Interview with Rock Langston, Graphic Designer Tomato Graphics

Tell us about your business.
My focus is on graphic design for print media, and includes identity design, publication design, and promotions for small businesses, non-profits, and the leisure/tourism industry. My style runs from whimsical to stylish black and white, and is always well-crafted.
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Self-direction has always been the most comfortable place for me. I’ve worked freelance for many years, and have enjoyed the freedom it gives me to change direction and focus as I please. My background is in design. I started out as an artwear and textile designer. Next, I ventured into the garden and became a licensed landscape contractor. Finally, I pursued my interest in print and graphic design, which is where I’ve been for the past eight years.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I look at a broad picture, rather than focusing on one person or model. There are so many good models, why limit myself?
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Growing and expanding my areas of interest and expertise, while sticking to my style and ethical principles no matter where I’ve lived, or what design field I’m in.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Choose your battles carefully. Don’t waste your time and energy on things you don’t need to change or fix. Take good care of your clients, especially the ones who are most tentative about working with you. We can all feel a little vulnerable outside of our comfort zone.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?  To be myself.
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you succeed?
Much of what I use is specific to my field, so probably not relevant to a general audience.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Learn more about how to style and develop my social media marketing.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Throughout my life I’ve felt fortunate to have work that I love. I think being a designer is a special calling. I love what I do; as a result, I’m fun and easy to work with, and get to work with interesting and delightful people. Being a creative allows me to (see above) be myself.
How can our readers find you online?
Start with my website: . There is a contact form on the site if you want to reach me directly. Still working on getting a blog up and running. (Also see above). On Twitter and FriendFeed I’m toptomato. Give a follow!