Hey guys! I just wanted to remind you to get your Halloween submissions in soon. I originally said by October 28th, but I’ll give you until the end on the day on October 30. A little bit of extra time never hurt anyone. Also, if you emailed me a submission and I didn’t respond, please send it again. I was having some email issues recently and I think I might have missed some emails coming through.
Remember, these submissions can be anything! A drawing, painting, craft, a DIY halloween costume, photography, etc. Just send a pic and description to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will save it and post it on Halloween (October 31st) along with the other submissions! I look forward to seeing what you come up with! 🙂
Surprisingly, I haven’t found any problems coming up with new content to write about on Make Something Mondays. There are always new artists to discover and new craft projects to try. But I’ve found that writing on other topics is not so simple.
So I want to know what you do when you are staring at a blank document, and think that you have nothing to say. You want to write, but what is there to write about? How do you come up with topics? Do you read other blogs and the comments? Do you use hashtags on social networks? Are you inspired by something that happens in your day?
Are the comments your readers leave mostly positive? Or are they the product of your rudely reactive writing?
I wish that when I graduated from college as a graphic design student that I had someone to guide me into the business world. They say that college prepares you for life… it doesn’t. And that isn’t a jab at my graphic design professor (because he was awesome) but there is only so much you can learn in four years. Remember, your professors graduated YEARS before you and they might not know what the industry is like anymore. They are there to teach you design skills, not to teach you how to interact.
I graduated from college three years ago and I thoroughly remember how hard it was to get a job in this industry with the way the economy was. So, I am going to tell you what I wish people would’ve told me. I am also going to give you some tips leading up to graduation.
You graphic design skills aren’t enough to get you a job when you graduate. I know you think you are good at what you do, but there are thousands, yes, thousands of other graphic design students graduating all over the country, and some of them are better than you. There are students that live and breathe design when you only have a basic knowledge of it. Not to mention the people who have worked a year or two and are looking for the same entry-level jobs as you. So what do you need to succeed?
Knowledge of Design
As I said, your skill aren’t enough to get you a job because there are too many people in the world that have your skill set. Make sure you have a foundation of design. I’m not telling you to go read every art history book you can find. That would be useless. I am telling you to read about your field. Blogs are a good place to start. There are modern, cutting edge designers out there writing blogs that can help you learn about the graphic design industry from a modern perspective.
Here are a few blogs to start with: Typographica– Yes, you need to know something about typography. If you don’t, you should probably find a few more blogs on that. Dexigner– This design blog has a lot of information on graphic design, web design, typography, etc. I used to read this one religiously. Abduzeedo– This one is more for inspiration and tutorials than anything else. Smashing Magazine– This blog is helpful in graphic and web design.
I should mention that, if you are graduating with a knowledge of graphic design, you should know some html and css as well. Our world is going digital and you have to be able to keep up.
This is my opinion. A résumé is a business document. Your portfolio is where you should be showing off your design capabilities.
The purpose of a résumé is to show off your capabilities and education. This is not something to be super dressed up with bold pink font and a “creative” layout. It should be short and sweet. No more than one page.
Hiring managers are looking at hundreds of résumés and by the time they get to yours they might be so tired and irritated that they might just throw it in the trash if they have to do any extra work to read it. On the other hand, maybe a creative layout will just perk their ears up. It depends on the person I guess.
A Diverse Portfolio
Companies want diverse employees and the more you know, the better. Make sure your portfolio has a range of examples. You want catalog design, advertisements, webpage design, web banners, typography, animation, etc. Make sure you tailor your portfolio for each interview. Pay attention to who is hiring you. What does the company do? Have you looked at their work yet?
Make sure you have an online version and a print version of your portfolio. Make sure the link to your portfolio is on your résumé. The first thing your potential interviewer is going to want to do is look at your portfolio. Make it accessible. Don’t make them ask. If they have to ask they probably won’t bother.
But how do you get experience before you graduate? Great question! Make sure you join clubs. There are clubs at colleges for everything. Make sure your club is active though. You want to join a club that volunteers or makes homecoming t-shirts. Basically, you want to be able to prove you are doing something that is pushing you in the right direction.
Do you have a part-time job? If you don’t, get one. Not at a gas station. Get a job that has something, anything, to do with your industry. I worked at The Entertainment Network designing posters and flyers as promotional material for bands and comedians coming to campus. Something like that will work.
Get internships. A lot of them. The more experience you have, the better off you are. They don’t all have to be in graphic design though. Maybe one in marketing, or business would work as well.
Don’t laugh this one off. Just because you are a designer doesn’t mean you think creatively. Remember how I said that you are up agains thousands of graduates trying to get the same jobs? This is how you are going to separate yourself from the rest of the students out there. Are you going to fill out an online résumé and hope that someone calls you back? Good luck. The creative directors who are hiring are looking at hundreds, maybe thousands of résumés. If you fill out a standard form, your graphic design résumé looks like everyone else’s.
So, how do you get someone to pay attention to your resumé? You need a way to get the hiring manager’s attention. Do some internet stalking. Find out who is hiring for this position. Ideally, it will be the creative director or someone directly under that person. Send them a something along with your resumé that they will stop and think about. Click the images for more information.
A combined résumé and open job application formed as a humorous “Top Secret” report, giving away information about a “newly educated and creative designer
A project that required students to introduce themselves creatively and promote themselves as the right person to work in their chosen departments as an INTERN.
There are plenty of promotional ideas out there, but don’t copy these. People have seen these. Make sure that your idea is CREATIVE and original.
I did one of these promotional mailers when I was freelancing after graduation. I got phone calls, letters, and emails about my promos. Some people hated them and told me that I would never get a job in my field. Others loved them and offered me positions. Even after I had a job, some of the people who told me I was a terrible designer called me to offer positions with their company. If that happens, respectfully decline. I know you will want to say are you kidding me? You told me I was a terrible designer and that I would never get anywhere! Don’t do that. You will be burning your bridges. That person remembered you. And they will continue to remember you because you made an impression on them. That person is now a connection. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Show them that you are still interested in them if something changes.
The Dreaded Interview…
* Don’t go overboard in style. No one cares whether your shirt has ruffles or not. The point of dressing up for an interview is to show respect for the company.
* Make eye contact
* Shake hands firmly
* Don’t let them take control of your portfolio. This is your time to shine. Make it good!
* Be confident in yourself and your work. No one wants a designer who isn’t passionate and doesn’t believe in their own work.
* Accept criticism- this is a tough field and you will be ridiculed often. Make sure you can use that criticism to better yourself.
* Tell them that you really want this position. Make sure you have a reason why.
* Follow up. Email the interviewer(s) when you get home and thank them for their time. You would be surprised how many people don’t send follow-up mail.
* Call a week or so later to find out if they filled the position.
I could honestly go on forever about this. If you have an interest in hearing more about how to get a job in graphic design, feel free to get in touch with me. I will happily assist you.
Today is the one year anniversary of the day I started Make Something Mondays! YAY! Thank you, to my followers, for making my first year of blogging a great one!
What I’ve learned:
I am more crafty than I was a year ago– Seriously, I was WAAAAAAY more artsy than crafty. Now I can add another skill to my list.
You truly have to love what you choose to blog about– I could talk about art for hours, maybe even days, without running out of steam. People become interested in what you are talking about if you are passionate.
You are who you hang with– For those of you who blog, you know that you need to attract the right people and those people can really teach you something.
“Patience is a virtue”– My parents told me this my whole life, literally. They probably told me this before I could even talk. Success doesn’t happen over night and sometimes it is good that it takes a while. If you were that good then, you would have nothing to work toward.
It is a give and take relationship– If you give them something good then they give you a response.
Take an interest in your followers– I’m serious! There are a ton of interesting people out there and I’ve found many of them through blogging. I’ve formed some great relationships with my followers. You are all wonderful!
Let’s recap on the highlights from 12/13/11-12/13/12
Published 12/13/2012 | DIY Ornament
Published 01/4/2012 | The Street Work of Banksy
Published 1/7/2012 | This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids
Published 02/19/2012 | Leonid Afremov
Published 03/9/2012 | My first Freshly Pressed article and most views at 4,923 people
Published 04/26/2012 | Painting With Sound
Published 6/8/2012 | 4D Artwork
Published 6/13/2012 | 25 Incredibly Detailed Black And White Portraits of the Homeless
Published 7/4/2012 | Peter Aurisch | Freshly Pressed for the second time!
Published 7/25/2012 | Watercolor
Published 10/28/12 | CALABARTE
Published 11/20/12 | Crafting with Corks
I deliberately didn’t put my crafts in this post. I want you to tell me which of my crafts you liked the most!!! Please comment and let me know. I want to see what you liked, what you tried, what you want to see more of, etc. This blog is for you guys! Tell me what you like to see!
I’m not sure if you’ve ever visited The Oatmeal but you should put it on your to-do list. It is always interesting. This is one of the many fun things to find on the site.
My blog is a creative outlet for me. It pertains to art, design, tutorials and creativity… How does coffee fit into creativity you ask? It doesn’t. But this is a creative way to explain something and everyone needs that. If only employee manuals were designed this way!
Daryl Feril is a freelance artist from the Philippines. He enjoys making vector and hand-drawn illustrations. His expertise is in graphic design, magazine & collateral layouts, branding, typography and photo manipulation.