Interview with Graphic Designer Julie Bateman (34) Owner of Bateman Design Group

Tell us about how you chose your career/business and what your responsibilities include?

I originally went to college to be a commercial photographer with a focus on large format, studio work. Long story short: I was unhappy with the way a 21 year old girl was expected to behave when assisting older, male, commercial photographers once I was finished school, so I took a retail management job while trying to figure out my next move. A friend of a friend asked me to help her out by shooting a series of products for a catalogue (their photographer had just bailed on them at the last minute), which I did. The small marketing company who I did the photo shoot for was about to use scissors and glue to do the layout of the catalogue, which blew my mind because I could see the high end scanners and computer equipment just sitting there, unused. I pointed it out, and they offered me a full time job as a graphic designer.

Luckily I had learned the software I’d need to use while I went to school for photography, and had courses in layout, colour theory and other things that translated well. I learned everything else by reading books and industry magazines, asking anyone I could, and attending seminars, tradeshows and other industry events.

Tell us about your company?

I have a full service graphic design and website design company. I work from a home office, but have a network of professionals with services who compliment mine such as marketing consultants, copywriters, website programmers and illustrators which allows me to offer higher end services at a competitive price to clients all over the world.

I am currently the creative director for a golf magazine. I also design all of the marketing material for a series of tradeshows in the United States, Asia and Europe. I get to work on a wide variety of projects and get to meet clients all over the world. No two days are ever the same, and there is always more to learn.

What are some of the most fulfilling projects you have been involved with so far?

I’ve recently started working with the Children’s Aide Society. I provide design services pro-bono to help raise funds to give abused and neglected children the skills and supports they need to reach their full potential in life.

Programs funded by the Children’s Aid Foundation of Simcoe County directly assist more than 3,000 children in Simcoe County annually – children who have suffered abuse and neglect and who receive service from the Children’s Aid Society. Many of these children have also lived with family violence, substance abuse and poverty.
Are there any people in your field you would like to meet and/or work with and have not yet had the opportunity?

There are so many amazing designers in the world who I’d love to meet and/or work with some day.

What are some of your favorite ways to network?

One of my most effective ways to network is by running. About three years ago I started taking part in running clinics though my local running room. Although I started running to get stronger and healthier, I have made some great friendships and business contacts which have resulted in some of my best business relationships.

Do you have a mentor – if so how did you choose one another? If not, is this something you think would benefit your career and is there anyone you would like to have as a mentor?

No, I don’t have a mentor but I’m sure it would benefit my career.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?

I love to run – I just completed another half marathon in Ottawa last weekend. I still love photography, and spend a lot of time outside gardening, kayaking, traveling. I also read a lot.

Any parting advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?

If you love graphic design, are willing to work hard and keep learning, it can be a great career. However, don’t expect to walk into a job as creative director as soon as you finish school.

How can our readers connect with you?

Thanks, Julie!