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Posts Tagged ‘graphic design’

Honing My Presence

07 Mar

I have hopefully already convinced you that you should hire a freelance designer to fulfill all of the design needs of your business rather than trying to create them yourself.  Now it is my job to provide you with the designer to do it.  Me!

So this week I took to the web and did my best to promote myself as a freelance designer in any new way I could come up with.  I first went through and added any related tags I could think of to previous blog posts in order to online presence more searchable.  I already have a LinkedIn profile so I created profiles on Elance and Creative Folks making myself more available  online for freelance design positions.  The sites are still taking some getting used to,  I found Elance a more cleanly designed and user friendly site, but both had their perks.  Creative Folks was similar to Facebook and gave you a bit more freedom on what you could include in your profile and search for in terms of jobs.  Elance only allowed you to add up to five skills, which you could then either self rate or test through a pre-made quiz.  At first I thought the quiz option was a helpful, unique idea, but I consider myself extremely experienced in After Effects and I only got a 70 on the 20 minute, timed, 40 question quiz.  This was actually still above average for the test; I think because half of the questions were worded oddly or about tools that you rarely use, but regardless I thought it was a neat feature.  The only thing that I was disappointed with about both of these sites was the difficulty for motion graphic artists, like myself, to upload reels or video files of our work.  It seemed like most of what was offered was all still image uploads.  There is still a lot of building and uploading that I need to do on these sites, and others to improve my online presence, but I think this week has definitely made a big leap in the right direction.

 
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Designer Facebooks

28 Feb

It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know. It’s actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living.-Bob Burg

When you think of social networking Facebook is one of the first sites to come to mind.  It is great personal source for keeping in touch with acquaintances, and promotional source for companies and groups.  LinkedIn is also a trusted site that many use, but does not have a lot of design related content.  As a freelance designer looking to promote yourself and your work these may not be the best options for you.  Sites like CreativeFolks, Behance Network,  and Elance may be better suited for your needs.  These are creative professional specific social networking sites directly connecting those looking for work and the clients.

With these sites you create profiles that act as portfolios to easily display your work to potential clients.  A variety of design jobs are listed in multiple formats. These sites give you options like applying directly to posted positions using your portfolio, submitting proposals directly to clients, or offering bids on posed projects.  From there the client can decide who they wish to hire for the job.  These sites also offer competitions that can earn you money, publicity, and recognition in the design world.  Bottom line, in this tough economy jobs are all about networking. To use social networking to its fullest potential you need to use the sites that will best suite your needs, and these are the sites  I suggest.

 
 

I’ll Tell You Why!

08 Feb

Practice safe design: Use a concept.” — Petrula Vrontikis

As a fresh mind right out of college I am not yet tainted by the frustrations of a design career.  I know only the simplicity of creating a design rather than the strain that conceiving a concept can create.  I am educated as a designer, as anyone can be, but I am learning every day through my experiences how to conceptualize the intended meaning behind a design.

When creating a graphic design project you can use all of the new techniques and pretty pictures you would like.   The design still will not work if it has no meaning behind it.  All the tools and tutorials available will give you the skills but they will not make you a designer.

So What Am I Doing?

My blog is primarily for myself and other designers, but it is not to teach other designers things that they do not know.  It is to look at the thought process behind my designs, as well as the designs of others, and analyze what is successful about it and what is not.  What does the typical viewer see when looking at the design compared to a designer?  Does the intended message come across? If so, how? If not, why not?

 
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What’s This All About?

31 Jan

“Experience is a great teacher.”John Legend

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Who better to write about your experiences in life than yourself? That is why I created My Interesting Opinion on Things, a Blog that collects my experiences and shares them all in one place. In many cases my posts take a look into graphic design, my path towards a job in this field and the bumps in the road, or the work of another that I have found inspiring.  Many of the posts have been made for classes, which would be included in the ‘path towards a job’ description, or possibly the ‘bumps in the road’, depending on the class.

Who Thinks About These Things?

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I am a thinker.  Something that may seem simple and straightforward to others may lead to a whole other world of thought for me.  I try to use My Interesting Opinion on Things to organize and emphasize points ofinterest from the maze of thoughts that are in my brain.  Design is an ever-evolving field and as a designer I need to stay up to date on not only my skills, but also different styes that are becoming popular.  The web allows me to instantly view the work of other designers, and many times the opinions of others in response to this work.  When I have the chance to reflect on what I have discovered, I am then able to analyze what I felt worked that could inspire my work in the future and elements that I felt hurt the piece and I should steer clear of.

This Blog has been my way of charting my process throughout my college career as well as my search for a full-time position in the field of graphic design. I know I learn best from experience, so I hope that what I have learned from my past experience will be found useful to those in similar situations or just provoke thought in others.

 
 

Work? What Work?

23 Jan

“Do personal work, but do it for personal reasons” -Adrian Shaughnessy

For years I have had plans in my head for a few particular projects on my own that have just never had the chance Rubik_cubeto be put into action.  Since these plans started I have always regretted not having the chance to create them, thinking that these designs could be the sole project that puts me on the map in the design world.  And being easily found on the map is a good thing, particularly when you are struggling to find a job.  However, the discovery that I have come to find is that it is not the work that I have conceptualized and created on my own that interests clients, but the projects that show a clients brief and then the way I handled their plans and designed a unique answer to their problem.  The work that I create on my own may show my personal style and be fun to create, but I should not rush to create something and rest all of my future successes on the possibility of being acknowledged for one project that I create entirely on my own.

The Golden Ticket(s)

Although you probably will not become a world renowned designer from the acknowledgment of one design project it does not hurt to try!  By submitting work to design competitions you create the possibility of golden_ticketgetting noticed by someone that you may not have before and then by building a trustworthy relationship with other design professionals this possibility increases with the possibility of your work being viewed more frequently.  Design jobs are not looking at the grades you received  or the diploma you were given.  They are looking at the work you have produced, but the only way to get that work in front of the eyes that it needs to be in front of is by getting your work out there and making connections with the people that can get it there.

But I can do that too!

One of the struggles that I have come across in my search for a career and the creation of my portfolio site, which I did not realize was a struggle until recently, is the idea of keeping my specialized skills separate.  Creativity and design have been with me since a child and through college courses I have developed skills and work in a wide variety of areas.  In my mind, my initial thought is send bits and pieces of it all over and show them how versatile I am!  Right?  Wrong.  Everyone has a specialty and that is what should be focused on.  For me that focus is Motion Graphics and Video Editing.  That does not mean that I do not have skills in animation, print, web, photography, typography, and the works.  I do, but those skills need to remain separate, and in the shadows compared to the skills that I shine at and enjoy the most.

Conclusion

In the end you want to be able to get your name and your work out there as much as possible.  If a company is not hiring see if they will still interview with you and review your work.  Even if they are not hiring the professional critique and interview experience will be helpful.  Not to mention they may have a friend who is hiring and will like you so much they pass your name along, or a spot may open up in the future and they will remember your work. When you interview be sure you are showing the interviewer the work not yourself, and also be sure that you are able to first explain your work and talk confidently about it before presenting it.  In design your work represents you, so be sure you are being represented the way that you want.

 
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