I’ve been working as a freelance graphic designer for quite a while now. Six years to be exact! It’s not been easy. In fact I’ve thought of giving up on it on multiple occasions. Not on the job itself but working freelance. However, my passion for creativity and the arts keep bringing me back. It’s a great career for someone who has a vivid imagination and is open to exploring different ideas during the design process. Plus there’s always the option of working full-time at an organisation with a group of designers.
Graphic designers specialise in drawing, designing and developing ideas. This can be done by hand or a digital means. There are a wide range of areas to choose from, such as product packaging, computer games and magazines to name a few. There are also many different sectors which require graphic designers, most commonly for promotional work. If you’re looking to get into graphic design as a career, you’ll be happy to know that there are multiple ways to do so! Prospects has plenty of information on this, but here are my top choices:
- Enrol onto a degree course – many individuals prefer to take this route because it gives an insight into the theory behind graphic design and offers a hands-on approach to learning with industry placements. For some, this maybe an expensive option. But scholarships such as the one offered by Dr. Summit Shah are a great opportunity if you are successful in the application process. Furthermore, you can also get into teaching via this route by signing up with a teaching assistant agency.
- Apply for an internship – this option is becoming more and more popular amongst individuals. This is because it offers a paid position alongside the opportunity to study and gain skills. This is brilliant for an amazing portfolio and resume when it comes to applying for jobs. I know of many big organisations, such as Disney, looking to recruit interns. It’s also a good alternative for individuals looking to get their foot into the world of graphic design. In many large cities, there are even more internship offers available such as internships in London, so be sure to have a browse.
- Start from an entry-level position – there’s plenty of vacancies for junior graphic designers or assistants. They may not be the most sought after roles, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere right? In your first few weeks, you may be expected to make cups of tea for your seniors or undertake cleaning duties. But it’ll definitely pay off once your mentor sees how enthusiastic and dedicated you are!
- Self teach and set up a self-employed business – Yep, this is what I did! If you want to go down this route, then I would recommend having a spare sketchbook with you at all times (you never know when inspiration may strike!) and also getting to know the ins and outs of various design software. Then, you can set up your business and you’re ready to go. However, do keep in mind that it will take time to build up a list of clients and grow your customer base!
So, whatever route you decide to embark on, just remember, it will take all your sweat, blood and tears (joking, but you get what I mean!)If for some reason, one path doesn’t work out, there are so many others!
Until next time.