I realized that I stopped writing about my experiences in the design world and the challenges I’ve faced. I guess I got so busy trying to make it and started doing way to many things at once, I lost track.
I have been done for almost a year, and in some ways it feels longer then that. I started out doing freelance work while I looked for graphic jobs in the city. It started off slow and I didn’t get many responses, but after a bit it started to pick up. I found myself having three potential jobs at once. But usually only one job would follow through, IF that. I found it hard to not get discouraged and a lot of the time I felt I chose the wrong career path. There are so many other designers…better designers. And those little bastards were going to take away my jobs…but that the reality of it.
There are always going to be people who are better and more experienced. But if you love what you do, your time will come that your the stronger designer and you’ll get that job you’ve been hoping for. Everyone has a different style - embrace yours.
When times were slow I still wanted to work on building my portfolio, so I started to write to charities/non for profit organizations and see if they needed assistance with any designs. I love to help when I can. It’s giving something great to them and it’s helping me expand and grow as a designer. Yeah, you probably wont make any money off of it, but who cares. It doesn’t hurt to do it once and a while.
But be sure when working as a new designer/for free, to not let people take advantage of you. They will try. Stand your ground and learn from mistakes as you go. You’ll probably get screwed over once or twice…maybe even more times, but just take that to your next job and be more prepared. Don’t rely on freelance if you just start out, I mean, maybe I really do just suck or everyone hates me, but you won’t have a steady paycheck. Continue to better yourself, design and practice - you’ll be more confident in yourself and your work. Just don’t be cocky - everyone hates that kind of designer.
While all this was going on I continued to look for jobs in the Ottawa area. I also started to write to design companies and see if the head designers or owners were willing to take the time to meet with me and give me a critique on my work. I think this is a great thing to do because everyone is going to have a different view on you and your work. This can help you make a portfolio that is universal and appealing to many people. They will give you advice - take what you want from it. Try to have an open mind! Cause if you don’t there is no point to doing this if your stuck in your ways. Most people are trying and willing to help - they were once in your shoes too.
This is all in my experience. I’m not trying to say that this is the exact way to go about finding a job or what will happen. School gives you a different perception of what you are going into and I think it can help to see what others have went through.
Overall I did enjoy freelance because you have so much freedom. I think it’s a great way to warm up to the world and see what people want. It makes you more independent and gives you a chance to expand in your portfolio with things other then fake logos and tea packages. In the end just try to enjoy what you do. You never want it to turn into something you hate - and sometimes people can make that hard. Just roll with it all and you”ll get where you want to be.