EACH week the Evening Times will throw the spotlight on one of the dozens of new businesses determined to succeed.

They are the future for Glasgow and the west of Scotland's economy and are working hard to achieve success in the face of continuing economic hardship.

Many new businesses are struggling to take off because of the economic downturn, and this new column will offer advice for potential start-ups.

Each company will answer the same questions about their business and their answers will appear in the Evening Times each Wednesday. This week we talk to Chris Rafferty, a freelance illustrator and graphic designer

What does your

business do?

I offer a range of services, from illustration work to art direction and graphic design. I can produce content for books and magazines, album artwork, comics, clothing, storyboarding - anything where illustration work may be required.

I have been asked to produce artist's impressions of products for catalogues, as well as working on set designs for TV and film.

I also produce personally commissioned artwork just for hanging on your wall if you want it.

As a graphic designer, I do a lot of branding and design content for print and digital media. So things like website design, logo design, layout for print, app design, adverts, posters and that kind of stuff.

I also offer creative ideas for advertising and other promotional material, where I might produce the final piece myself or work with others to complete the job - such as art directing photographers and film makers. I never work from templates, meaning everything I produce is bespoke to my client.

Where are you based?

I work partly from my home in the South Side of Glasgow, and partly in the DEG (Digital Enterprise Glasgow) office in the Glasgow Business Hub at the Pacific Quay.

How did you get started?

I started off my business working from home.

What is your background?

When I left school I wanted to work in the art departments of film and TV productions - focusing mainly on storyboarding.

I decided not to attend art school and studied Film and English Literature at Glasgow University instead, earning a masters degree.

While working on my own artwork, and exhibiting pieces in the UK and American galleries, I worked in film and TV a little, gradually growing more interested in design work.

I really liked things like concept art for films and fashion designs and so started up an online gallery with my girlfriend, selling design based art, as well as our own work and by other UK illustrators.

Eventually I went back into education and studied Graphic Design before being offered a job with an adverting and design agency.

What is your top tip?

Don't settle for some-thing because it's easy or because it's what you already have. Keep working towards getting what you actually want.

How long has your business been running?

Since January.

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

I had been made redundant from my previous job and so was unemployed for a while.

The job centre offered lots of help when it came to starting up my own company and put me in touch with various agencies as well as a business mentor.

I was given an office by the DEG which has given me space to work and have meetings, but also connected me to other new creative businesses.

What was your first deal?

My first project as a freelancer was actually a pretty big one, and it is still going on.

For the past few months I have been working on the branding for a new business hub that is opening soon in Falkirk.

This involved everything from logo design and signage, to advertising and promotional material.

Contact: www.chrisrafferty.co.uk