After the very successful article "10 Advices for Designers", I decided to come back with this new article who might be helpful for startup designers and experienced professionals of the industry. For many artists it's quite difficult to let people know of your work. Even if your work is outstanding, it just seems that no one really notices it except your friends around you. The difference between a designer who has a lot of exposure and a designer who doesn’t, is within the character of the designer. Today's advices are from Jennifer Cirpici (Breaking Canvas), a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator based in Netherlands, Holland Introduction Are you social? Do you like to go to design events? Are you ready to meet new designers around you? Are you open on social media sites? Designers like to gain something when they interact with you, even if it's only advice or interesting tweets about gadgets. So to gain more exposure, change your attitude. Give something back and don't think about only gaining. Social Network Sites and Blogs Join social network sites like Behance, Twitter, Facebook and create your own blog. Behance.net is an excellent way to show your work. When you follow someone, they most likely will follow you back. Don't put uninteresting work of you out there, show the work you're the most proud of. Even If it's only 2 projects, it's fine. The more you comment on people's work and your name will pass by, the more likely they'll comment back. It's all a matter about what you give is what you get back. Twitter is a good way to interact with people and to keep people close. It's more personal than Behance. If people tweet about their work, tweet back that you like it and etc… Don't expect that people will notice your work, if you do not notice theirs. It just doesn't work that way. Marketing Plan Now that you are interacting with designers, you'll notice that you'll already get more exposure. The next step is to focus on a marketing plan. It seems so serious, but a marketing plan simply helps you with finding out where you are now, and what you need to improve. It helps you with your work, your work flow, getting more clients, getting more exposure and etc… Begin writing where you are now in your career and what you want to change. Then write on the other side, 6 months later, where you will be and what will be changed by then. Write along with it what needs to be done within that 6 months period to change. A marketing plan can be about anything, from getting more exposure to getting specific sort of clients. It helps you to put things on paper and give you a clear overview what needs to be done. Your Own Site Very important, don't give me that reason "I am too lazy" or "I am working on it." and etc… Don't work on it too long! A portfolio site needs to be simple, minimalistic and simply just showcasing your work. The more effects, glitters, animation, colours and gradients your portfolio site has, the more attention will go to that and not your work. Honestly, if your site is all white and it simply has 6 thumbnails of your work, above there is 'About, Contact, Blog', copyright written somewhere and social media buttons. That’s enough. Only show the work you are the most proud of on your portfolio. You don't want to have work there from 5 years ago, keep it up to date as well. Personal Work Remember that personal work is more attractive to clients than work you have made for other clients. So the more personal projects you have on your portfolio and Behance, the more it will attract clients. The more you can show clients that you can do different kind of works, the more work you may get (logo’s, interactive websites, illustration, animation and etc…) Promoting your work sometimes takes more time than to actually make the work. Put dedication in promoting just as much if not even more as in the making part. Your Own Success Don't depend on others for your own success. You have it in your own hands how successful you are going to be. Don't let other people inspire you too much. Cause if they are gone, so will your your inspiration or motivation. Come up with your own projects; don't let others think of a theme to work on. If you are a designer/illustrator, you’ll have enough imagination to figure projects out on your own if you have to. Get out of your Comfort Zone Never think you are there yet, don't aim for perfection either. You have a lot to learn and that's what makes everything so interesting. The more 'mistakes' you make, the more interesting it's going to be. Don't stay in your comfort zone. You need to work bloody hard in this industry. Throw yourself in the unknown. Try working for an agency in another country, visiting a design conference, getting to meet other designers, studying a different direction, begin working with a new program and etc… Don't be afraid of the unknown, because that'll hold you back from who you might become. You are doing it because you love it. You are a designer because you're born with this creative passion, and whatever you do, you cannot stop creating. It's just as important for you as breathing. Time is Limited "Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” by Steve Jobs About the Author To find out more about Jennifer Cirpici, you can check out her website at BreakingCanvas.com, her awesome blog called Other Focus at OtherFocus.com and follow her on Twitter @JenniferCirpici.
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.