• Keith James

I Make No Apologies

Updated: Jan 20, 2019

So, this is my graphic design website and frog blog: welcome! Although I'm a creative graphic designer the other big things in my life are my family & friends and my running adventures.

This first blog post will be about what that means to me, how it works together... so we can get it all out of the way with, move on and you can know what to expect in the future... mainly graphic design fun and advice, with a bit of extreme stupid running and the occasional baby photo thrown in for good measure, but I make no apologies for this....

Me at the South Wales 50, climbing Penyfan

I've been a graphic designer for over 20 years, more if you include University, even more if you include school and my days of copying Heavy Metal band logos! But I've only just gone freelance and set up my own business in the last few months (this will quite probably be covered in my second frog blog so I won't go into any details on that yet).

It wasn't long before I realised that instead of conforming and fitting into the mould of what I thought a freelance graphic designer should be, that I really had to be myself... which included my life, my family and my running... so when you work with treefrög, you get a running family man creative graphic designer, that's me, I love it and I make no apologies.

For me it's a perfect combination, but I appreciate it's not for everyone, after all who wants to get up at 5:30am, out for a long run up a mountain, then get home change a stinky nappy then get cracking on the next big branding design idea!? Well, me actually.

I put the world to rights, organise my thoughts, come up with some great creative ideas (and try not to forget them before I get home) all before most people are out of bed. The best bit is seeing the queues of commuting traffic that I don't have to sit in anymore as I head home to my studio.

In fact, I did exactly that this morning. It was my last long training run for The Arc of Attrition (a 100mile race around the South West Coastal Path down in Cornwall) in two weeks time. Aaaah relax, now I can start to taper and eat my own body weight in food! Here's my charity link and story In case anyone is feeling generous... www.justgiving.com/fundraising/arcofattrition

Some of my thoughts this morning were...

1. In a world where services like Fiverr and Design Crowd are so popular, people are always trying to work out how to do things quicker, but not necessarily better or correctly. So I'm making a conscious effort to always do a better job than my previous job and maintain a constant curve of improvement. I don't think design and branding is a quick and easy process anyway, I don't like to over complicate things but there should always be thought processes, meaning and a reflection of ethos and vision in our work.

2. I really need to sort my kit list out for The Arc.

3. Oooo a heron!

4. It's friday, we really should have something nice for tea tonight!

I think this illustrates externally I'm running family man creative graphic designer but also if you climb inside my head it's a total reflection of that.

So i'll keep this short and sweet and next time I promise to actually talk about design, maybe a top five list of things I've learnt in the first few months of working as a freelance designer...!? But then again, I'll probably have just run my race then.... I may have something to say about that too...

I'm not going to apologise for that either.

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