I was emailed by another Christian Graphic Designer, like myself. I’ll keep his name anonymous for privacy reasons, but this post shows a large part of the email he sent to me. Below, I’ve attempted to answer his questions about regarding his concerns of Christians in the design field. I’m showing this so that other designers can benefit from further discussions that may pursue. Here goes:
The Email and my Reply…
Email: Hello, I am also a Christian graphic designer/ illustrator. I’ve been freelancing for my church- making flyers, a tract, logo designs for their youth and young adult ministries. Although, I am grateful for the opportunities they have given me. However, I’ve been finding it very difficult to find paying graphic design jobs. I’m a recent graduate, but it seems that I’m getting nowhere with my chosen career. I too had made the decision to put God first in my career, even made my logo to symbolize that Jesus comes first.
To be honest with you I thought I was the only one. I haven’t come across a graphic designer who put Jesus all over their work, until I came across your website. So I just wanted to ask you, do you design exclusively for Christians? When did you decide to put God first in your portfolio? Have you been finding it difficult to be a Christian graphic designer as opposed to just following the crowd?
Reply: I don’t exclusively for Christians because to be honest, I don’t think the market is big enough to sustain to income of a freelance designer in general. I’m sure this is possible with the right connections, and especially if a Christian designer had large repeat-clients. But in my opinion, much of the “Christian work” actually goes out to non-Christian designers. Indeed, I have seen this happen online. I reckon the amount of Christians who seek a Christian designer is relatively small; this is the way things go. After all, Christian clients want great work and reasonable prices, so you cant blame them for using ‘secular freelances’ and companies in one respect. However, I really do think that Churches should use Christian designers.
I’m glad you you have decided to put God first regarding your design skills, however, at the moment you’re still in the same boat as all new graduates. Most students find it hard to get work straight out of Uni/College, so don’t get too discouraged. To get paid design jobs you’re going to have to work at it like everyone else. It’s not a Christian verses non-Christian issue. My advice is set up a blog and post regular content which will attract clients. In one sense, you’ll be at a disadvantage marketing yourself as a Christian designer, but in another sense, you’ll be in an advantageous situation as well, as Christian clients should be able to find you easier.
Email: The reason I ask, is because lately I’ve been doubting whether I made the right choice to put Jesus first in my work. I never really set out to be a graphic designer exclusively for Christians, I guess I just wanted to be able to put Him first in my work because that was what I believed He wanted me to do. I guess I wanted to please God, but it has been a struggle. Especially when I see others who don’t put God first, they are succeeding, and I’m not. Thank you for standing out of the crowd, and thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless.
I always wanted to use my skills for the LORD Jesus Christ, and initially I set out to only design for Christians. I had a previous site that was a total failure, and I never got any work. I had a re-think and prayed about the situation, and eventually (about 4 years ago) decided to split my ”online presence’ into 2 main separate sites. I now run this blog for mainly Christian work, and my other site, Andrew Kelsall Design which is aimed at general clientele, which includes Christians.
So, to conclude, is it hard being a Christian Graphic Designer? Yes and no. Yes, it’s hard in respect to people not hiring you because you’re a Christian, but then again─are these people the type of clients you want anyway? No. In another respect, setting yourself apart as a Christian designer should make you much easier to be located by Churches and other Christian organisations who want your services.
The main thing is this. If it’s God’s will that you pursue Christian design, that’s the main thing to consider. As with all things, the key is relationship with Jesus and understanding His will for you life.
Any questions or comments? Please leave them below…