Today we'd love to share with you guys some really helpful advice. Helpful not only for designers who are just starting out in the industry, but also for experienced designers with an open mind to new things that could boost your career and take advantage of your skills.

Today's advices are from Jennifer Cirpici (Breaking Canvas), a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator based in Netherlands, Holland

For more information about Jennifer Cirpici, you can visit her website at BreakingCanvas.com, check her Behance profile at Behance.net/jdeniz or you can follow her on Twitter @JenniferCirpici.

'No one achieved their goals without the help of others, so don't think you can make your goals come true by only depending on yourself. Support others and they support you backJennifer Cirpici

1. Make a working portfolio site

There are creative platforms like Behance, but don't let them be your main portfolio site. Don't put too much effort into your site design, make it clean and make sure that your designs get the most attention rather than the text. If your layout is beautiful, it'll get more attention than your actual work, so clean and minimalistic will do the trick.

2. Join social networking sites

A lot of people underestimate the power of them and how they can benefit you. But really, join Twitter, Flickr, Linkedin and you'll see how much it can promote you, your work and keep you in touch with other artists. Make sure that you stay professional on Twitter: don't swear, don't have a big ego, don't @reply all the time and don't tell too much about your personal life.

Not only clients will see your tweets but agencies as well. If you behave like a child they would rather not hire you. And don't forget to follow interesting blogs and art magazines to keep you updated!

3. Don't think too much in levels

There are a lot of young artists who aim to be the best, think they know everything, have more experience, etc. And also the opposite: artists who think others know much more than them and want to be left in the background instead.

The thing is that you shouldn't think in levels at all. Everyone has his/her own way of designing and their own taste. You're not better, and you're not lower either. You have your own creative path just like everyone else. Respect and appreciate each other.

4. Don't think too much in rules, it will show and won't make your work unique

Did van Gogh, Andy Warhol think in rules?

5. Join an agency

Before you become a freelancer, it's good to join an agency for your resume/work experience. You'll learn a lot from working in an agency like the pressure, programs and working in a creative team.

6. Magazines

A lot of people wonder how they can get their work featured in magazines. Honestly, it's usually just about sending them an email along with your portfolio and ask if they'd be interested in featuring your work. They love receiving emails with work because they need to feature people in every issue anyway, so this makes it easier on them.

7. Variety in your portfolio

Variety is something that's very important in a designer's portfolio. Most of us forget this and instead focus only on one specific style. But variety is also a style in itself, and one that can attract more clients. You can reintroduce the same elements in your work but it doesn't have to look the same. Don't stick to just photo manipulations if you can do so much more than that. Try making a font instead. If you have a creative talent, why limit yourself?

8. Don't be lazy, just do it

So many people I know don't take the time to put effort in promoting their work by emailing agencies, making more work, doing interviews, etc.

You're a designer. If you'd rather be lazy then this is not the job for you. In this world you need to show a lot of motivation and effort to make things work. Clients and agencies don't want someone that's unmotivated and doesn't take the time to get things done.

9. Know the basics about your programs and printing

Enough said. Know how masks work, how to render, what the pen tool is, etc. And of course every designer needs to know that the best way to print is CMYK, 300 dpi, pdf, high quality with bleeds from 3 mm.

10. Always take feedback/critique

You won't see everything with two eyes and one mind. Only take feedback/critique that is clearly constructive. Feedback like 'this sucks' won't give you much, don't take it seriously.

Final Words

Never give up and believe in your work. This means you cannot be shy and sit back thinking that people will notice you among all the designers out there. A good designer needs to have marketing skills. Let people know you are here and what you're all about.

About the author of this post

My name's François Hoang and my alias's Aoiro Studio. I am a self-taught freelance graphic designer from Montreal, Canada. If you wanna requests some posts; I can be found on Twitter or visit my website at aoirostudio.com.