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How could I get the experience needed for this job....

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  • How could I get the experience needed for this job....

    I found a job opportunity that I would absolutely love to do. It is working with a children's book publisher that specializes in educational materials. I have my Bachelor of Education. I have been a freelance graphic designer since 1999, but have never held a full-time position.

    In the job description it says...
    Experience commissioning and working with illustrators.
    Experience leading & working with a team of designers, production specialists and writers.

    How would a person go about getting this experience if all of the job descriptions require the experiences. It seems impossible to break through. (sorry... pity party moment)
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could achieve this?

    Thanking you in advance.

  • #2
    As a freelance graphic designer, the way you would get the experience commissioning artwork is by doing it for your own clients. Commissioning artwork is actually fairly easy and it's no big deal...once you done it a few times and find a good stable of illustrators to work with (or know where to look for the style you want.) The client/artist interface is what is important. You need to be able to manage both, most importantly developing and defining the concept of what your client wants and gathering all the necessary reference material before sitting down with an illustrator.

    The experience leading a team though... as a freelancer you have to find yourself in some contracted gigs that are fairly large. My only experience is with larger museum exhibit projects and with a weird segment of ''show biz'' where teams of designers, production specialists and writers are gathered, usually under the auspices of a design studio for the former, or producer for the latter, to make a project happen. It could take years for you to work your way up to even a team lead in design, let alone the whole production staff. You are looking at about 10 years worth maybe less if you have the aptitude for it. A lot of times, the only way to do it is to actually work for the design studio or producer. Cut throat business. Wear your woolly underwear.
    Last edited by PrintDriver; 10-23-2016, 05:00 AM.


    • inbalnce
      inbalnce commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for all of the information. I super appreciate it... and I will remember to wear my woolly underwear lol.

  • #3
    You didn't mention one of the hardest barriers you're going to have to break through: going from freelance to employment. In my experience employers have been weary about hiring employees who have been freelancing for awhile, and with good reason. Freelancers are used to managing their own schedule and not working within the constrains of someone else's management style. Sometimes the work itself isn't as varied or interesting as when you're freelancing. You're going to have to prove that you're ready to let go of the reigns and can work as a team member, every day, in an office, during business hours.


    • #4
      You can get the experience needed while freelancing. Especially these days with studios hiring in help to do large projects rather than keeping designers on staff. Getting your toe in that door is a real trick. But yeah, it would really depend on the quality level of your freelancing and how well you interview.

      Especially where you say you have a Bachelor in Education... While that might be helpful in the children's book field, I'd be more curious about the Graphic Design education. Someone freelancing for 17 years without any design degree or employment history could have all kinds of ingrained bad habits. Not saying you do, just saying it would be viewed skeptically.


      • #5
        Hi inbalnce, I was wondering whether there are other ways you could make up for the lack of experience. Perhaps you have transferrable skills in those areas? It's likely that you've worked with a larger team at some point in your 17 year career. Or that you've commissioned work from others, even if they are not illustrators. If this is truly your dream job, then try applying. Your passion for the subject + 17 years design experience has a good chance to shine through and get you an interview. Depending on their screening process you would then have a chance to address potential concerns. Job adverts are written based on an ideal candidate that often doesn't exist. Best of luck!


        • PrintDriver
          PrintDriver commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm guessing that any job posted back in October is long gone.
          A book publisher is likely the type of company that is going to look for that BA first.





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