Welcoming Carmia to the blog today to share her passions, inspirations and background as a fellow freelance graphic designer in SA – check out her online shop if you are after budget friendly, professionally designed and instantly downloadable printable goodies :)Who are you and what do you do / make / sell?
My name is Carmia Cronjé and I own a graphic design studio called Clementine Creative. I specialise in designing brand identities for female entrepreneurs, and I also sell printable paper goods like calendars, planners, wedding stationery, and more in my online shop.
Did you always know that you were headed in this direction – how did you get where you are today?
I studied Graphic/Web Design in college and always thought I would get a job like everyone else after graduating. I went for a few job interviews but it just never felt right. I couldn’t picture myself working in an office from 9 – 5. But I was lucky enough to get to stay with my parents while trying to start my own freelance business. After giving up a few times, I decided to start believing in myself more and to work harder. I finally got my business up and running last year.
What makes your work / products / services unique?
I don’t really follow trends and prefer to do something unique to me – simple but quirky. Lots of designers are following the “hipster” trend right now, but I like to do something with more thought and feeling.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Like most designers, I love Pinterest. I also find inspiration in magazines, books, blogs, etc.
Who are your creative idols?
There are many designers that I admire, but I don’t really have specific idols.
Where do you like to hang out – what are your favourite spots in your town/city/country?
I don’t go out a lot, but when I do I like to get an ice-cream and go to the beach. Other than that, my favourite spot in Gordon’s Bay is The Garden Kitchen, which is a nursery/restaurant with great food, atmosphere and cute things to buy. And I love visiting the penguins in Betty’s Bay. There are many other places I love in the Western Cape and Free State (where I grew up), but too many to mention.
Given the opportunity, where would you like to travel/explore?
Europe! Especially France and Italy. I have a little obsession with the Eiffel tower and other French things. And I’d love to visit the museums and explore the architecture.
How does a typical day for you play out?
I get up, have breakfast and get dressed. At 9 AM I’m in front of my computer checking and responding to emails. I then work on designs for clients, renew my Etsy listings, work up proposals, send invoices and check social media. I take regular breaks in between and also a lunch break. Then it’s back to work until 5 PM or so and then I’m done for the day. I used to work at night and check emails but I stopped doing that when I realised it was causing me lots of stress and unhappiness. Also, I don’t check email or do any client work on Sundays, but reserve the day for blog reading and other fun things. Checking emails on Sundays just made Mondays even more stressful than usual when I thought about what I have to do, to whom I should respond, etc.
With a day all to yourself (no meetings, distractions, to-do-lists) and an unlimited budget, what would you get up to?
I’d probably sleep late, have breakfast at a nice place, go see a movie (haven’t been to the movies in ages), and just hang out with my boyfriend.
If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
I love animals, so I probably would have liked a job related to animals.
Where can we stalk you?
My portfolio website: http://design.clementinecreative.co.za
My printables shop: http://www.clementinecreative.co.za
What does your workspace / studio look like?
I work at a desk in my bedroom. It’s nice and sunny in the winter mornings, and yes, my desk is always this tidy. My brain cannot function in a cluttered environment.(Photo attached).
What it the work/design/product/project you are most proud of to date?
I really enjoyed creating the airmail-themed branding (see below) for English Express, a small English language school in France. My client and I share this obsession with airmail and stamps, so it was the perfect partnership. As of writing the website isn’t live yet, but I hope it will be soon.