I’ve been practicing graphic design for about eight years now. I am completely self-taught. While I have good experience with certain applications (I am very comfortable with Photoshop and Illustrator), I feel extremely overwhelmed right now and don’t know what I should be doing to be proficient in the field and prepared to make this a full-time career. I’ve looked at many online articles and resources but it eventually reads like overwhelming, nonsensical jargon after the first few paragraphs.
I am someone who pursues art in general as a hobby and passion; it’s been an interest my entire life, and graphic design is something I believe that I have a skill for. I have done a few on-the-side projects, such as logos, menus, brochures, and community projects. Most of my work is just for fun and practice, but I would like to fine-tune my work and be able to function at a professional level.
I am unsure what my future goal is in this career; I have considered freelancing or evolving into UI design. My favorite area of graphic design is illustration, so I’ve considered practicing in an area rich in it.
I am, at this time, pursuing an associate’s degree in general studies and certificate of graphic design (my school does not provide diplomas in graphic design specifically at this time). I have attempted taking graphic design courses at my school, but very few are available; online courses have either been too expensive or low quality. I have also looked into mentoring from experienced graphic designers, and hope to do this in the future.
All in all, I am very discombobulated as to what I need to do to prepare myself for the future, and have no idea what I can be doing right now to set myself up for success. I know my ideas are pretty messy here, but does anyone have some recommendations on where I need to be at this point?