Back in the summer I was fortunate enough to be hired by Chester Performs as a freelance designer to produce all the promotional material for the Grosvenor Park Young Theatre production ‘I Was Once Adored’…
After seeing a job advertised again calling out for Creative’s on the Creative Times website, I jumped straight for the opportunity again and got back in touch. Following an interview fortunately I got the role and I am very excited to be starting there on Wednesday. I will be working in collaboration with Artists, Art Directors, Directors and the rest of the team at Chester Performs.
The project will involve creating a real but virtual “street”. Working with a number of Chester’s empty shops as pop-up venues, Rogues’ Galleries combine the best of Up the Wall and Screen Deva to create an interactive programme of performance and digital art, celebrating Chester’s history and heritage as a ‘shopping’ city.
Yesterday me and a few other graduates were invited in to speak to the undergraduates about our experiences since university, what we have been up to, and currently doing.
Credit to designer Beth Callister for the poster
The event had a mixture of creative participants including those from Performing Arts and Dance, who discussed their experiences and how they work as a freelancer, which was quite interesting.
We were also lucky enough to have guest speaker, Amanda Daniels in from Koogar Digital Marketing, who spoke to us all about the importance of social media.
Towards the end there was a networking event where we looked over the third year’s portfolios, and offered feedback wherever we could.
It has been pretty full on with work since Christmas if I am honest; unless it just feels this way after I had taken a week or so away from my work over the holidays?
At the start of January I was working majorly on my MA work, which fortunately paid off and I passed both of my first two assignments. Since then I have taken on lots of new freelance projects and completing freelance work for some companies I work with.
One of my most recent projects is a website design for a Van Hire company. I will next be working on some album art work designs for The Wondersmiths, and yesterday I had taken on another little project, which is a little bit secret at the moment; involving bras.
I promised myself I would enter some of this year’s design awards including the D&AD ‘Make Your Mark’ brief; once I am on top of things I want to start working on my ideas for this again, and pick up more where I left off with getting my product on the market, researching and finding the right printing and manufacturing contacts.
Time seems to be going fast; I cannot believe I only have 12 weeks of my MA course left of this year. I can only imagine the next few months are going to begin getting a little stressful. I have lots to look forward to this next upcoming week, however. One includes being a guest speaker at Creative Worlds on Wednesday and a three day trip to the 4Designers Conference in London next Sunday.
This is a great book, I would definitely recommend having a read.
How many portfolios? Sketchbooks, notebooks, a book of the end results, and a digital portfolio are all good to take along with you to a freelance design pitch or an interview. Some of my most recent work is digital; websites, social media designs, eShots and therefore work best displayed on my iPad rather to my printed book.
Sketches are good to show off your conceptual thinking and creative ideas, showing the work involved to conclude the final outcome. This applies the same in terms of an illustrator with animation skills, or a cross-disciplinary practitioner. It is difficult to incorporate several styles in one portfolio.
There is lots of useful information for designers and illustrators inside including inspiring ways of displaying your creative portfolio. The book can be purchased here.
I have been doing a considerable amount of thinking over the past few weeks, and I have been thinking about expanding on my knowledge, skills and abilities to grow both personally and professionally.
I have found myself losing so much confidence in myself as a designer and my ability recently. There is some scary talent out there; which I guess probably does not help that I compare myself to world, top class designers, which can be motivating the majority of the time, but it also can be quite off putting. When I look at the idea of success, I remember there will always be something greater, which probably means I will go a lifetime without ever being satisfied, and why I am so self-critical.
Would the most ideal designer have knowledge and skills of CSS, HTML, SEO, PR, Copywriting, and Photography? I am under the impression that just being able to design alone will not cut it? These have been a range of skill questions that have popped up for me whilst picking up freelance work. I must admit, I am not the most ‘techy’ person and have absolutely no knowledge in CSS at the moment, I am able to work with HTML to a point, and however I would not class this as a skill of mine.
It is certainly cheaper to hire someone that can be a Designer, Developer, Copywriter, SEO Specialist and Photographer.
I do seem to be in two minds at the moment about this. Being a recent graduate, I find myself questioning why I was not taught any of this throughout education, and I believe this can somewhat put some designers off wanting to continue and have a career in this, or maybe it is just me approaching the wrong kind of businesses.
With everything going digital, I believe it would be beneficial for me to learn HTML and CSS, I also want to get my head around Fireworks too, which I will do as part of my research project on my MA. I am intending to speak to someone who specialises in SEO over the next couple of weeks, just to get more of a basic understanding into this… otherwise, I intend to learn more one step at a time.
A designer friend of mine before she got her new job was recently going to take up an internship in PR for a couple of weeks, which I thought was a fantastic idea and would have been great for the CV. I do enjoy writing; in fact I loved writing my dissertation, however copywriting is another skill.
I think it is definitely better to keep an open mind and want to learn more, there will be times when at least a basic understanding into these skills will be required.
There are many tutorials online, and books available. Lynda, which has been highly rated and recommended to me by many designers, offers unlimited access to 1,605 professional video instructions for a month at $25 (£15.90). It is a great offer in my opinion, especially considering we paid over £3000, or just over £100 per 1 hour session in university. There is also a 7 day free trial, so if you happen to have a week booked off and fancied getting your head down for a few hours a day it will be worthwhile. This website also offers a free 7 day Trial, however just remember to cancel your membership if you do not wish to proceed and pay the £15.90 for a further month.