In the creative industry, the term graphic designer describes an all-rounder. His portfolio is full of different works from various fields. He designs logos, posters, brochures and offers illustrations and web design on the side. At first glance, the everyday life of a graphic designer is diverse and therefore exciting. He acts like a Swiss army knife. But something fundamental missing distinguishes him from an expert – a recognizable, individual signature in his work. Even if he masters his craft and reaches customers with his service, he dances on a razor’s edge. Because he doesn’t specialize in a niche, it’s difficult for him to develop his own style that would set him apart from his competition. He simply lacks the necessary time to do so.
The consequences are overwork, financial or existential fear, and burnout
To put it bluntly, he is quickly replaceable because he does not stand out. Because he is replaceable, his only selling point is the price. Therefore, he lowers it to keep up with the numerous competitors. In the long run, this means more work, less money, and, what is even worse, little room to live out his creativity. This cycle makes him unhappy. The consequences are overwork, financial or existential fear, and burnout.
Someone we consider an expert in his field has usually gone through an intense inner struggle. He had to banish everything from his professional life that was not compatible with his chosen niche. This can be painful. An ear, nose, and throat doctor, for example, has undoubtedly been exposed to many fields she was passionate about before and during her studies. But fortunately for us, one day, she chose one path and specialized so that we could visit her doctor’s practice with a good feeling when we have a sore throat.
Under my studio name, Maivisto is the subline ” Illustration by Sergio Ingravalle.” This was not the case for a long time. It took me forever to find the courage to use this name. Previously it said, among other things:
Maivisto – Idea. Concept. Creation. Design
Maivisto – Design by Sergio Ingravalle
Maivisto – Graphic Design by Sergio Ingravalle
Maivisto – Illustration by Sergio Ingravalle.
Even hundreds of graphics I made in more than 5 years for fashion brands like Esprit were hit by the radical house cleaning
With this decision, I was forced to remove works that had nothing to do with illustration from my portfolio with a heavy heart: my thesis book, my student works (paintings, magazines, corporate designs, websites), and my first client commissions. Even hundreds of graphics I made in more than 5 years for fashion brands like Esprit were hit by the radical house cleaning. Although I was attached to my works, the passion for illustration and the will to earn a living with it was stronger. Everything else had no place from now on.
This precise positioning finally attracted people who were not only looking for illustration but who also recognized the added value of illustration and were willing to budget for it
This insight made planning the next steps easier and was ultimately the key. On the one hand, I could now dedicate myself 100% to my greatest passion – illustration. On the other hand, the attention on my work increased steadily, because now visitors could exactly see what I was offering. The portfolio was suddenly crystal clear and no longer blurred by non-illustration work. This precise positioning finally attracted people who were not only looking for illustration but who also recognized the added value of illustration and were willing to budget for it.