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Need advice!!

Hi all!

My name's Matt, I've got 3 and a half years experience as an Artworker and i'm a little bored, i was hoping for some advice on a few things. I'd love to get in to graphic design but fear my background and portfolio aren't up to scratch.

Here's my portfolio - www.mattdbryce.co.uk. - Any feedback? I think my portfolio needs refining, but I don't have a clue how to go about bumping my portfolio up. I was thinking of writing to some graphic design agencies to see if they could send me some hypothetical/sample briefs.

I have the skills to make quality work, I just don't know how to get the work/briefs to make my portfolio a little more...exciting. I'm not bothered about being paid.

Any help you can give would be much appreciated!

Thanks guys,

You've got some really nice examples of re-touching and photography on the site, but as you've mentioned the focus really needs to be on design if your looking to move more in this field. Are you employed by an agency or in-house team as an Artworker? If so is their no room internally for you take on work on the design side? If not do you offer any work freelance?
Thanks Russell!

I work in a small company called ehouse...believe me i didn't design the site or the logo!! It's a small company so there's no room to move up, i've been asking for years! So leaving the company is the best move for me, i just feel that i should get a good portfolio together before I start applying for jobs.

I have never ventured in to freelance, but do you think this would be a good route to go down? I've considered doing it in my spare time to bump up the portfolio, but i've no idea where to begin!
Well quality artworkers are very useful especially for larger agencies so it depends whether you are just looking for a change of environment or really want to focus on the design side. Might be worth looking out for Creative Artworker roles, or approaching companies as such. Your pre press skills would be useful to them but also gives you the opportunity to get involved in the concepts/ ideas development stages, which would be a good bridging role.

Would definitely say keep on to your current job whilst looking but freelancing in your spare time will help develop your portfolio. Start small and see if friends of friends/ family need anything, or local charities etc if your not in it for the cash.
I've gone through google and got a list of 40 odd companies i'd like to work for. Only 10 out of these 40 i feel confident sending my portfolio to. So i've written to these companies with my CV and covering letter, however I'm at a bit of a loss now.

I've recently come to the conclusion that applying to jobs online is a waste of time and to instead enquire to companies about jobs. Would you agree? I looked at Creative Artworker roles and Professional Artworker roles a little while back, but perhaps I will pursue this again.

I've used Design Jobs | Graphic Design, Web Design & Interior Design Jobs | Design Week Jobs and Guardian jobs before, where would you recommend to look for this kind of work? Any particular publications?

Could you recommend a couple of good freelance sites?

Thanks so much for the advice!
Sorry one more thing, what is the most flattering job title to give myself? We have a team of brochure makers and a team of brochure editors in house. I am going to be put on to brochure making in the new year however I will also be in charge of the brochure editor team. I was thinking Head Brochure Editor...although this leaves out that i actually design the brochures too...any thoughts?
I wouldn't call yourself anything with 'brochure' in the title as immediately draws attention to the limited scope of your current role, and means nothing outside your particular company. I'd stick with Artworker/ Creative Artworker.

Jobs wise, generally worth checking: the drum, design week, jobsite, brand republic, mad jobs. And reg with some recruitment agencies, loads to choose from if your staying in London.

You've been a great help, thanks so much! I'm sticking with Creative Artworker for my job title, i'm going to get on those jobs sites and sign up to some agencies. Once i've landed a more interesting job i'm going to work on my portfolio and treat is an out of work hobby so i can hopefully get that dream graphic designer job!

You've given me the direction and confidence to push onwards!

Thanks again!

No problem. I think if you can land a Creative Artworker job in an agency that has more variety of client work you'd find it more interesting and be able to build up a more varied folio, there may be more opportunities than your current place to cross over internally too. Good luck.
Mattdbryce said:
Is there anywhere that i might be able to obtain sample briefs online?

Look through your local paper - see ads that are truly awful (there should be loads) - redesign them with the same copy.

Do the same with logos / identities.

But call them 'concepts / proposals' in your portfolio.

Its an old trick. But might be what you need.

Asking for actual briefs from agencies sounds like a waste of time - i wouldn't give out any of our briefs to someone who rang or emailed, its not the 'done thing'.