Welcome to this week’s episode of the phenomenal career podcast. I’m really excited to have my friend Dominic Marshall here. Would you like to introduce yourself to our listeners?
Hello! I am the founder of Dmarz Designs and I do a lot of stuff ranging from brand design, Squarespace design to web design. I’m also a hand lettering artist and I also work full time as a UX designer. So I’ve got fingers in lots of different pies.
Have you always worked in a creative capacity?
Yes, very much. I think I probably only ever had one ‘other’ non-creative job and I absolutely hated it. Every other job has been very much creative in some form or fashion.
Where did you first start exploring your creativity and realising this might be what you wanted to do?
A big part for me was when I was at uni. I studied design and was figuring out what I was going to do with my life. Originally, I wanted to work at a music magazine, which – spoiler alert – I ended up doing, which was great. It’s kind of progressed from there. I looked at what my likes were, where my style was going, what I was enjoying doing, and just followed that path as it went along.
I started as a designer, moved into web design and marketing, and now I’m in UX design, and business/brand design as well. For me, I’ve never wanted to do anything else, as it’s something I’ve been passionate about since I was a little.
In terms of your career as a whole, how do you balance both your day job and side hustle?
It’s a struggle every day, as I’m sure you’re aware! I’ve tried to experiment to see where I work best. So early mornings, early evenings and weekends are usually the standard times to do any sort of side business tasks. I guess a big part of me finding a balance between that and working full time is just being aware of my energy, and how much work I can actually take on. What my capacity is and trying not to do too many projects at once.
I don’t want to spread myself too thin because I’ve been down the road of burnout and it’s not a fun road to drive down. I vowed to myself that I would never go down that road again.
What advice would you give to people who are wanting to work with a designer?
I guess before even trying to contact a designer, one thing would be asking yourself; what problem are you trying to solve with your website? What are your goals and objectives? What is going to be your measures of success? Do you want to open a shop and earn X amount of money? Do you want to book X number of clients? Being clear on your goal will help the designer put together a good user experience and will help bring that vision to life.
Number two, know who your target audience is. Just do as much work as possible to get to the nitty-gritty of who you want to speak to and who you want to work with. Why would they work with you in comparison to other people in your field? What makes you unique?
The third thing I would advise is that design does take time, especially website design. Being open-minded to the process will get you quicker to your goals than trying to micromanage everything because there’s one thing I can’t stand. If you don’t trust me, or you don’t trust the process, then I can’t do a good job for you. I need the mental space and the clarity of myself to actually be able to do a good job, and if someone is constantly trying to micromanage, I’m just not going to do the work.
How has the past year affected your career and how you work?
A big thing that I’ve learned over the past year is to honour your boundaries. Lowering your expectations of yourself a little bit and not being hard on yourself is a big thing. Especially following last year, just being aware of your mental state, emotional state, physical state and doing what you need to feel better in yourself, regardless of whether you run a business or not. It’s one of the most important things that I think everyone needs to be aware of and pay attention to, and not let it slide under the rug.
Don’t let people take advantage of you. Speak up if something isn’t right and be okay with saying no. You don’t need to say yes to everything. No can be a complete sentence.
What’s your career teaching you right now?
My career is teaching me to find your people. I think a big thing for me over the past year or so is just finding people like you. Just having a group of people that you can count on, and be your full self around with no judgement and no drama. All of that is so important for all manners. I think it’s one of the biggest things that I’m happy about.
Where can people find you and follow your journey?