We have been given advice and instruction our whole lives. Now most of you reading this blog are grown up, maybe attending college, or about to graduate and find a “real job”. All of this is terrifying and exciting at the same time, and one thing we all have in common is we want to be a big success.
I went surfing on the web to find some good advice given from people who have had more experience than you and I perhaps, and I wanted to share it.
One piece of advice I have seen almost everywhere, on every design blog is to connect, connect to people in your field or line of work.
Make friends, partners, connections, let people know who you are and be friendly. Have a large pool of people who are in the design world (be it fashion, architect, graphic design, etc.) One day you will need advice, or a job, or someone to work with. I believe this is so important for designers, where most of our final work is put together with design teams, and collaboration. We also need designers or similar people to talk to and blow off steam, people who “get” us.
Lesson # 2
Never explain your designs before revealing them.
I found this advice surprising at first, but then Preston http://www.graphicdesignblender.com/, began to explain his reasons, and they make perfect sense. Here is what I got out of it.
Basically if you have to explain all your reasons and thoughts behind a design, then maybe it is not as strong as you has hoped. The best is to reveal the design and wait and watch for the reaction of the client. It is the moment of truth, especially when your client understands your design without your explanation. When it is revealed to the public, you will not have the opportunity to explain it to them, so you better hope you got it right. Once you have shown your client your design and gotten their feed back, give them your rational about all the whys, and hows of your design process.
Lesson # 3
Have a big portfolio, not a big ego!
The final big piece of advice goes hand in hand with pride! Employers do not hire you because you say you are the best or act like you and your portfolio are “hot stuff”. They get tons of calls and emails a week from very talented people, so do not act like you are above everyone else, but instead show your potential employers that you know how to work hard and get stuff done. Don’t act like you are above getting your hands dirty simply because you have a large portfolio.I believe this is such important advice, since there is nothing more tragic than a talented person who has too much ego for their own good. Employers pick up on this and it usually comes across as you are too good to work hard. This is not the same as confidence, it is a fine line and it might take a few interviews to get it right. A small piece of advice that I was given a few years back was to practise your interview with someone you respect, they can always critique you before you try it out for real.
I hope this will help you get a little more prepared for wherever you are in life, and please add any advice you feel is important in the comments. Here is a short video of a designer being asked about what his advice would be.
Till Next time!