How to make amaz­ing cash from graphic de­signs -Muk­tar

Daily Trust - - SMES - By Olayemi R. Ibrahim Umar Muk­tar

Umar Muk­tar is a graphic de­signer with eight years ex­pe­ri­ence in the busi­ness. The 25-year-old Po­lit­i­cal Sci­ence grad­u­ate from the Ibrahim Badamasi Ba­bangida Univer­sity, La­pai, Niger State, said he had no knowl­edge of draw­ing or paint­ing when he delved into the world of dig­i­tal graphic de­signs.

Can you take us into your world of busi­ness?

I am a graphic de­signer. I was driven into what I am do­ing to­day due to child­hood pas­sion. Though as a child I never liked paint­ing but I loved draw­ing. I started draw­ing well in my pri­mary school and I built that up. But in 2005 when I en­tered the univer­sity, I moved into graphic de­sign af­ter learn­ing the art for a year. I found out that I had pas­sion for graphic more than any other thing and that was what made me to go into the busi­ness right from school. I grad­u­ated four years ago and have never ap­plied for any job since then, this is what I do to earn a liv­ing.

Give us vivid pic­ture of this busi­ness?

Graphic de­sign is all about solv­ing a prob­lem. We deal with photo ma­nip­u­la­tion, com­pany logo, com­pli­men­tary cards, let­ter headed pa­pers, bill board, sou­venir and other cus­tomised ma­te­ri­als for in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions, for var­i­ous oc­ca­sions like wed­dings, an­niver­saries and so on.

How lu­cra­tive is graphic de­sign busi­ness?

Depend­ing on how well you know it, be­cause there are many of us. But for me it is very lu­cra­tive. I do not have any other job than this. There is no dull mo­ment be­cause of the high level of pa­tron­age. I get a lot of pa­tron­age and that is why I have been able to have a graphic school and a pho­to­graphic stu­dio. In the graphic school, I have four stu­dents presently and three have grad­u­ated. Some people just en­ter the photo stu­dio to take pic­ture and they will dis­cover that I am into graphic and that is how I get some clients. We have many graphic de­sign­ers but it is your work that will mark you out. If you are very cre­ative, be sure that you will al­ways get pa­tron­age.

What are your charge rates?

It de­pends on what you want to learn. Ba­si­cally, it is within 50,000 to 150,000 but it all de­pends on your area of in­ter­est. There are ar­eas like adobe pho­to­shop and corel draw.

Do you have any for­mal train­ing?

The only for­mal train­ing I had was when I was learn­ing from MOTA de­sign for a year af­ter which I started im­prov­ing on what I learned through the in­ter­net. I re­mem­ber learn­ing through mi­crosoft paint be­cause the tools are there. I re­mem­ber edit­ing pic­tures through paints and that was so in­ter­est­ing. I went into surf­ing the net also to get video tu­to­rial to get what I needed.

What is your ad­vice to youth in this busi­ness?

Graphic busi­ness is real busi­ness any day, any­time. Let me start with com­pa­nies and or­ga­ni­za­tions, be it govern­ment or in­di­vid­ual, none can progress with­out graphic de­sign­ers. You know, a logo is what rep­re­sents the com­pany or or­gan­i­sa­tion en­tirely. You need us to do a lot of things and that is why people, es­pe­cially the young ones, should em­brace this busi­ness in­stead of seek­ing for jobs that are not real­is­tic. What people need is to be cre­ative to soar in the busi­ness. It is a money spinner.

What is your aver­age take home per month?

At least, I make N70, 000 and above. I could re­mem­ber in Fe­bru­ary I got N150, 000 be­cause a new com­pany came up and the per­son needed logo de­sign, ban­ner, and blog­gers.

Is it a sea­sonal busi­ness?

We get job ev­ery­day be­cause people need your ser­vice ev­ery day.

Whatare­some­ofthechal­lenges?

The ma­jor chal­lenge is high cost of in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity. This is be­cause most time you do not do things from your head but you will need some plug­ging, pic­tures, brushes, lots of ap­pli­ca­tions. An­other chal­lenge is power sup­ply that is not sta­ble. But a fully charged lap­top com­puter can do up to five de­signs for you if you are fast.

How do you think govern­ment can as­sist graphic de­sign­ers?

The govern­ment should sup­port pro­fes­sional graphic de­sign­ers to teach those that are pas­sion­ate and want to learn at a min­i­mum cost. You can hardly see a de­signer that can take a min­i­mum of N30, 000 but if they are sup­ported fi­nan­cially by the govern­ment, teach­ing will be made easy. The train­ing is only for six months. All that a per­son needs is cre­ative abil­ity. You will be taught the tools but you have to ap­ply cre­ativ­ity by yourself. Aside ar­chi­tec­ture, graphic de­sign should also be in­tro­duced as a course on its own for those that want to study it as a de­gree. buy­ers via an on­line shop.”

He said eknow­vate so­lu­tions is a soft­ware de­vel­op­ment and mo­bile strat­egy com­pany fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing adap­tive and in­no­va­tive in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions that trans­form for value and the busi­ness ob­jec­tives of its cus­tomers across var­i­ous ver­ti­cals of the econ­omy.

He, how­ever, listed other value added so­lu­tions to in­clude mo­bile app de­vel­op­ment, en­ter­prise so­lu­tions, mo­bile en­ter­prise con­sul­tancy and cloud com­put­ing with prod­ucts like flock­care, Topchef, dis­count house and dig­i­ti­za­tion ser­vices for li­braries.

Mean­while, Head of Project, Allen Ohu­nayon, said over 400 shops are fully run­ning on the web­site while about 1, 200 are wait­ing to be screened to sign up.

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