Welcome to “episode two” of career advice with Joy Factory Films!
Guys and gals, meet Neil. He’s one of the coolest dudes around. Especially because he doesn’t think he’s cool. That makes him even cooler – just saying. Neil was the second employee to get hired on at Joy Factory Films and his role has morphed into a little bit of everything. He’s the dude who can pick up a camera and film, direct people on a film shoot, design an insanely neat logo, or develop a brand’s identity – Neil can rock it all.
After last week’s blog post, I asked Neil to answer some similar career-related questions for you.
Hope: “Neilio, what does the current employment landscape look like for graphic designers?”
Neil: “The demand for graphic designers has changed tremendously in the last ten years. An over-importance on things like social media made the general public much more conscious on how to portray themselves and therefore more people than ever now have the skills to use Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Software, etc. What was once a highly specialized field has become fairly normalized and job postings definitely reflect that. The key to getting a job in the field of graphic design and/or videography is to be adaptable because your role is going to be much broader than simply being a graphic designer so it is important to have a bunch of other skills to bring to the table. More than anything, you need to have the ability to sell yourself and your work in any given situation, because in the end people will remember your impression as much – if not more than – your work.”
Hope: “Whoa, you’re a real O.G. What are some of the typical entry-level job titles and functions for a graphic designer?”
Neil: “Typical entry-level jobs in graphic design vary immensely. My first gig was working for a sign shop doing installations, and later, designing graphics. It was a creative blackhole and I much preferred my next job… which was working at a factory making milk jugs. It was honestly just as creative. It is hard to find that right job. It is important to just do what you like to do and work hard at it. It never seems like it at the time, but it is an invaluable stepping stone to getting you towards doing meaningful work.”
Hope: “What characteristics make people stand out in your workplace?”
Neil: “Enthusiasm. If you want to thrive in a creative work environment, then try. Lots of people do what we do, and do it well. So if you are going to get to that next level it is crucial to approach every project like it is important and meaningful (even if it doesn’t feel like it). Also, you have a personality, and that should show in your work. Don’t be afraid to put yourself into what you do.”
Hope: “What programs/software do you use most often?”
Neil: “The programs I use most often are Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Premiere. I also use inDesign for typesetting and layout, but it’s a much smaller part of my job. Illustrator is my go-to.”
Hope: “How does one find their own style in the world of design?”
Neil: “First and foremost, time. Drawing, illustration, photo-editing, video-editing, etc, are all skills that are learned through repetition. Starting out where you’re going to learn through watching other people, learning their process, their approach, their rules. At a certain point, you get to a level of confidence in yourself where you are comfortable breaking those roles and letting your personality shine through a lot more, and that’s when people will start to notice the work you’re doing. While inspiration from others is obviously a key part of the learning process, it’s most important as an artist, and/or designer to have a message that you want to communicate and to not lose sight of your own voice in the design process. Your voice, or rather your style, is what is going to separate you from somebody’s nephew who’s a ‘real photoshop wiz.'”
There you have it, folks. Safe to say, that again, Neil is pretty rad. He wouldn’t never admit it himself, of course. For more of his work, click here or check out his skateboard company that he designs/promotes with his friends.
If you have more questions, ask us below in the comments and we’ll get back to you soon!