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I it easy finding a graphic designer? A reliable, on-call professional that is ready to work for you and turns around work on a dime? Tough. But somewhere between your local Craigslist and hanging out at the community college art classroom, there’s someone at your level you can at least hang out with. They may need a website.

I haven’t had the best luck with the professional-by-hire websites where you post your gig and people bid on it, I don’t outsource farther than the distance it takes to have lunch together (about 40 miles). I take that back, sometimes I will buy templates or animations or graphics packs from a place like theme forest/istock photo, and those sometimes do come from out of the country (and I’ve had great success with those).

Sounds like you already have an idea of your focus, and if your desire is to design and do Illustrator, then start learning that. There are more video tutorials that focus on your area of expertise than there is time in the day. Podcasts, Lynda, this new company I keep seeing (linked at the top of this page), whatever floats your boat. Read, read, read. A List Apart. Smashing. Start looking at magazines differently. Take a class at the local college, surround yourself with creatives, get access to free computers and software and go to your teacher’s office hours. Then hire out the work you have tried but don’t really do so well or don’t care to do at all.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something, so get crackin’