10 ways to succeed as a great designer in Nigeria

10 ways to succeed as a great designer in Nigeria

Upon completion of your design program at the CMM Academy, it would be suicidal to think you are already established. In actual fact, you just scratched the surface of your design career, as each new brief you work on comes up with its own peculiarities. As such we have come up with 10 tips for you to be an A- game player, dining at the top end of the ladder.

01 Keep practicing

Whether you like it or not… Stay grinding.

You know the saying, “practice makes perfect”. The more you play around with your tools, the better you understand its application for several effects. It also goes to improve your efficiency and time saving skills. As is the case with our country, we power businesses on generator. You don’t want to work at snail pace, especially if you are the one that delays or buy extra fuel just to complete a job. Boys would be quick to dash you names like “Oga go slow” “Sisi designer”


02. Spread your work around

Share love around- and your portfolio too.

Doesn’t make any sense that you have a portfolio filled with great designs and no one gets to see it. Except of course you are a “hijabi” who only displays her endowment indoors, then by all means, feel free to have your portfolio only on your system. But if you want to get ahead, then spread your portfolio as far and wide as possible.


03. Be original

Originality pays.

This is kind of a no- brainer. Your design would only be noticed, if they stand out. Of course in the business of design, you use the same tools, but the outcome don’t necessarily have to be the same. Bespoke designs are sometimes “bespoke” because of its simplicity, negative space, art direction, image choice etc. Find your style. OWN IT!


04. Work in team

Social wealth helps you rise to the top.

Part of getting on, may of course, be working in groups or with a team. The reasons are obvious. You’ll learn faster, pick up new skill, try new tricks and yeah, have better chances of landing big projects as against flying solo.

Think of potential clients as your typical Naija future in-law, (don’t even try going to your in- laws house alone, even if your fiancee’s family invite you). You will make promises, even your father can’t fulfill.


05. Choose your clients

Choose your clients wisely.

By this I mean, choose the serious ones. Not those who tell you, ‘they need free samples’, ‘they’ll promote your work’, ‘want you to start with your money’ etc. I know the country is hard, but know this… your life would be easier for you’ll have time for more serious clients. And even when these clients are paid clients, don’t be scared to fire them, when they breach your terms of agreement.


6. … but don’t reject too many

Don’t burn bridges o… Hunger will just kill you!

Doesn’t now mean you should throw away all of them. Think of your clients as your students. You just need to school them on how to behave around you. Some are just genuinely confused or want the best. It’ll be your duty to convince them with your interpretations of your designs, your charisma and sometimes referring them to a friend of yours, who’d in turn put in a good word for you. Because you never know what links they come with.


07. Grow new eyes

Question the norm.

You don’t want your designs to be boring, repetitive or predictable. Spice it up. You can achieve this by going out, seeing places, museums, nature parks, listening attentively to sounds around you. Open your creative tap and let it flow into your designs. Always try to see things from new perspective. But remember to keep it simple. You don’t want to create awilo designs.


08. Be passionate

Live it… Breath it… Be it.

Work for the love of your job. Be it in providing for your family or your basic needs. Your wife will greet your properly when you get back home.

But also remember to work for a good cause. It brings contentment to the heart seeing your work makes an impact in the lives of humanity.


09. Be humble and friendly

Have your feet on the ground and your heads on your shoulder.

And eventually when your designs starts getting the mileage and recognition it deserves, remember to stay humble. Nothing keeps clients around than a very talented, humble and friendly guy who stops at nothing to ensure people get the respect and deliverables they deserve.


10. Be positive

Even when the road ‘seems’ up.. Never give up!

Finally, when the bolts and nuts are not coming together. Screw the disappointments tight in the *******, till they orgasm into appointments. It’ll come together as long as you do all of the steps above.

Cheers to your great career.

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About the Author
Aziz Sadiku

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