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Stuck in a rut.... Am I falling behind the times

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by Sara-abc, Mar 11, 2014.

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  1. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    Hello, new to posting on forums altogether but I could do with some honest advice. I really hope you can help...

    I have been a print based graphic designer for over ten years now. I've just started looking for another job, wanting to move away from what I have done in the past. Ideally I want to do more commercial work, for retail.

    Trouble is I started my career working as a graphic designer in local government, I stayed there for 9 years. I realised that I needed to experience new things and gain back the creativity I once had when I was at uni.

    Jobs these days want an all rounder who can do web design, the design side doesn't worry me but where do I start to learn web design, do I need to learn the code? Do I need the ability to build web sites. It's all overwhelming really but know I am falling behind the times.

    With the lack of web skills in mind and my background/experience in design, I have now started to lose confidence and self belief. How do I get more commercial work or show I can do this type of work?

    I have set up my own wordpress portfolio online REMOVED AS REQUESTED but I look at other peoples work and get designer envy. Arrrgggghhhhh. Where do I go from here to get away from the work I have been doing. I really want a job that I love.

    Where do I go from here?:icon_confused:
  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Nothing wrong with your design work. Your website is very good.

    With skills like yours there is no reason you couldn't go out by yourself.
    Sara-abc likes this.
  3. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    Thank you, I sometimes wonder that but hate the thought of never knowing where the next job is going to come from. Starting out seems a scary thing. I feel a bit frozen in time at the moment. I have no idea where to start to get where I want to be. So many people are doing it too these days...
  4. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    The biggest thing to do is take that leap. If you never take it you will never know what could have been.

    Getting work can be hard, but sometimes it's right under your nose.

    Find some local printers that you liaise with, if they only do printing offer to do some freelance graphic design for them. They could be grateful.

    Offer your services to busy design agencies, when they are overloaded with work, offsetting a job outside might work for them.

    Push your services to places you already know - businesses you're dealing with on day to day.

    There's tonnes you can do.

    Talk with people you already know about starting your own business.
  5. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    This industry has a nasty habit of pigeon-holing designers. If you've got 10 years experience, you should be applying for senior designer roles BUT as soon as an employer/recruitment agent sees 8 or 9 of those years have been working in an in-house role for a non/low creativity business (ie local govt) they discount your experience as irrelevant.

    As above, the best way to go (and the way I think most designers end up going) is freelance.
    Sara-abc likes this.
  6. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    You are quite right there, I find it hard to shake off the stigma of working for public sector. I knew at the time it would be damaging the chance of a good job but I got trapped in the comfort zone.

    I have only started applying for jobs again but the ones I applied for I got interviews. But it's getting that role. One job for said I wasn't confident enough in talking about my work. I got to second interview stage though. Maybe they sensed I wasn't happy with my work... Or that I lacked self belief.

    I would love to be freelance in some ways. You get the varied work that way, that is what I want. Varied work.
  7. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Sarah, I primarily design for web and digital, and never have to write a line of code. I work with freelance developers to get a site or application built, or I'm hired separately to do the design and functionality side by a client who already has a developer on board.

    I would definitely say that it's essential to have some basic knowledge of how a site is built using HTML and CSS, simply so that you're able to design for a digital platform. I'm currently working on refining and expanding my coding skills so they're up to date, though I doubt I'll ever be offering it as a service unless I absolutely must.
    Sara-abc likes this.
  8. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    Thank you for the reply, you have made me feel a bit better about the code side to web design. I have done a basic course on HTML and CSS and that was helpful to know a bit about behind the scenes. I have also looked up responsive design online. I think I now have to build up my confidence in my work. I compare myself to other people that's my problem.
  9. Hill_88

    Hill_88 New Member

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  10. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    Wow, thank you so much... That book looks really good. I need start taking action now.
  11. CherryDesigns

    CherryDesigns New Member

    Really really really cracking work there you've got!
    Sara-abc likes this.
  12. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I see you are setting up on your own Cherry Designs? I hope it goes well.
  13. CherryDesigns

    CherryDesigns New Member

    I am indeed, trying to but its a tough market and other designers are far superior to me.
  14. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    I know what you mean, I am going to start the ball rolling soon. It is daunting and even though I have over 10 years experience I still think there are other "superior" designers out there but equally there are some shocking ones making a living out of it too. :icon_smile:

    I am wondering whether I should do a few jobs on designcrowd to get a bit more varied work in my portfolio, even if it's just following a brief for fun. Have you or anyone used designcrowd?
  15. CherryDesigns

    CherryDesigns New Member

    I've been using DesignCrowd for a few weeks now and its really stressful, all that work for possibly no more, potentially. I had customers want 10 or 11 revisions whilst I dont mind, when they havn't even "picked you" yet, its hard.
  16. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    Oh blimey, is that how it works? That sounds a bit rubbish. Hmmm.
  17. CherryDesigns

    CherryDesigns New Member

    Pretty much, you choose a job - submit your designs, customers in my short experience have asked for revisions, alot and changed their mind alot and then most of them got eliminated and then you don't get paid
  18. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    I think I will concentrate on my business website, instead of that then... I don't want to waste time like that. I thought it might be a good way to get some more commercial work in my portfolio but maybe not.
  19. CherryDesigns

    CherryDesigns New Member

    I thought that but it just seems to have wasted my two weeks. It wasn't for me, personally as I was just designing all day long, with a hope I might get picked out of 40 others.
  20. Sara-abc

    Sara-abc New Member

    Well thanks for that, it is good to know someone who has experienced it. I'd rather spend my time in a more constructive way.
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