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