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Jo Klima

August 11, 2013

*Photo by Carter & Rose Photography

Australian designer Jo Klima is a ‘web designer, illustrator, and chief idea gardener ‘over at The Darling Tree. Jo worked with us on the creation of Make It In Design ande has an uncanny knack of just ‘getting’ what you are trying to communicate in terms of what you want your brand to look and feel like.

Jo also teaches a brilliant blog design course – if you want to make your blog more beautiful and more effective we highly recommend it. You can find out more here.

With an extraordinary knack for organic, finely detailed, and feminine designs, Jo strives to provide her clients with a brand identity inspired by their ideas, purpose and spirit. A work of digital art they’ll keep loving for years to come, as a perfect representation of the soul of their business.

Jo also loves to teach bloggers how they can create their own custom designs and enjoy the experience of infusing their online spaces with more of their personality with the Your Darling Blog design workshops.

*Photo by Carter & Rose Photography

1. How are you leading a life ‘doing what you love’?

When I was young you would always find me doing something arty and crafty. This continued through school in art and photography, and towards the end of high school I knew that graphic design would be the perfect path for me.

My business provides the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing women, share my love of design with students in my blog design workshop, and have fun creating and developing new products and ideas.

 

2. What did you do before this?

After graduating from the Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of Design, I spent four years working with various digital and web design studios.

*Creature Comforts Blog

3. What was the a-ha moment that pushed you to change?

The companies I worked for catered primarily to corporate businesses. Over time I found the working environment and creative process became tedious and uninspiring, and I was not at all suited to the 9 to 5 routine. I was interested in pursuing work that would allow me to collaborate with creative and passionate people, and put my efforts into my own business and not someone else’s.

 

4. How did you make it happen?

I began freelancing with new clients and immediately I loved the freedom of working on projects that suited a more feminine and artistic aesthetic. It reignited my passion for design. After just a few months of freelancing I made the move to self-employment, and The Darling Tree was born.

I’m immensely lucky, in that the amazing people I have worked with have always been willing to spread the word about my business so I am continually introduced to more wonderful people and collaborations.

*Susannah Conway

5. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

Over the years I’ve struggled to pin down what offerings I should focus on, switching back and forth between only providing design services to also offering web development, as well as which side projects I should follow through with. Eventually I stepped back to see how I could provide the most value to a client or someone interested in design, and that is my design work, so now the business is focused on doing that and doing it well.

 

6. Who is your role model and why?

There are many women whom I really admire and respect, one of which is of course you, Beth. You’re incredibly smart, kind, ambitious and organised — you really inspire me to achieve great things in my own life and business.

 

7. What is the best advice you have received?

Remove the word ‘but’ from your vocabulary and stop comparing yourself to the supposed competition… there is no competition!

*Your Darling Blog Design & Style Workshop

8. Why did you create the Your Darling Blog course and why is it special?

I decided to create the course when I found that bloggers were struggling with three different issues. The first was a lack of quality themes or templates available which catered to the feminine and creative blogging community. The second was not having the budget to hire a quality designer to design one for them. The third was the desire to create their own design but not knowing where to start.

Your Darling Blog not only teaches bloggers how to craft a beautiful blog page from scratch in Photoshop, but one that’s infused with their personality, brand, and voice. The option for one-on-one design feedback is perhaps the most valuable aspect of the workshop, providing a personal experience that isn’t available in many other online courses.

 

9. What is the one thing you wish people would think about before approaching a web/blog designer to work with?

You can help a designer immensely when you first contact them by providing them with some detailed information about your project – simply asking ‘how much for a website’ will not suffice. Consider sharing a little about yourself or your business, which pages you may need, what features might be required (blog, ecommerce, gallery), your budget etc. By doing so, the designer can determine if the project is a good match for them and get your discussions off to a nice start.

 

*Photo by Carter & Rose Photography

10. What is the big dream for your business?

I plan to branch out to include more products, courses (including live workshops) and web apps. I want to create new opportunities for business owners, bloggers and creatives to be connected to the design world and the growing business of online learning.

For more on Jo, her work, and to check out her blog, step on over to The Darling Tree – or wave hello on twitter or instagram!

[This interview first appeared on Do What You Love on May 23 2013]

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