Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Delano.
Alex, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have been an artist my entire life, but never planned to actually use my talents for my career. However, after being accepted into Boston University’s Biology program, I attended orientation and ultimately switched my major to Graphic Design right then and there. I can’t tell you what exactly made me switch that day other than an overwhelmingly strong gut feeling.
After orientation, I attended Boston University for four years majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Advertising. I had over five jobs while studying there, including Retail Employee at a local ski shop on campus, Graphic Designer at a high-end salon on Newbury Street, and one of seven Student Marketing Managers nationwide for Vans. It was around my senior year that I started taking on small freelance projects, from friends’ small business logos to book covers for best-sellers.
Once I graduated, I worked full-time in a small, rural town in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. There wasn’t a whole lot for me to do there outside of work, so I started self-assigning Graphic Design and Illustration projects. It was here that my freelance business really took off, and I had more clients reaching out to me than I could keep up with. I worked on my craft every day, saved money, and yet still got so bored with the environment that even the projects weren’t enough to keep me busy. I then made the brave decision to do something I’d only seen on TV and heard others talk about: move to Los Angeles for the heck of it.
I had never even visited the city before and had only been to Northern California once before that. However, once again I decided to go with my gut and start planning. I applied to 50+ jobs a week, scheduled virtual apartment tours daily, and started building out my plan of attack. By some universal luck, I got hired, found an apartment, and set the date. I ended up driving across the country with my two cats and a lizard in 8 days, and eventually arrived at my studio apartment in Downtown Los Angeles in June 2019.
It’s been a little over a year since I made that journey, and it has been the absolute best choice for my creative career and quality of life. My DTLA landlord ended up being a notable actor who hired me to create his latest podcast cover, my friends from BU hired me as a freelance designer for their companies, and countless other word-of-mouth gigs have come knocking at my door.
I am so grateful to be able to do what I love in this capacity, and I hope to continue to build my freelance design and illustration network.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
While I have been extremely grateful and lucky in my position, it hasn’t come without difficulties. Moving in itself was an extremely brave, daunting, and challenging task. I risked a lot financially and personally when making that decision, and had to put it all out on the table. While the decision seems to be well worth the risk now, there were moments when I first arrived in LA that I questioned my own decision-making and even sanity in my bravery.
Similarly, there have been brief droughts of work or full-time opportunities that took me away from my freelance business that I love so dearly. Learning to know your worth, set your rates, be confident with your clients, be approachable yet firm, and everything else that goes into being a small business owner has challenges of its own. There have been moments where I was underpaid, or didn’t get paid for months at a time, or simply didn’t know my own worth and agreed to a lot more than what was fair. These are all part of the challenges of being your own boss, but through them have taught me more about myself and what I’m capable of than any full-time position ever has.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Alex D. Design – what should we know?
Alex D. Design is primarily a Graphic Design service specializing in illustration and mixed media. However, I also work on digital graphics, presentations, logos & branding, and much more.
However, what sets me apart is my ability to combine fine art with graphic design, giving my clients a completely custom, unique, and hand-crafted touch to their projects. Most all of my podcast/album covers involve some level of hand-drawn illustration or collage, and this truly sets my work apart from others. In a primarily digital world, I find it extremely effective to bring physical elements back into design.
I am most proud of my work for Nicholas D’Agosto and his podcast, God & Other Delacacies as well as my work for influencer, The Tiny Herbivore, and her podcast cover.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think consistency is the most important characteristic to my success. My clients mainly find me through word of mouth or Instagram, so it’s vital that I am consistent with my clients, my work, my approach, and my attitude. Whatever I say to one client will be passed down (or not) to others, so I need to be reliable and approachable.
Consistency can also relate to the work itself and the importance of practicing my craft. I spend at least 30 minutes every day working on a project that is non-work related, whether it be for a client or myself. Constantly experimenting, trying new things, and harnessing my craft is crucial when it comes to developing original ideas.
- My typical rate is $40/hour (can depend on the project)
- Website: alexdelano.co
- Phone: 4136630030
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alex.d.esign/