If you have technical expertise and a knack for art, and you want to translate your talents into a paycheck, how should you start??

“Design,” says Justin Sapp, founder of graphic design, branding and visual communications company, Sapling Creative. “Coding that underlies a site is important. But to make a good one, you need to know something about graphic design, communication and usability principles.”

To get an education in graphic design, there are many options — including attending a community college or art school to get an associate or bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Some schools also offer master’s degree programs. From there you can do print work, corporate identity development, catalogues — the options abound. But if your main focus is Web, don’t worry about the abundance of DIY sites out there.

They are “limited by the amount of customization available in prefabricated templates, or they’re limited by the knowledge a DIY-er can glean by reading a book or two,” Sapp says.

Thinking freelance??You can charge upwards of $50 an hour. Like any freelance job, it takes time to build a client base. But once word spreads, you’re in business.

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