06 August 2012

Always Work At Creating

This post is neither here nor there... call it a few pointers for young'uns who want to travel the extremely wide path of the Designer.

I was browsing Craigslist (who doesn't love that site?) and came across an ad that made me giggle and then slap my head.

I use Craigslist to either post stuff for sale or buy stuff. I don't find it very reliable for finding JOBS (you know, work that actually pays you and/or is not a cover up for a drug cartel) but I can't resist looking to see what people are posting.

And I came across this gem:

I apologize for the size, so here's a close up and you will get the picture:


Either this poor child will never receive any REAL offers or he/she will be spammed to death. Worse Case Scenario: this child will respond to a reply and end up dead in the woods somewhere in the Mid-West.

Here Begins A Rant:

I understand everyone has to start somewhere, and you are only as successful as you want to be (i.e. put the work in your success) HOWEVER it is impossible for any 16 year old to have "plenty of experience". A college art class. How quaint.

My Advice and Opinion:

Are you a high schooler wanting to break into the biz? Well quit begging on Craigslist and start working for free for real companies in your city. It's called an Internship. College students have to do it, so do you if you want to be successful in any industry. Let's just say internship = apprenticeship.

I love this: "I don't need insane amounts of money". Yeah. Good luck with that!


Let's Change Gears A Bit:

I worked as a Graphic Designer for a company way back when and I loved it. I loved the company, I loved the people I worked with, and I loved the work. Unfortunately the company closed down. I'm not sure if it went bankrupt or what- all I know is that we had two offices and we downsized. My office was the target of the downsizing.

So I was laid off.

I received a pretty cool severance package for only being there just shy of three years but it still sucked losing my job. If the company was able to keep afloat I would still be there.

Alright. So my office received news of the lay-offs and I immediately started looking for a job. I responded to an ad locally looking for a designer and I was stoked. It was a fairly new design company in the town I lived in- which was amazing because I live out in the middle of nowhere.

I scored an interview.


I arrived at the interview looking smart and packing my portfolio, and who should my eyes gaze upon? A young kid with a 'fro in a tee shirt and jeans.


Who is this?

Oh, he's my interviewer.

And a co-owner of the company.

Whoops. I'm definitely in the wrong place.

The interview was totally awkward. The kid was 16 years old (oh wait, he was turning 17 soon...) I had ten years on him. Ok so I wasn't some 50 year old with 30 years experience, but this was unbelievable.

His partner was my age and apparently came into some money and bought an old Heidelberg printing press. They wanted to start this design company but needed help. Well color me over-qualified for their position.

I didn't get a call back.

Nor was I expecting one.

I knew more about what they were doing than they did and couldn't afford me.

Moral of the story?

It's cool if you want to start your own "thing", but for the love of my sanity please don't dive blindly into something you can't handle. At that time I had three years of graphic design under my belt and was still more competent and knowledgeable about running their company than they were.


So what to do if you want in the biz but don't have enough pieces in your portfolio and can't get anyone to "hire" you?

Just create anyways.

Browse industries that you may want to create for: health care, education, banking, etc. Look at different companies in that industry- find a few that you see potential in by sprucing up their image and just CREATE. Create a whole new logo and business standards. Create some brochures, posters, banners, websites (fake ones of course). Show their marketing and art department what you did and ask them how they like it. Ask for opinions (also called Critiques), get used to critiques because in the art industry you will get a lot of them. And receive them constructively- don't get offended or you won't make it.

And please if you show potential employers these things you need to explain that these are your creations and were not hired by the companies to do work for them. It would also help to read a book or two about Copyright Law.

Go ahead and take those College Art Courses. It's fine. I wasn't downplaying it, merely jesting, you need more than college courses to get you established. It's a lot of footwork and what you put in is what you will get.

So let's get serious and get off of Craigslist.

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