On February 8th 2017, our Entrepreneurship class welcomed a panel of guest speakers that took the time out of their busy lives to sit down and chat with us about their experiences on developing their own businesses and taking on the graphic design world. These speakers were no other than Karen Bonhomme, Brad Duffy, Vincent Pereze and Brian Chard.
Each speaker took turns sharing their story beginning with there backgrounds, stepping into the real world, achievements, tragedies, and even some great tips we new designers could always use in the future to better ourselves. Each story made me so excited and full of ambition to get out there and spread my designer wings and fly. But it’s not that easy. Even though each story had good and bad tales they all seemed to work out in the end. Each bump in the road was just a stepping stone to do better or a learning experience which helped expand their knowledge to problems they faced and to find a solution to solve it.
Karen Bonhomme was the first to share her wisdom and experiences. She spoke about how she built her own business ( 1dea ), how we have to stay current and up to date with new trends to keep us fresh as the new designers joining the force. Karen also spoke about making sure we as designers keep a well balanced life because at the end of the day it’s important to have time for your personal life as well as a work life. She showed us all that if you put your mind to something anything is possible and when your going through the bad times to keep your head up, step back and then keep going. I think personally that was my favourite take away from her wisdom, I’m always afraid of failing and one day it might happen, but it was good to know it happens to everyone now and then,you just keep moving. I found it made me more confident in solving those problems when they occur and believe in the designer I can be.
Next to the panel was Brad Duffy. A freelance graphic designer who works from the comfort of his own home. #GOALS. Listening to Brad’s stories really inspired me to pursue my dreams of staring my own business and continue with my freelance work. Brad talked about how he started freelancing and networking while in college and from that he gained a head start in the Kingston community. He shared how he started his business and the ups and downs that he ran into along the way, but the tip I found very useful was when he was talking about facing your problems when they show up, never leave it to simmer because that will lead to either loosing your client or giving yourself a bad reputation. Brad shared many valuable tips on working with clients, keeping your self on schedule and like Karen said balance your life! Brad’s talk really opened my eyes on one day running my very own business and put me in full gear to check this goal off my life list.
Vincent Perez was next and he spoke about his life in becoming a designer, his freelance experiences, his business doing letter press and teaching at SLC. When Vincent spoke about his letter press he said he took a chance on what he was really passionate about and put it to work. Letter Press is a very unique way to print and not as common as it use to be, but thats what makes him stand out from the other print shops around town which can be great for business. Vince said old school trends always make there way back in style, which is very true when looking at fashion trends with in the last few years. Vince shared his background and how he juggles his business, teaching and family all at once. An important tip he quickly shared with us was even though you think you have things under control it’s not a bad idea to have someone to count on and help out sometimes, you don’t have to do everything alone.
Our last speaker was Brian Chard, He also juggles many different things in his life and manages to still live a happy life which I find amazing and very inspiring! Design, Web development, teaching, photography and family life all at once seems crazy, but it can happen the number one thing I took from Brain was you can love multiple things and if they drive your passion DO IT! Passion is key to a happy life, so do what you love and never give up on it. That right there was the best was the best way to end the discussion. I always take great passion in what I do and if there is no passion flowing I cant get inspired. Loving what you do will get you were you want to be.
This panel of speakers really put me at ease when thinking about my future. Every talk was inspiring and helpful in so many ways to me as a young designer. Hearing about the gains and losses, but knowing it all works out with hard work, tough skin and never giving up on yourself because life is too short for missed out opportunities.
Want to know more about this panel of speakers?
If your interested in knowing more about each of these wonderful designers their websites will be listed below.
Karen Bonhomme —> 1dea.ca
Brad Duffy —> fourdegrees.ca
Vincent Pereze —> everlovinpress.com
Brian Chard —> www.brianchard.com