Matt Houston | Creative Director

Our next guest is Creative Director, Matt Houston.

Tell us about yourself, what you currently do and how did you end up where you are right now?

I was fortunate enough to work with the LA Rams as a designer for the 2018 season where we made a run at the Super Bowl and then from there was the Manager of Content Innovation at COPA90. Both of those experiences helped me grow and learn what it takes to work within an organization and what types of design projects need to be done (many of which are not fun social posts).

As a full-time freelance creative, what does a normal week look like for you?

Right now, I’m back in a stretch of being quite busy so I am glad I didn’t burn myself out during those downtimes. I still start each day with a trip to the dog park then I get in a nice work block during the day but still find myself drawn to being a night owl. I like to do a lot of my work once the sun has gone down and the creative juices start flowing.

Since late 2019, you have gone full-time freelance, how did you find this transition?

Some advice I always like to give is that you don’t need 10–15 clients you need 2–4 really good clients and that can sustain you. Find people that value you and that enjoy working with and your life will be a lot easier.

When did you know you wanted to work in sport?

You’ve freelanced for several football companies/publications and your work has been featured by the likes of the Premier League, Inter Milan and The Players’ Tribune. Can you tell us more about this experience and your thoughts on the current freelance market for graphic designers?

I think it’s great to see how the sports creative industry has grown even since I have been a part of it. The freelance market is booming and there seem to be more people making the jump into it in some capacity each day. If you do great work there will always be room for you in this space.

What tools/software would you recommend to aspiring designers?

What general advice would you give to those individuals looking to pursue a career in graphic design, specifically focused on sports? What are the key skills required?

Practice creating things that have more sustainable value to the clubs. On that same note, I see lots of people do “Team Branding Concept” which I think is great except a lot of them seem rushed or that they took under 24 hours to create. While it’s cool that you have created some Starting XI graphics I think it’s important to give yourself the proper time to do a project like this. Don’t just rush a quick branding project so you can get it on your Behance. Take the time to create something that you really think will help land you that next dream job you are looking for.

Outside of the design-specific advice I always advocate for maintaining a high level of professionalism throughout everything you do. Keep your design social media professional-looking, make sure your emails are well-thought-out and composed, interact with others and get in on conversations. To me, I think this can be even more important than the design work itself. There are a lot of talented creatives out there but agencies and teams want to work with somebody that they know is a professional and that they can count on.

Where do you see your career in the future? Are there any specific objectives you hope to achieve?

And finally Matt, where can people find you on social media?

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Connecting freelancers in football (soccer) to paid work.