Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Illustrating my future?

I've been working full time now for over 6 months. All my design muscles have been whipped into shape and I feel the confidence and attitude returning. At this level I'm coming into my prime as a designer and I can see it in the work I produce. Your skill goes up, your speed is faster and with that comes the aloof bitterness when you accept that you are essentially just polishing turds for a living.

There is so much crap you deal with as a designer. You have to be carefully choose the projects you work on. In a design job you don't have that much control over what comes to your desk. I've learned that I just have to make the most of it and power through the projects that are super boring and try to make them interesting to you. Some projects you can just go wild with and put your best design tricks to use and create something you are really proud of. Then there are the projects where the customer cuts out everything you loved out of the design and you are left with something that is boring, mundane and a torture to finish off.

You gotta power through though. Live for the projects that let you shine. Do your best every time and think about creating something you would be proud of and would be the next portfolio piece. I don't do anything half assed. I wish I could care less! I wish I could just shrug it off and create some recycled design crap that would make the customer satisfied. NO! I must strive for excellence. I guess I take too much pride in my work and I am anything but a lazy designer. Call me the over achiever in the office!

For the last 6 months I've been illustrating, designing, storyboarding and making some awesome pieces. I'm using this job as an opportunity to expand my skills in Illustration and vector work. I see a future with this illustration and character design. I've never been paid to illustrate or even allowed to do so in a project. Now I'm an illustrating machine!

A lot of people say they want a creative job but those in the industry will tell you that it's not all like the fantasy job you think it would be! It's VERY tiring work. You come home just drained of creativity. It's good to get it out but at the same time it's NOT a job you can just power through with a hangover. You have to be alert and on task. There are deadlines to meet! You have to show up and be brilliant. You have to stay on task because your time is being billed out an expensive and exact rate. That is a LOT OF PRESSURE. It's draining. I'm still trying that time when everything just starts to flow and I can relax a little at work. It still feels like I'm always behind and always running out of ideas or motivation to be brilliant.

It's worth it though. When it comes to a job I think you should be careful how you spend that time. Why not get paid to get better in something you want to excel at? Yes it's work but I am going through design bootcamp and this job will hone my skills so my illustration work is up to production speed and I would be able to design with the best of the multimedia designers. To rise up in your field and get paid the wages you dream of you gotta push yourself out of your comfort levels. So finding a job that challenges you is a great way to get ahead in life. Why not use that 40 hours a week to get ahead in your career?

I power on through this 8 hours a day of intense design bootcamp and I try to put my best into every project that comes across my desk. Always excelling beyond the expectations. Always giving them GOLD. I don't worry about job competition. I don't worry about keeping my position. I can see it now. It's the kind of person you are inside. It's your drive to achieve that guarantees success in life. If you have that fire you are not going to have a problem finding or keeping a job. If you have this passion and drive any employer is going to want you and will love you have you on their team. Match that with a good personality that gets along with everyone at the office and you can go to any job, any career, any path you want. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. Focus on your drive. Every day refine your skills.
Never give them a half ass project.

THIS is what your job should be for you. Make it work for your career right?
Give your company awesome work, take pride in what you do and always work on getting better in your field.

You are the product you should be pushing. Why not invest in yourself?
If you are selling your time away at a full time job why not make it work for you?

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