Monsters like talking to people. Why do you think dragons capture princesses? To have an interlocutor, of course. Having a cave full of gold is cool, but it is not as great as boasting about it to someone. At TemplateMonster, we like meeting and talking to interesting people, so we send the cutest of our kind, Alexandra Payne, to interview them.
Today our team had a chance to speak with Daniel White, also known as Dansky.
He is a professional designer that has passion and talent for teaching others. If you have ever searched for Photoshop tutorials on YouTube, you probably watched at least one of his videos. Daniel is working in this industry for 12 years as a full-time employee and a freelancer, while decided to dedicate all his time to tutorials creation. His interests and skills are broad; Daniel is not only an experienced Adobe products user but he also uses Sketch, Illustrator, and non-designer software such as Trello.
It was a pleasure to know this guy a little closer, and we’re convinced you will like him too.
Daniel: Most of my tutorials are going around Adobe suite because it is what I’ve started with when I was about 16 years old. I’ve also used Sketch, which is excellent for UI/UX design. There are many other little things, like Invision, which is fantastic for collaborating on projects with clients or teams. Trello, that’s another good one. That’s an app which I use to put down my ideas whenever and wherever I get them so that I can get back to them later.
Daniel: I’ve spent a lot of time working with clients. It’s great because you built warm relationships, but sometimes it’s also hard. I think I’ve just reached the point where I just wanted to create things and to be able to create anything that I can come up with. And it was a big step because client work was the primary source of my income, and YouTube was a lot smaller one. It was quite risky to do that and stop all my client work all at once. But what I did is just increased the amount of content I was putting out and tried to grow the channel.
Daniel: Whether you’re trying to get your first client as a freelancer or you’re aspiring to get your first job, the reality is that it’s tough. But once you do, it becomes a lot easier to get the next client and the next job. And when it comes down to getting that first client, the best thing I can advise is ‘Don’t give up.’ It also took me a while to get my first client on a freelancing platform. And when I finally got that first client, I made sure that the work was perfectly done and was super happy when I got a good review. Then I got the next client, and the next review, and then another one, and this all just grew over time. So, make sure the client is having a great experience with you, whether it’s email or phone communication, the quality of your work, etc. Just create excellent work and good relationships with people, and they will return.
Alexandra: What are the tools the beginning designers should learn at first?
Daniel: I think if it's purely designed, what is best to use is Adobe suite: Photoshop, Illustrator, Xd. Xd is extremely easy to learn, you can acquire all the necessary skills in about an hour and then start creating. Photoshop and Illustrator have been around a lot longer and got way more feature, so might seem more intimidating to learn. But you can always go to YouTube, find a tutorial and it will take you through all the scary things.
Freelancing. So, worked full-time for about eight years, and was doing freelancing on the side. I knew that I wanted to do freelancing as my main thing. At that time, I was in the environment where I couldn’t create and work creatively, so I realized I wasn’t happy where I was. Now I never look back, since it was the best thing I’ve done. Now I realize I love the freedom.
It’s a tricky question because I’ve spent so much time working on my own. I’d like to work at the office with other people again, but I would like it to be my office.
When I left my full-time job with the team of designers I worked with was fantastic. Now I’ve worked on my own for about three to four years - and you get a bit lonely. I mean, you can’t joke around and laugh, so I would love to work with a team at some point in the future because it gets a little boring when you’re all alone.
I wish I were a morning person, but I’m not. My brain goes live at night, which might be inconvenient sometimes because one needs to sleep. Sometimes inspiration happens, and you have to go with it.
Daniel: I think now a lot of my inspiration as a content creator comes from other YouTubers. There are channels that I’ve followed and learned so much from; some of those channels are The Futur by Chris Do, which is brilliant; he had a significant impact on me. Roberto Blake, TutVid (who make lots of tutorials), and Flux are my other inspirations. There are so many other channels which I can’t even recall.
Alexandra: Where could one learn design at the time when you were starting out?
Daniel: I’ve been in the industry for 12 years, so I think when I started it was a mix of following tutorials (still those in text plus picture format) and trying to figure it out yourself. I recall how a friend of mine showed me a couple of filters in Photoshop that could distort people’s faces… For some reason, I found it very amusing, and fell in love with Photoshop and couldn’t stop playing around with it. So, by just having fun, I learned more and more. I guess there must have been books teaching how to use Photoshop templates.
Daniel: There is a couple of things I’m working on currently, but I can’t get into detail yet. Generally, I want to build my brand, my image online and on YouTube specifically. There are so many things I could bring to the platform.
Have you ever watched Dansky’s videos? Are there some specific questions you would like to ask Daniel? This was not our last interview with him, so if you would like us to talk about something, write it down in the comment section below.
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