Years ago I was in school, because I had a knack for learning Adobe programs. So I hedged my bet and went full force into graphic design. I even finished college.
But I was naive, green and sometimes intolerably optimistic!
Years later, close to 20 years after learning my first Adobe program, I’m thinking back, was this the right path?
Are you ready?
You can google it, your typical “graphic designer” is portrayed as some primadonna, overly artsy and temperamental. Realistically designers are typically quiet, introverted and sometimes hard to read.
If you are a primadonna, being a graphic designer isn’t the route for you. Being a designer is to be a distiller of information to communicate to a specific audience. You won’t always have the luxury to create what you want, you’ll need to communicate effectively with your clients. Your clients will pay you if you give them what they are asking for. Sure get creative, but always make what they asked for.
Step 2: You can do it for free, are you willing too look?
Your still reading good, lets move on. I went to college from 1999-2006, my first years I had no clue what I wanted to do, so I started in one direction and decided to move at least three more times before I committed to graphic design. Then I went to a private college for my bachelors degree.
What a fucking waste of time.
Turns out I could have learned close to everything I use in my day to day knowlege if I would have just taken the classes at my city college and got a job at a sign shop. With a bit of commitment I could have read some books and watched a bunch of YouTube videos. I watch YouTube videos almost daily, and that is where my continuing education is.
You can have a passion as a designer and gain all the knowledge you want. All you have to do is spend the time, focus, and practice…its free for the taking. Heck even a few hours of helping out at a local sign shop or marketing department would be well worth it.
Step 3: Don’t pidgin hole yourself as a “Graphic Designer”.
So why are you doing this? Do you really enjoy making something and seeing it out in the world? If your like me your answer is YES! So I’m curious are you willing to do the long hours and not very much pay to gain experience that will send you to a career that will shape you in to the designer you will become? Or will you take the route of someone giving you a piece of paper and telling you that your a graphic designer. Adding to the ever increasing number of entitled, ignorant graduates that keep getting pumped out.
Its your choice, and yes its scary that you won’t have a degree to put your foot in the door at that big company or to show up your friends, your parents or even yourself someday. Going to school means you did something and you accomplished it, right? Its not just going to sit in some filing cabinet to be looked at on the occasional spring cleaning.