I’ve been seeking to launch a career in graphic design the past few months, without sending out any resumes or applying to job postings. I’m doing this by asking for advice, instead of asking for a job. What I mean by this is that I am reaching out to professionals and saying “hi I’m a graphic designer looking to launch a career, could I meet you for coffee and get your advice”.
If you are looking to start a creative career I would recommend taking this route. This tactic even for the short time I have been implementing it has proven to be far more effective than anything I have tried previously. Usually people will be more willing to help someone asking for help and advice, as opposed to some asking if they’re hiring or not.
You may be thinking “I don’t know any creative professionals”. That’s okay I didn’t know vary many at the start of this journey either. LinkedIn can be your biggest source of contacts. If your a montion graphic designer use LinkedIn to search for motion graphic designers in your area. Once you find them send them a message like the one I’ve previously stated. You may be surprised how willing people are to give of their time for you.
The final and most important part of this is at the end of your meeting you need to ask them “who else do you know that I should talk to”. This is how to do that scary thing called networking. If you don’t get them at the meeting make sure you follow up with them a few days later for referrals. If they can’t get you a job maybe the next person can.
I decided to reach out to a former instructor for some career advice. He gave me some great pointers, in regards to my resume and portfolio. One in particular stood out to me. It had to do with the title I was giving myself.
I’ve read and been told many things about what a graphic designer should call themselves, to gain attention from possible employers. On LinkedIn I was calling myself a Creative Director. Even though I am the Creative Director of Rowlison Creative, the title wasn’t helping me. I chose it because, I thought it made me sound experienced and capable.
My instructor asked me “What job title are you actually wanting and applying for”. I said a “jr. designer”. He explained that design shops looking to higher jr. designers aren’t looking for creative directors. They were probably dismissing me when they saw my title. His suggestion was to call myself an emerging graphic designer. This title dose two things. It tells hiring managers that I am a designer looking to start a career. Secondly because they know I’m trying to break into the industry, companies will be more likely to want to help me. What are you calling yourself? Is it turning off potential employers?
Ultimately God will decide whether or not you fail or succeed in your endeavors. This truth has been a gut punch to my egotistical creative self. I have been reading the insightful words of Jordan Raynor, the author of Called to Create. In his book, Raynor discusses how God calls us to "hustle" - to work really hard. Remember how the Israelites had to march around Jericho for seven days? That was a lot of work, but God was the one who brought down the walls of the city, handing it over to His people.
Who wants to fail? Failure is not what any creative sets out to do when they begin their career. Creatives work hard and long hours, filled with many caffeine-fueled nights, getting projects done. We have to make a living, right? We have rent to pay and a hungry stomach to fill. These things are all true, but for creatives who follow Jesus, we must remember the truth Raynor speaks of. It is “God, not us, who produces wealth and success."
When we remember this, it does two things. First, it frees us from feelings of worthlessness and failure. If your business endeavors failed, it’s okay. Just do what God has asked you to do with everything you have, and give the responsibility of success to Him. Secondly, it humbles our hearts. The glory of achievement in life is not ours; it is His. “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16) When your creative entrepreneurial dreams are realized, give thanks to the Lord for your abilities and talents and for giving you the dream in the first place.
Since starting my freelance business I’ve never really been happy with the name ROWLISON GRAPHIC DESIGN. I chose it because it made it easy to understand the services I offer. The problem with the name and visual identity is that;
CREATIVE is the word that now communicates the services I offer. It's the perfect word because it encapsulates graphic design without actually saying graphic design.
Download Scratchapalozza for personal and commercial use.
My new visual identity:
aI like getting cash for Christmas. It’s the best gift ever because you can spend it on whatever you want. Unless you’re giving someone an Amazon gift card just give them cash. With my Christmas cash I decided to purchase something that I’ve been wanting ever since I got into hand lettering. I got me an Adobe Illustrator plug-in called Fontself.
Fontself is is one of the best pieces of software out there for font creation. It lets you take any mark and turn it into a letter form and is easy to lean. It’s also reasonably priced at $49.00. Fontself also has a plug-in for Photoshop as well. Let me show you how awesome and easy Fontself is to use.
You can purchase Trailhead for personal and commercial use at my store for $10.00