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Getting to Know a Business Owner

Zane Barry – Graphic Designer

I found Zane on a Craigslist ad as part of our campaign to help small business owners get their story online. His work is amazing, and his designs are truly stunning. As someone in the marketing field, his designs truly sell. What’s on his portfolio makes me want to buy the product. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to interview the owner and founder of kernico. Below is the transcript:

J: Without further or due, my first question to you Zane is how did you get involved with Graphic Design?

Z: From a young age my grandma taught me how to produce art and how to draw. From there I kind of developed my skill throughout high school and in college, I majored in graphic design.

J: Did you take any courses?

Z: Yeah, I went to Illinois State University and the program was pretty small. So all my classes were like 5, 6 people. The classes were more typography, logo design, and web design focused.

J: What made you go down that route? When did you decide you wanted to be a graphic designer?

Z: It was sophomore year, and I was figuring out what to do in college. I knew I was pretty good at drawing and art. I thought graphic design would have been a good route.

J: When did you start your own business?

Z: It wasn’t too long ago, maybe two months ago now.

J: Wow, so very recent.

Z: Yeah very new. I just started freelancing which has given me the time to develop a vision for my business and get my website and find new people. So that’s really been the catalyst recently.

J: Great, this is again more on the business side. But what does it mean to you to be your own boss?

Z: It really just means freedom… creative freedom along with the freedom to make my own schedule.

J: What obstacles have you faced, or are you facing right now?

Z: The problem now is really finding clients, and investing into different things like SEO, and different products.

J: And have you discovered any learning curves?

Z: Yeah, finding business is something I knew was going to take some time, but I didn’t it to take as much time as it does. You know, finding outlets for jobs, and new clients is pretty challenging.

J: Definitely can relate on that.  And what do you think is the most common reason for people giving up as a graphic designer or entrepreneur in general.

Z: They probably just get discouraged with the work that comes. It’s a lot of busy work which isn’t very inspiring.

J: Definitely. Now I want to ask some “getting to know you” questions. So my first question is what is your favorite color? As a marketer to designer I gotta know the favorite color.

Z: Haha. I don’t have one, I really don’t. But if I had to pick one it’d be green.

J: Any specific shade, or any green?

Z: An olive green, natural green.

J: Favorite food?

Z: Pizza haha.

J: Pizza, I have to agree. I’m from New York so if you’re ever here you have to get some local pizza.

Z: That’s right, haha.

J: So now, favorite music genre?

Z: Hip-pop

J: Favorite movie?

Z: Let’s go… that’s a loaded question haha… I wanna say Django but I also wanna say Kill Bill.. let’s go Kill Bill.

J: Good taste in movies!  Now, what does a typical day look like for you?

Z: I wake up pretty early. I try to treat my freelance schedule as a full-time job, so I get up at the crack of dawn at 6:30 AM. I get right to work, I try to use that lucid feeling in my creativity I let that carry throughout the day. Then I grab lunch and then finish up the rest of the work. I usually finish up the administrative stuff in the afternoon. And then I work-out at 4.

J: So you’re pretty much free after then.

Z: Yeah.

J: How does your daily routine shape who you are?
Z: I guess I’ve always been a self-starter, and self-motivated.  Being on this new schedule has really challenged me in that way. Where if I want to sleep till noon I probably could. So it’s kind of testing me in that way, where the more I can force myself to get up and be productive the more results I see and the more I can take that into my personal life such as working out and personal goals.

J: Sounds great, and with that what goals do you have for 2019?

Z: Hmmm… well, I do want to land a bigger job where I can employ other people alongside myself. Hopefully like a package design job, I think cannabis is the industry that will lead to those kinds of jobs. That industry is package design heavy. On a personal note, I’m trying to hike a bunch of mountains and ski a lot.

J: Where do you see yourself in the long run? Two, three years?

Z: I’d like to have a full staff. I still don’t want to have a full location and remain remote. I want to be transparent about that with my clients. I think it’s going to help them in terms of cost—not paying for rent as big businesses do.

J: Do you have any advice for any aspiring graphic designers/entrepreneurs like yourself?

Z: Chase your passion! Don’t think about money and try to create something great.

J: Excellent. Are there any resources you can recommend to people out there?

Z: The internet. Use the internet, or even the computer itself. It’s the god of tools. Use it creatively and financially.

J: I couldn’t agree, thank you for your time to answer these questions.

Z: Thanks a lot for the call!




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