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Getting Started

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by JH_Designs, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. JH_Designs

    JH_Designs New Member

    Hi Guys my names Josh and im 17 years old.

    So i have been doing graphic design on my computer for around the last 2 years. Not professionally but just as a spare time thing. In the last few months i have realised that it is what i want to do in life and nothing else. I mean graphics and computers are my passion.

    When i find myself with nothing to do. i always spend time on photoshop creating things. I just want to know whats the best way to getting into the graphics scene as a career. I recently finished sixth form where i did A-Level ICT which was crud as it was just essay writing and nothing really to do with computers them selves. I often found myself sat in class knowing more about the computers then the actual teachers.

    Most of my knowledge is withing Adobe Photoshop and Cinema 4D but as a lot people have and still will tell me, i should learn more about illustrator which i do plan to in the near future :p

    I dont plan to go to university as i cant afford it. I do the odd bit of graphics for my friends as they ask me to design them wallpapers and also i have designed advertisements in the past for a gaming forum that had a few thousand members.

    so i just wanna know what my best options are... any advice will be highly appreciated.

    Also this is my portfolio - JHDesigns: Graphic Designer

    Constructive criticism is encourage but nothing to harsh ey ;) aha
  2. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    Jeezus Christ Cameron & Clegg. What are you doing to our youth? :icon_scared: :icon_thumbdown:
  3. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member


    You mention computers a lot and I'm sure I'll not be the only one to say to you that design doesn't and should never start on the computer. I started the same way, computers and software, hating ICT because they couldn't teach you anything. What you need to do is get off the screen and get out drawing, observing, sketching and anything else like that. Computers have their advantages, for finishing projects and try variations, but, you need to approach the computer as a tool, something you can use to tie your ideas together, not as a tool to generate ideas.

    As far as the education thing goes, if you can't afford to do Uni (and obviously, it's not possible for everyone anymore) then I'd definitely get yourself onto a college course in art/design. I took courses all throughout my education that focussed on both art & design as I felt the two co-existed and shouldn't be treat as seperate entities.

    You mention computers and C4D, so that'd tell me that you were primarily interested in rendering/modelling and animation? If that's your sort of thing check out Nick Campbell here;

    I'll have a look at your website now and let you know what I think.

  4. JH_Designs

    JH_Designs New Member

    Thanks for the advice,

    yeah i used to draw alot when i was younger before i got into computer graphics, throughout my earlier years of high school i literally did no work because i would just sit in lessons and draw. i used to draw a lot of graffiti style, urban looking things but as i got more on the pc i sorted faded away from that aspect as i realised i could do it on the pc. Plus i do not have a way of getting my sketchs onto my pc as i do not have a scanner.

    But as you say i may start getting back into the sketching side of things

    now with the uni/college aspect, i live in norfolk in the uk which is a very 'open' area, LOTS of fields. where i live is like 10 minute drive from the nearest shops and about 20-30 minutes from the nearest college that does graphic courses. so when it comes to college, its transport. i do not have a car yet and i also have no job as there is nowhere advertising, thankyou to cameron and clegg for that aswell.

    but surely whether you had a degree in graphic design or not. if you can do the work then surely it would not matter? oh.. i dont know
  5. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Yes but that's the question, can you do the work now or do you need training/education? Looking at your portfolio (and no offence) I think you need a lot more practice or some sort of training before charging for what you least going by your poster/flyer work on your website.

    Sorry if that sounds harsh.
  6. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    The nearest college to me was 30-40 minutes by bus, and that's what I had to use until I passed my driving test. Does the EMA scheme still run for attending college? It was £30 a week when I was there, although, I didn't qualify for it. If you really want to do it, you have to find a way of making the ends meet and getting yourself onto a college or Uni course. Once you're enrolled, you can normally blag some sort of transport allowance out of the college, that's what I managed in my second year.

    Also, you don't necessarily need to transfer your sketches to the computer. You just need the freedom to work on your sketches in your book, scribbling, doodling, writing notes etc without the computers limitations. Then, you can take your ideas to the computer and try (hopefully succeed) in duplicating them on screen.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention this. Yeah, I went through college and got the neccessary qualifications that could get me onto a degree course which I took and came out with a respectable 2;1 degree. Now, I too am looking to garner freelance work and set up my own business, however, I wouldn't have attempted it before college, but that's just me. Personally, I think you could use the training and it would definitely point you in the right direction. If I could do it all over again, I'd have stayed at college and trained for my degree there as the support network at Uni was borderline useless.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  7. JH_Designs

    JH_Designs New Member

    At the moment i am looking for a job to get some money so once i have a job and easy transports maybe even my own car, ill prob look into getting onto some courses :p thanks for the help everyone
  8. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Apparently Adam Woodhouse is self taught (according to his site) and he's made a pretty big name for himself through his artwork.

    Adam Woodhouse | Portfolio 2011

    It's not to my taste as it's more illustration than design but from the looks of your work so far it may be the sort of thing that would appeal to you? You could look at other options too, perhaps motion graphics?

    After Effects is pretty big at the minute, I used it for the first time today at uni and it's surprisingly easy to pick up
  9. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    Powerful software. That's what I used for 90% of my degree course. Very nice tool.
  10. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, I've been in a sulk all week because we've been given a moving image brief to do but it was actually quite fun to use :icon_smile:
  11. True Graphics

    True Graphics New Member


    research research research. Good Luck

    True Graphics
  12. byronc

    byronc Member

    hmm a good education is good for falling bacl on and gets you jobs.

    why cant you afford college? its free? uni is loans and you only pay it back once you earna certain amount.

    get in there. otherwise just start by finding work to do, even its free- small logos, grpahics, websites, and buikd a portfolio... every experiecen makes you more sellable
  13. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    A bit off-topic but you don't really buy that line do you? A massive debt is still exactly that even if payment is deferred (as a future graduate I wouldn't fancy my chances of securing decent mortgage terms [for example] with a credit record showing an ongoing 30 grand deficit).
  14. byronc

    byronc Member

    you cant get a mortgage period, without a job. "decent mortgage terms" - baby steps for graduates - you do what you have to do.

  15. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    Your student debt doesn't have any affect whatsoever on your credit rating. It's not seen as a normal loan. I'm £14,000 in student debt, it doesn't matter one iota to my credit rating :icon_wink:

    As for the comment by Byronc "hmm a good education is good for falling bacl on and gets you jobs", that's absolute bobbins, a degree does not get you a job. If it did, there wouldn't be thousands of graduates out there without one.
  16. byronc

    byronc Member

    Well linzi loop, I guess I will be telling my kids not to worry about that higher education then? Why bother with school at all? just tell em to join the chavs for 12 year's and were all set?

    Yes you can get jobs without a degree, and you can get to the top of some professions without one but for many you have to.

    Let me rephrase then, getting a degree greatly enhances your skill and usefulness - hence chances of getting a job. It increases your starting salary, it also counts if you want to immigrate to some countries, believe, me thats worth a lot...:icon_lol:

    I know that where I work(in IT) the grad programs are exactly that - for uni grads and biased one hundred percent to redbrick uni's aswell.

    i'll er let Cameron know that he can just shut the uni's down then? good for the old austerity package :icon_inlove:

    the word redbrick comes to mind as well...
  17. linziloop

    linziloop Member

    Yes, better phrased that a degree MIGHT help, not guarantee, get a job. My boyfriend and I are great examples of the two - I've got a degree, he hasn't. I work in graphic design, he works in I.T. We are both exactly the same age, and we are both on exactly the same wage at the same point in our careers. Proof you can make it with or without a degree.

    You're answering like I said there's no point getting a degree. That's not what I said, I said a degree does not get you a job, and I still stick by that. It doesn't. Your portfolio, experience, personality and performance in said field get you a job. The degree MAY help you get your foot in the door with an interview, but so would spending the same 3 years doing the job. I am a strong believer that some professions require a degree more than others, graphic design I am on the fence about to be honest.
  18. byronc

    byronc Member

    I have to kill the angry argumentative troll struggling to get out of me. :icon_biggrin:
  19. Moominbaby

    Moominbaby Member

    Haha! I have one of those too sometimes :icon_lol:

    Just to add my two peneth: (I am by no means the best graphic designer ever) But I do think that alot of the time you can tell the diffrence in work from people that don't have any training to the people that do.
    This dosen't mean you need to get a degree. I did 2 yrs at a local collge, the course was good and the tutor was excellent and that is what counts. Finding someone, company or uni etc, that will teach you the basics and help you put what you do into context within design and the real world.

    I also think that the huge fees that unis charge will force companies to change the way they look at job candidates. Degrees will not be tha be all and end all and more on the job training like NVQ will be taken serously. And those that go to uni may think about it a lot more, as many on my course didn't and where just there for the uni exprence. But at the moment we are in a very arkward transition stage. and it is hard to know what to do. Well thats just my theory :icon_smile:
  20. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    This is one positive that could come out of the increased fees, causing people to actually think through a degree before they take one. A guy on my course scraped through last year and is falling behind already this year because he started a degree just to get the loan (he recently spent £300 just on one coat!)

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