lots of designs — banners, social media graphics, Facebook ads, logos, business cards and more, but that they have no design skills to speak of. Which of course means that all this work has to be outsourced and may end up being pretty costly in the end. That’s where MoonPixlar came in. Which in all honesty, sounds like a pretty cool way for people to be able to create some more limited graphics on a budget.
However, as a veteran graphic artist and relatively skilled illustrator, I started out working in the libertarian movement as a way to help use my own skills to help speak a visual libertarian message – as well as help encourage other libertarian creatives to engage in their own communities through the use of their unique skill-set. Sure, MoonPixlar might be a good way to do something quick, but if you really want a message that helps speak to your audience, a talented graphic artist with marketing experience can help you create something special that engages your audience. Let’s put it this way, a writer is going to tap into their skills to write engaging content for their audience, and not leave it up to a computer or drag and drop program to create what they want to say. The same applies to graphic design.
Being in the design industry for over a decade, I get that graphic designers can sometimes cost a little or a LOT more to work with. Some can be difficult to work with too. But I have often volunteered my services (for free) in the past on numerous occasions in order to help liberty minded organizations develop great looking logos, brochures, posters, dvd cases and more. A lot of designers would frown on this, but the reason I do it is because I love what I do. Plus, it’s a chance to network and gain great experience, and it’s a great way to lend a hand to those who WILL reach a wider audience through those well designed materials and awesome illustrations you worked with them to create. Still, that’s not to say I won’t appreciate a completely voluntary offer to send a few dollars my way, a trade in services – or the extremely valuable shout-out!
So after saying all that, YES! I would be more than happy (and extremely honored) to volunteer my design services for those activists (podcasters, bloggers, etc.) who might have a legitimate art-related need within the libertarian community. If you have a project you need some AWESOME visuals for, let me know! I’ll see if I’m able to lend a hand!
- Also, check out our Need an Artist page!