02. Elayna Speight on Becoming a Freelance Designer + Her Passion for Illustrations
Studio 78 welcomes Elayna Speight, a former junior graphic designer turned freelance designer and artist, who shares her story about her transition from a typical nine-to-five to an entrepreneur. Elayna’s path to entrepreneurship was untraditional, like most, but she shares how an unexpected recommendation for her network illuminated her path to full-time freelance design work. Elayna also shares how lulls in job opportunities provided her time to build her brand and build confidence in her decision to step out on faith.
Her story is both inspirational and informative and serves a good example of how frustration coupled with faith can chart the path to professional freedom.
- CORRECTION: In the interview, Elayna said her first internship was at Washington Performing Arts, but it was at Washington National Opera. She now freelances at the Washington Performing Arts.
- She was frustrated and overworked as a junior designer and decided to step out on faith
- Initially the jobs didn’t role in, but she knew it was the right decision
- Elayna took time to build her brand when she didn’t have a steady stream of clients
- People from previous jobs put her name in to a major company, which allowed her to land her first major freelance job
- Elayna and Nache’ are tall bloggers that are part of a an amazing tall community (see links below)
- Elayna is an artist and freelance designer, most of her revenue comes from her designs
- She discusses taking part in Jake Parkers’s Inktober challenge that helped her post more on IG and strengthen her illustration skills
- Started creating fashion illustrations with natural hair because she didn’t see it represented in other illustrations
- Tips for getting started with illustration: Her dad took photos from albums and used them to practice illustrating
- Elayna and Nache’ discussed their love for Skillshare to learn different business and creative skills
- On marketing: Used Etsy ads, Pinterest, and Instagram to get new work out there
- Elayna and Nache’ discussed frustrations with Facebook , but also ways it can be beneficial
- The benefits of going to a designer is they can help you craft your brand
- Dream: To have her art on a billboard or in magazines like Ebony and Essence
- Other passions: Food, she loves to cook and bake
- Product Elayna can’t live without: Netflix and Hulu
Tip of the Day
- Networking is king! Get out there and meet people!
ELAYNA SPEIGHT’S WORK
THE TALL BLOGS
ARTICLES ELAYNA HAS BEEN FEATURED IN:
ELAYNA SPEIGHT | INKED DESIGNS
Society 6: inkeddesignsshop
Podcast: Studio 78
Stop Dreaming, Start Doing!
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