Designer Profile: Neptune
December 8, 2009
Diane Murphy – Milwaukee, WI
99designs handle: Neptune
Projects entered: 301
Projects won: 49
How did you get started in design?
I graduated from Carroll University with a BA in Fine Art way back in the 80’s when there were no computers in the graphic art industry. I’ve had many different creative jobs over the years- photographer, painter, art director, and finally, mural artist. Then 12 years ago, a friend of mine gave me a copy of Illustrator and Photoshop, and I was hooked right away. I could not believe these amazing tools were out there. I ditched my ladders and paint brushes and taught myself how to use the software with books and on-line tutorials.
How do you get your inspiration?
I would have to say I’m inspired by the incredibly creative work I see from fellow artists, by current cultural trends, and by imagination.
I imagine a logo design project as simply a problem to solve in the most original way possible. The process to me is a continuous stream of trial and error- a quest to find the perfect solution. The right logo is out there, waiting to be revealed.
What led you to start using 99designs.com?
A friend of mine sent me the link a little over a year ago, knowing that I loved designing logos. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.
I think it does help build clientele- I’ve had many contest holders contact me for further work.
I have met many designers on the site that have helped me with technical issues, inspired me, and at times, made me laugh out loud.
What are the three most important things that designers can do to have success at 99designs.com?
1) Before starting any design work for a contest, read the entire brief, any links from the contest holder, and any comments available in the discussion. This may seem like an obvious step to some, but when I first started participating in these contests, I would get halfway through the brief, get a scathingly brilliant idea, design it, then find out later it wasn’t even close. Had I read all the info I would have saved myself a lot of time.
2) Don’t get discouraged. It’s been my experience that most of the time spent designing for contests I didn’t win does not go to waste. The lessons learned and the experience gained proves to be quite valuable. Also, those rejected designs go on to inspire me and help save design time in future contests.
3) If you are new, I think it’s better initially to stay away from those big prize contests with hundreds of submissions. There are just too many designs for the CH to review and give proper feedback. I think it’s better to forget about the prize amount, and enter the smaller contests that are giving good feedback.
What do you love most about being a designer?
I like that my very left-sided brain works differently than those who think more with the right side. It makes me feel like I have a secret weapon.