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Success Journey XXVII: Why We Offer Free Training In Graphic Design.

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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.~Albert Einstein

Last year Cmonionline sponsored the training of 5 people in Graphic Design. Then I approached about 5 trainers but Geneza had the best customer relationship and also offered a generous discount in appreciation of our noble initiative. The 5 people trained last year have since moved on and we hope they are utilising the knowledge gained. This year we promised to train 10 writers but only 4 wrote in for the challenge and we have now paid for the training of the following four writers.

  1. Chukwuemeka Oluka: The Trajectory and Influence of Digital Technology in Graphic Design
  2. Becky Peleowo: Hidden Millionaire
  3. Faith Oyadiran: I Came To Win
  4. Emmanuel Enaku: Being The Boss

I congratulate them and hope they not only benefit but also utilise this opportunity going forward. You can search the internet for the benefits of graphic design but let me quickly illustrate this using my experience.

When I started publishing I was using stock photos from Google. You know with that there’s always the right of copyright infringement but we take these things for granted in Nigeria. I studied media law as a module during my master’s, so I’m aware such things shouldn’t be taken for granted where I now reside.

I had to use original graphics. On inquiry, I was introduced to a handful of designers and after trying them out I settled for Chuks because his designs creatively appealed to me a lot more. Then he would charge 2k, 3k or 5k max for a design. Usually simple designs for blog posts.

But we always had one problem. I’m sure you can guess what it is. Yes! breach of the delivery deadline. If we agree on delivery for Monday I would zero my mind for Wednesday, not even Tuesday and sometimes the Wednesday will not be met. Every job with Chuks reminded me of tailors during Christmas!

As the delivery disappointments continued it struck me that I could do the designs myself. Perhaps not as good but at least something I could use for my posts. They are simple enough really. Now Vodafone used to send me monthly freebies which I ignore but I remember getting one for a free graphic design course. I decided to try my luck. So I called them and luckily it was still available. Canva Basics, a 4-week course of about 60–90 minutes weekly. I can’t be too sure now but it wasn’t more than 2 hrs. I jumped in and the rest is history.

I’m still learning but I now do all the jobs I usually outsourced to Chuks. And guess what? I can get most done in less than 20 minutes.

After some months Chuks hit me up on WhatsApp and was like;
“Oga good day sir. E don tey o”
“Yep, longest time..how you dey?” I replied.
“Good sir. Only say hunger de wire person”, he said jokingly.
“I knoooow! 9ja is now the poverty capital of the world”, I said in agreement.

He then asked why I wasn’t giving him jobs anymore and wondered if I stopped publishing. I sent him a design with a grin and told him to help me with clients. I bragged that I may even be a better designer than he is right now. We had a good laugh and agreed to keep in touch for possible future collaborations.

Recently my friend in America needed a poster and asked me to recommend a graphic designer. I could have done it but I remembered Chuks and referred him immediately. 10k may not be much to me but it can take care of groceries for Chuks. That is the beauty of networking and it is part of what I encourage at Cmonionline.

I can’t imagine what I’ve saved myself in terms of time and money (2 of the most valuable resources) since I started doing my graphics. If I have created 500 designs I could have paid for 200. At 5k each that’s a cool million. But more importantly, I saved myself the invaluable hours I could have lost chasing Chuks around.

Now back to the juice. In a few years, there will be half a trillion dollars for the taking by content creators. And no, I didn’t make that up. The reputable global financial firm Goldman Sachs recently predicted that “as the ecosystem grows, the total addressable market of the creator economy could roughly double in size over the next five years to $480 billion by 2027 from $250 billion today”.

These days anyone can be a creator. So long as you have a smartphone and data, you can post whatever you want and there may just be an audience out there. But the outstanding creators are mostly those who creatively deploy digital skills to produce unique content that simply and concisely delivers the message. Nevertheless, if you can play with audiovisual stuff, you can boldly claim to be a creator. Yet few realize that the first port of arrival for any original thought/idea is a blank page. Writing is the mother of all media creations!

We all know that oftentimes writing doesn’t pay the bills. Many successful authors had to juggle between work and writing. Some even worked multiple jobs to make ends meet while still pushing the craft they loved. So it is normal that writers are asked to earn through other means even as they push the pen.

These days you also have to work smart to save time and make your chosen vocation more enjoyable. There are a million ways to do this but the one I love especially is graphic design because it creatively stimulates my latent talent in fine arts. Yes! I was great in fine arts during my early days. I drew a wonderful picture of Samson slaying the lion from The Children’s Bible back then. That pic lives eternally in my mind and God knows I will resume fine arts soon.

Like Einstein said if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Writing can help you explain the deeper perspective and intentions of your designs, likewise, a picture is a thousand words, thus both are complementary skills. It’s little wonder then that my initial tinkering with Canva started with texts before I graduated to other elements like shapes, frames etc. Now I can do animation, audio and visual editing. Actually, with graphic design, you can create anything your mind conceives and with endless apps, options, templates, updates etc it gets easier by the day. That’s the beauty of it all. You all know I’m big on stacking up skills and I’ve written about this in the past. So get on with graphic design because it’s interesting and you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

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Thanks for reading.

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