MEET THE PROS is a lecture series featuring creatives from the Champaign-Urbana community

Graphic Designer
Business Owner

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Room C118 (download PDF map)
Parkland College, Champaign IL


Working in Pajamas

One of the perks of being a freelance designer with a home office is that you can work in pajamas. Or whatever makes you comfortable. For a person who likes independence, variety, and challenges, the life of a freelancer can be sweet.

The downsides of working for yourself are many, but they can be mitigated. Gretchen Wieshuber has been a freelance designer for over 25 years, and will share her ups and downs. From building a clientele, to estimating a project, to providing your own benefits, to staying profitable, Gretchen will tell you what she has learned.

Studio 2D

Gretchen's company Studio 2D was started in 1989 to serve smaller businesses and organizations that wanted professional design, but couldn't afford a full-size agency. She found that many departments at the University of Illinois also have this need. The variety of people and projects is one of the best parts of freelancing.

Studio 2D was started with a business loan, which required writing a business plan. Gretchen now counsels other would-be entrepreneurs as a SCORE volunteer.

The Only Constant is Change

Whether you work for yourself or a large company, thinking like a freelancer can help you. The forces of change seem to be speeding up, requiring continuous reinvention. As a student at the University of Illinois, she learned to cut and paste. In 1986 she learned electronic page design and layout on her first Mac. Then in 1999 she adapted her design skills to web design. Now she is designing user interfaces for the mobile web.

Competition, new technology, and changes in market demand will affect all designers. Gretchen will provide tips on how to command the best projects and highest compensation throughout your career. All this and more is in her book Graphic Design Home Office (available on Amazon).

Web Links










(Download PDF poster of the event)
(Read an interview with Gretchen Wieshuber on Smile Politely)




MEET THE PROS is presented by Fine & Applied Arts at Parkland College
and sponsored by CUDO and 40 North/88 West

For additional information, please contact Paul Young