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Topic: Mentor needed  (Read 896 times)
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Debbie Stoller ROCKS!
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« on: October 09, 2005 10:14:45 PM »

I am looking for a mentor/advice. I am a senior in design/visual communication and want to pursue a career in design/diy/publishing. I have worked very hard and am an accomplished student and designer. My goal is to work for a publishing company that produces diy publications. Then open an independent company and publish diy mags and special intest books. any advice/experience would be greatly appreciated.
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2005 12:58:13 PM »

hiya! it's great that you know what you want to do!
i have 14 yrs experience in the design field so can offer a few things:
-gear your portfolio towards what you want to do. don't show stuff you don't like/want to do, as that is what you will end up doing(Murphy's Law and all that jazz!!) so for publishing, show  examples of page layout/brochure/catalogue if possible. show examples of any printed pieces you may have done.

-be honest about your skills and how long it takes you to do something. so many times i have seen potential hires say they know how to do something or use required software but when it comes down to it, if they don't, it's very apparent very fast!

-in publishing and publication design, attention to detail and consistency is very important. i can't stress that enough. spellcheck and spellcheck again.check your layouts for consistent margins, placement of recurring elements, consistent typesetting and alignment!

-know that, despite what instructors might tell you, you will start most often at entry level design jobs by doing the crappy grunt work. you might not get to design anything for a while! and probably won't get paid very much to do it! it may seem like torture, and sometimes it is, but you can learn from it and the better you do it, the faster you can get past it. and it's always good to know the technical side of the design process as in file organization, file prep & prepress, etc.

-the publishing industry is heavy on the freelance side, often not having in-house staff, rather having 1-2 designers and farming out the rest. you may have luck in applying for freelance work.

-most of all, employers want to see that you're excited about design, eager and willing to learn. if an employer asks you if you know how to use a certain program or technique and you don't, say "not yet but i plan to take a course/learn/study it" or something like that to show that you are being proactive.

-no matter what, every work environment/studio/agency has a very different way of doing things. be open to what senior designers/art directors.employers say, listen and learn!

i hope that will help you & good luck! it's a fun industry to be in!


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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2005 01:25:16 PM »

I just have a couple things to reinforce foufigirl's advice...

I am an editor, although it's for a business publication (*yawn*), but I will sit there with a clear ruler and check all edges of the articles on EACH draft that I see.  I see that kind of thing go unchecked far too often and it bugs the crap out of me.

SPELL CHECK IS A NECESSITY!  I may not use it for myself, but I can damn near spot any misspelled word when it comes across my desk.

Make sure you're up-to-date on all the software that is common, for example Quark and Photoshop, all the countless others... one of our GDs "fudged" about Quark experience, and it shows.  A LOT.  If it weren't for the inventive and downright awesome designs this person comes up with, they'd be out of here in a second.  The head honcho was VERY forgiving on this issue, and probably shouldn't have been, but the GD is getting better every day.

There is a ton more, but I don't have particular expertise in that field.. limited, but enough to know the basics.  My advice: get a few people to look over your stuff, check the details and lines, and make sure it looks right.  When you've seen it a billion times, your brain makes up for what is missing without you even knowing it.  A fresh eye is all you need to see a misplaced subscript or non-italicized comma.  Sadly, I can pick that out in a flash...

My kids are going to have the best grammar EVER!

Every time Olive Oyl flails her noodle-like arms in the air and cries for Popeye's help, a feminist angel gets her wings ripped off her back.  (courtesy of mental_floss.)
Debbie Stoller ROCKS!
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2005 01:51:40 PM »

Thank you for the advice. I did my internship with the Cincinnati Ballet this summer and the experience was phenomenal!  I am very excited about "getting out there" and have started a diy craft club at the college and am hoping to start a craft mafia in my area. Thanks again .. any advice is greatly appreciated and extremely beneficial. I believe the more advice you get from your peers and mentors the better off you are. thanks again! Off to bake for a bake sale benefit!
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