Snask’s Fred­die Öst says teach­ing your­self is key to stay­ing ahead

Computer Arts - - Contents -

We’re in the era of new technology, with de­vel­op­ment mov­ing so fast that older gen­er­a­tions find it very hard to keep up. One clear ex­am­ple is that many don’t know how the world’s most valu­able brands make their money. Back in the day this was com­mon knowl­edge. To­day, peo­ple have no clue how Google and Face­book make their money.

So, how to take ad­van­tage of this? Well teach­ing your­self your pro­fes­sion is one great way to grasp this op­por­tu­nity. There are so many tu­to­ri­als and on­line cour­ses on the in­ter­net where you can learn al­most any­thing. But of course there are prob­lems. Learn­ing how to use a piece of soft­ware won’t make you a graphic de­signer, and it cer­tainly won’t make you a good one. You have to know all about things such as com­po­si­tion, ty­pog­ra­phy and white space – stuff that takes a long time to learn and isn’t just a sim­ple com­bi­na­tion of steps done in the Adobe suite.

On the other hand, our in­dus­try is be­com­ing more and more keen on niche spe­cial­ties. So if you spend 10,000 hours draw­ing hand­made ty­pog­ra­phy, you will most prob­a­bly be­come in­cred­i­ble at it and this will land you free­lance jobs. And there are many books that you can buy and read to teach your­self the his­tory and the­ory of ar­eas such as de­sign, il­lus­tra­tion and film.

The ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem we have to­day is also chang­ing rad­i­cally. There are now oneyear cour­ses that teach you how to be­come an art di­rec­tor. One year is def­i­nitely not enough for this. Call­ing your­self an art di­rec­tor af­ter one year of study­ing will most likely cre­ate awk­ward sit­u­a­tions.

So I guess a mix of ap­proaches to ed­u­ca­tion is the best at the mo­ment. This mix will vary de­pend­ing on your skills. Il­lus­tra­tion can be eas­ier to teach your­self, while ty­pog­ra­phy de­mands a bit more train­ing with some­one who knows the rules. At the same time, as I men­tioned, there are plenty of books and on­line cour­ses to choose from. But hey, hav­ing friends is a great thing and study­ing at univer­sity will most prob­a­bly give you some of your clos­est fu­ture friends.


Snaskified is a re­cur­ring col­umn by Snask, the in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned creative agency that strives to chal­lenge the in­dus­try by do­ing things dif­fer­ently. Snask wor­ships un­con­ven­tional ideas, charm­ing smiles and real emo­tions, and see the old con­ser­va­tive world as ex­tremely te­dious and as the world’s big­gest en­emy.

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