DIS­CUS­SION

Top ad­vice for grad­u­ates

Computer Arts - - CONTENTS -

SALLY HEN­DER­SON Head of cre­ative, York­shire Wildlife Trust www.etsy.com/shop/Mick­le­gateDe­sign

“The best piece of ad­vice I was given as a 22-year-old grad­u­ate leav­ing Cum­bria In­sti­tute of the Arts back in 2007 was that ‘you make your own luck’. It made me re­alise that to land that first job in the de­sign in­dus­try, I had to put my­self in the po­si­tion to be the lucky one. To put the graft in, make the con­tacts, turn up ev­ery day stand­ing next to my work at my de­gree show with busi­ness cards at the ready. Ev­ery­one’s got to start some­where, but the work doesn’t end when you get your first job: keep knock­ing on doors, mak­ing phone calls and send­ing emails, and you’ll find that you’ll be ‘lucky’ when breaks come around.

Lucky breaks are a by-prod­uct from pas­sion, drive, skill and judge­ment. You’ll find that the more you put your­self out there, the more risks you take, the more you leave your com­fort zone, the more lucky you’ll be.”

MICHAEL WRIGHT Cre­ative de­signer www.mwrightcre­ative.com

“It was, ‘You’re only just start­ing to learn.’ This gem of knowl­edge was given to me on the night of my de­gree show by Dave Eccles, one of my tu­tors at Hull School of Art and De­sign and it’s stuck with me ever since.

I asked him what he meant, and he ex­plained how most grad­u­at­ing stu­dents think that the hard work is done, and that they’re now ‘of­fi­cially’ a de­signer. In re­al­ity, it’s only just the be­gin­ning of the jour­ney, and the univer­sity ex­pe­ri­ence is merely teach­ing us how to learn skills.

I took this mind­set with me into my agency ca­reer, and quickly dis­cov­ered that hav­ing the abil­ity to learn new things as needed to an­swer in­di­vid­ual briefs is, above all, the way to grow as a cre­ative. This mind­set has re­sulted in the learn­ing of an abun­dance of skills I’d never even con­sid­ered, and made me into a more rounded cre­ative de­signer.”

DEVORA HOMNICK Art di­rec­tor, Kars4Kids www.kars4kids.org

“As a new graphic de­sign grad­u­ate out look­ing for my first job, I got some great ad­vice from a fam­ily friend who heads a de­sign team. She men­tioned that she could tell if any work in a de­signer’s port­fo­lio was cre­ated as a stu­dent. She sug­gested re­work­ing any stu­dent projects or find­ing new project work for real clients, even for fam­ily and friends, to re­place them with.

So my ad­vice is this. When fi­nal­is­ing what you’re show­ing in your port­fo­lio, al­ways make sure ev­ery project in­cluded re­flects the best work you can do right now. This ap­proach can help you plan and re­work pieces in your port­fo­lio at any point in your ca­reer.

It’s also the out­look I rely on if I’m caught be­tween a dead­line and my (clas­sic) de­signer per­fec­tion­ism. I ask my­self, ‘Does this work re­flect my full ca­pa­bil­i­ties, for this project?’ And I’ll know if it’s time to hit Send.”

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