So there seems to be 3 types of people on twitter/instagram/blogs at the moment:
- The ‘New Year, New me – 2014 is going to be my motivation in making a change in my life’ people.
- The ‘New Year is no excuse to make changes – you can change whenever if you want to’ people.
- The people that don’t care!
Well sorry, but tonight Matthew I’m going to be person #1. I’ve been feeling down, unmotivated and lost for a little while now and it’s cliche, but I’m going to use the New Year as a fresh start and motivator. I hate sitting at home watching everyone else enjoy life – it’s soul destroying. I know I need to make changes and steps towards where I want to be in life – nothing is just handed to you on a plate (unless you’re SUPER lucky!) and working hard makes achievements even more worthwhile. This post isn’t flowers and rainbows (it’s over 1300 words long, sorry) and I know that negativity doesn’t make great reading, but I think there are some issues that need to be discussed…
I hold my hands up – I haven’t done anything creative in 2 months. Last week was the first time in 2 months that I opened Photoshop on my Mac. I edited some images for my Dad’s personalised Christmas present and also some blog bits and bobs. It felt really good. Like I said in my 2013 reflection post, I miss being creative. Why haven’t I been creative? The past 2 months have consisted mainly of job searching – where I (obviously) haven’t been successful. I’m not stupid – I knew it would be really hard to get a job and I knew there would be knock backs but I thought I was strong enough to take it. Actually, I now hate my portfolio and have no confidence in my work. The thoughts crossing through my mind: Am I meant to be a Graphic Designer? Am I good enough? Where do I fit in? Do I still want to work in Graphic Design? Which leads me onto my next problem…
I have always been interested in a lot of things. I don’t know why, I’m just naturally inquisitive and I love learning new things about everything and anything. This is one of the reasons I love Graphic Design because theres such a variety of people, subjects and businesses that you can work with. The problem is… can you be too interested? A finger in too many pies? Graphic Design is such a broad subject and I am interested in so many different elements of it: Illustration, Typography, Advertising, Paper craft, Data Visualisation, Photography, Editorial.
Prior to University I was at College where I studied a BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design. At the time my plan for the future was simple: I would go to Uni, learn a lot, do some good work and get a job as a Graphic Designer. But the reality is so far from that! I left University with so much more than I had imagined – friends, skills, experiences, awards and a good portfolio. That’s not just me being big headed – I have a good degree classification (which doesn’t count for everything, I know, but it’s a start) and have had good feedback on my portfolio from creatives in the industry. (Just to clarify – I know I’m not the best Graphic Designer in the world and I still have a lot to learn.) However I don’t have ‘a style’. My portfolio is varied because my belief is that every client and brief is different so each outcome should be very different. Some creatives have a style which they are well known for and so are approached to do work for brands in their ‘style’, but I don’t. This is fine – I’m not going to force myself to have a style just for the sake of it! ha The other problem is that I don’t have a niche area. Like I said, Graphic Design is a broad subject and there are a lot of different areas which creatives and studios specialise in. If you’re going to do something, you want to focus on it and do it well, right? Nobody wants to be an all rounder. Being an all rounder is like saying I’m average at everything but good at nothing. Guys… I’m an all rounder! I love all areas of Graphic Design, my portfolio is varied and I couldn’t choose just one niche area to specialise in if you asked me. (Although maybe I need to?)
Do I even want to be a Graphic Designer now? Can I sit at a desk 9-5 every Mon – Fri (other than all of the late nights you will work to meet deadlines) designing and still love it? I have been thinking about life after Uni for over a year now and although getting a job as a Graphic Designer is the ‘normal’ progression after completing a degree, I wasn’t sure it was for me. But I was never going to know unless I tried, so in September I started a design internship with Frequency Festival. I may not have loved everything about the experience (who does?) but I 100% loved the studio atmosphere. So it turns out that I can work at a desk 9-5 every Mon-Fri designing and still love it. Now to find the right studio for me – where to start? Look at studios similar to my style and niche area. Oh wait, I don’t have a style or niche area.
Am I even meant to be a Graphic Designer? Wait, I already asked this question about 20 mins ago – I’m just going round in circles, you see? I love Graphic Design – looking at it, reading it, understanding it, creating it. I do have other skills too – blogging (writing, researching, designing), leadership, teamwork and organisation (Show 13 Press & Communications manager, Auction 13 organiser, RGB fundraising nights organiser, Student Rep and Open Day ambassador). I want to continue learning, meeting new people and visiting new places.
Lets be real here, does the job I want even exist? Who even knows. Discussions with my University tutors before and after graduating have drawn up blank. Which type of jobs should I be applying for? I don’t know what I want to do with my career and that makes it a lot harder for me to choose a direction and go for it. I want to work hard and achieve but I don’t know what I’m pushing for just yet. I’m the only one who can decide and make the first step, so 1000 words later, that is why I am a ‘New Year, New me – 2014 is going to be my motivation in making a change in my life’ person.
I’m really sorry, I know that was a lot of writing but I needed to get that off my chest to be able to move on in 2014. Plus I also wanted to post it because there are thousands of Graphic Design students out there right now, and maybe some of them feel the same way. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s ok to not want to take the traditional route – there are other options! If my rambling words have helped just one person, it makes all that typing so much more worth it. Why have I written such a personal post? This blog is, and always has been, about my journey as a Graphic Design student and now graduate so I feel like it’s important to share every piece of the puzzle. You’re here with me through the good and the bad – thanks for that! 🙂
I don’t know if anyone will have read this far, but if you have, thank you and please let me know – comment or tweet me! Do you have any advice for me? Have you gone through a similar experience? Did anything I just said even make any sense? ha Here’s to a happier and more creative 2014!
(Also let me know what you think to the hand written type – just a few quick words highlighted to make this post look more exciting!)