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I've Plateaued. Now I am seeking career tips

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  • I've Plateaued. Now I am seeking career tips

    Greetings all,

    So I have been doing graphic design for a start up for about 5 months now, particularly working with Photoshop/After Effects/Illustrator.

    I have reached a plateau and I can't seem to find the way out. I can move between the three programs relatively seamlessly, and I can provide my company with good basic designs (mostly stuff that I easily repeat off of tutorials on youtube). But it seems there is a big gap between where I am at and where creatives who get paid to do this stuff professionally are at on a skill level.

    To be honest, graphic design is not a passion, it is more of a career choice I have made because I enjoy art and I am tech savy.

    What's the next logical step for a good career? I have been looking at investing time in UX Design, as it seems to be a better career choice than spending months learning how to draw.

    Honestly, I'm not a commie, I don't see my work as an end-in-itself, but rather a means to an end, so please take that into consideration when offering advice.


    P.S (I already understand design theory thoroughly. I am well versed in the underlying principles and history of graphic design).




  • #2
    Do you have any formal schooling?
    No InDesign?
    Learning to do stuff through copying tutorials and doing basic layout isn't learning. To advance you need to learn from someone better at it than you are. Reinventing the wheel is not productive; not to your boss and not to your career.
    Graphic Design is not about enjoying Art. Too many people go into graphic design thinking it is going to be a great way to let loose their artistic talent, when that couldn't be further from the truth.

    Almost any career choice is better than Graphic Designer, especially if you are using it ias a job as a means to an end and aren't into ''chasing it.''
    There are a lot of different levels to UX design. Which avenue interests you? Digital? Or Real World? Interface or Experiential? Video screen or immersion? All kinds of way to go out there. But honestly, if you are going after the creative content of UX design, you not only need to know how to draw, you need upper level skills in any number of 3D softwares, coding skills, and/or engineering.

    Comment


    • #3
      No formal schooling. No Indesign.

      "Too many people go into graphic design thinking it is going to be a great way to let loose their artistic talent, when that couldn't be further from the truth."

      I have been finding this to be painfully true. However I am not sure why.

      "There are a lot of different levels to UX design. Which avenue interests you?"

      I am honestly not sure. I just know UX is hot right now for careers.

      I should probably look more at digging into the Digital Marketing aspect of my job and less into the Graphic Design side of my job. I primarily work as a graphic designer, however, I am in the Marketing Department. Most of what I do is compositing photos for promotional boards to be placed on our website or social media.

      Perhaps a better career avenue is Digital Marketing with some background in Adobe CC?

      Comment


      • #4
        You are flailing. You've heard somewhere that UX is hot. It is. But it is also cut-throat, high-tech, long-hours work at some of the top levels of the field where the money is, and far more competitive to get into than GD. You not only have to want to compete, you have to be willing to out-compete someone else to work up the ladder.

        And you aren't hire-able. In this economic environment, people who do hiring at places with money to pay, are going to wash out your resume because you don't have the little piece of paper. Sad but true.

        What do you know about digital marketing? What sorts of metrics are you able to carry out to see if your marketing program is effective? Do you just create content? Or do you do any front-end or backend work? Our front desk person handles all of our digital marketing (has a degree in Communications though,) the stuff like facebook updates, linkedin content, youtube uploads and our static website. The real marketing is handled by a team that is client facing. It doesn't quite sound like you want to be doing the footwork for client facing marketing. Or maybe you do.

        You need to do alot more research. There is a whole internet at your disposal.
        Last edited by PrintDriver; 08-01-2017, 08:20 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks Print.

          I should clarify that I do have a College Degree in Philosophy. I am also bi-lingual. However, humanities are not monetized in this competitive environment (probably for the better).

          Perhaps I should do the local code boot camp starting this August. That would look good with my aesthetic abilities and college degree.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mwell1992 View Post
            To be honest, graphic design is not a passion, it is more of a career choice I have made...
            This quote pretty much spells out the cause of your predicament.

            It's a mistake to go into graphic design thinking it's a good, non-passionate career choice. There are far easier, better and more lucrative ways to make money than to bet the farm on a graphic design career. The only good reason to choose graphic design as a career is because you're driven to do it, it's who you are and you can't imagine yourself being happy doing anything else. I suppose the same could be said of those pursuing an education and a career in philosophy.

            Just for the sake of making a point, consider someone who had never picked up a ball and bat until he signed up for his employer's after work summer team. After five months of relative disinterest in the game, this person wonders why he's plateaued and wonders if there's a position he can switch to that will move him into the pro leagues. Well, it ain't gonna happen. Sorry. It just doesn't work that way.

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            • #7
              A degree in Philosophy, and $5, will get you a cup of coffee (or covfefe if it's the middle of the night.)
              Have you looked at any of these sorts of careers where a degree in Philosophy is an asset?
              (this is just a random website dredge-up, no affiliation.)
              http://www.philosophy.umd.edu/undergraduate/careers

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Mwell and welcome to GDF.

                We ask all new members to read very important links here and here. These explain the rules, how the forum runs and a few inside jokes. No, you haven't done anything wrong, we ask every new member to read them. Your first few posts will be moderated, so don't panic if they don't show up immediately. Enjoy your stay.
                Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

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                • #9
                  thanks Kitch!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by B View Post
                    Just for the sake of making a point, consider someone who had never picked up a ball and bat until he signed up for his employer's after work summer team. After five months of relative disinterest in the game, this person wonders why he's plateaued and wonders if there's a position he can switch to that will move him into the pro leagues. Well, it ain't gonna happen. Sorry. It just doesn't work that way.
                    Good analogy. It makes sense.

                    So in the meantime how do I get out of the plateau while I am doing design?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mwell1992 View Post
                      So in the meantime how do I get out of the plateau while I am doing design?
                      I wish I had a good answer that would help you, but I don't.

                      I will say, though, that breaking past those boundaries is what design programs in universities are for, which is likely not the answer you were looking for.

                      The studio design courses usually consist of getting a design assignment (brief), working your tail off to do your best job then showing up for the class critique. Everyone's work is hung on the wall and, one by one, it's all picked apart as every person in the class, plus the instructor, tells you what they think you've done right and what you've done wrong. You also get a detailed view of how everyone else solved (or didn't solve) the exact same problem.

                      This goes on week after week for four years, and soon you either quit out of frustration or you find yourself growing by breaking down preconceptions, tossing out biases and reconfiguring your thought processes. You learn from your own and everyone else's failures and successes. You learn that there are multiple ways around plateaus. And you find there are dozens of ways to solve problems, and that the simplest, most straight-forward solutions are usually best.

                      It has nothing to do with learning software programs. Reading about design theories is of no particular help other than them being analytical explanations that provide insight into the gut reactions you develop.

                      How you duplicate the results of this in the absence of a structured program and ongoing critical analysis by others, I don't know. I've seen designers get there through mentored work environments, but that route requires landing one of those jobs where you're surrounded by critical and patient coworkers and supervisors. Unfortunately, those jobs are usually low-paying internships reserved for students enrolled in a design degree program. Honestly, I don't know anyone who's gotten there through self-study except in narrow, niche fields of one sort or another. Trying to get there without either the right education or passion, at least to me, doesn't seem doable. Fewer and fewer employers are willing to take chances on self-educated designers anyway. A four-year design degree and a year or two of design internships is pretty much the entry level to a good design job now days. Like I said, I wish I had more helpful and optimistic insights for for you.

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