I Am Single . . . I Can’t Raise A Family On My Logo Design Earnings
Entrepreneurship is not a bed of roses. Chief Synner recently had an exclusive interview with Dotun Fadairo, the CEO of WordSmith Designs. He talked about life, love and business of designs. This is how it went:
Who is Dotun Fadairo and how did you become an entrepreneur?
Dotun Fadairo is a 32 year old logo designer, writer, meme, ewa agonyin and dodo lover. An all round naija geek. . I was working at an oil and gas servicing company as a human resources/ recruitment officer but the down turn of the oil and gas industry sent everything into a downward plunge. Salaries and allowances were owed for months. I had to leave and do something else.
How long ago was this?
This was in 2015. I resigned in september 2015 due to events beyond my control and I found myself with a lot of time on my hands and nothing to do. I tried looking for work but nothing was forthcoming. I decided one day to start a blog. I had all these ideas in my head and wanted to share them in writing (the blog is at wordsmithf.wordpress.com). From blogging, I decided to try making my own cover photo designs rather than depending on google images for them. I had no software to do so, so I went online and after a search I found an online free photo editor. I created some cover photos and started using them as backgrounds for some quotes I had written. One day, I was talking with a friend who was ill and she happened to mention that she had started a business. I made one for her and realized that I really loved the process of making a logo. It has been a tough but fun progress till date.
It has been two years.
How has it been compared to your years of paid employment?
It hasn’t been smooth. I have a supportive family but honestly, I wouldnt go back to paid employment. At a point I realized that even as an amateur logo designer, I was earning more than I was making in my first job.
There are actually a lot of people who think logo design is for those that didn’t get admission or finish school. What’s your say about this?
Well, I got admission and finished school with a second class upper so I don’t see their point Logo design is a part of graphic design and branding and it is something that lots of people pay good money to go to school and learn.
Does your family support this business move? What does your girlfriend say about introducing her man as a logo designer?
My family is a bit mixed… my late brother was all in, my mum is a bit worried as a Nigerian mums usually are. My sister is supportive as well. As for a girlfriend, I am single and not searching. I have zero interest in a relationship at this point to be honest…unless of course someone is dating me without my knowledge and in that case ” invisible bae your man is a proud logo designer and learner!
Lmao! Can you categorically tell us that logo design is enough to feed the family/source of income? I’m sure many budding designers want to know this.
Logo designing is enough to pay my personal bills. I can’t raise a family on what I earn at the moment but then again it is a growing business. I know Logo designers that charge as much as 150,000 per logo and others whose design fee is a 1000 dollars plus. I’m not at that point yet but its one step at a time. I certainly am far from where i started. My advice to others who want to go into freelance logo design full time is to consider their personal circumstances. I’m a single guy with no family responsibilities.
They’ll need to take things into consideration and map out a plan that works for them. For those who are into logo design, please take pride in your work. People might consider you never do wells et al but be confident.
The Nigerian entrepreneurship scene is known to be turbulent. How do you survive when there are a lot of people already on the block? How do you handle frustration?
My belief in God is a continual reminder that no matter how bad the nigerian scene is, God is for me and I will make it through.
How much does it take to start your kind of business? What are the tools needed?
Laptop, internet data and adobe illustrator and/or photoshop and a person has all the tools they need.
How do people get clients?
Getting clients will vary from person to person but I advice using social media and delivering good work. Most of my clients come from Facebook. I make it a point to display my various creations on Facebook, both on my personal page and business page. At other times, I have approached friends who have great social media following and asked them to recommend my work and they have done so. I also ask for referrals.
Tell us a secret about design.
You don’t necessarily have to go to a design school to learn. If you have the software, talent and passion for it, then youtube is bursting full of tutorials that will teach you the basics all the way to even the advanced stuff.
What would you do differently with the knowledge you have now?
I would do less free work. One of the things i did at the beginning was all kinds of free jobs because I wanted to get “my foot in the door” but to be honest, doing free work doesnt really help you. People tend to value design work that they got for free less so charge fees that you are happy with and don’t let anyone fool you with the “we can’t pay you but doing this will give you exposure”or “we will do other things together” (without a contract stating that they will give you more work in future, this particular line is not worth anything)
How has being an entrepreneur shaped your life?
I’m better at managing money (especially saving) now than I was before. Doing what I love motivates me to get better at it anyway I can. On the other hand, I’m now a night owl. Also because of the nature of my work, i tend to sit down more than I should and this has led to some painful back aches. I’m remedying that now by standing up and walking around though.
Tell us something your fans on social media don’t know about you.
I was the faculty fellowship pastor way back in Unilag.
Keep learning, keep growing and keep going.
Such insightful words of wisdom from Dotun. He can be reached on Facebook with the same name. Do share this post!