Design Industry rant

Posted: April 23, 2011 in Art, Boring, Personal, Rant, Work

The design industry is in a horrible state…

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy working in it! (potential future employers, take note!), however it has become rather full with ‘get qualified quick’ graduates, who are completing 2 week, 3 month, and 6 month courses.

I’m sorry, but you simply cannot cover everything required to be a successful designer in that time! I was in TAFE for 3 years, and I still feel I didn’t learn all that was required! Working in the design industry now for approximately 7 years to some extent, I STILL feel that I am learning new things every day.

The rogue training colleges that claim to get the student fully qualified in that time should be investigated, or at the least, instructed on a bare minimum to teach the students. It seems that these students are paying a huge amount (to the private colleges) and not getting anything close to what they should for the amount, and then grabbing any job they can get, often the entry level positions, leaving the juniors for the mainstream designers, and causing a battle between both groups for the minimal positions that are out there.

It is already a tough industry to get into, I struggled for over a year to get a position. People I graduated with are STILL trying… 7 years later!

Once a designer gets into the industry, the pay seems to have fallen in recent years, most likely due to the over supply, and the graduates not knowing what they are worth on the market, undercutting each other, and driving pay levels down.

I am earning less now than when I started in the industry, and I am getting more hours…

Contrary to what many people think, it is not a glamourous industry. Far from it, actually! It is rarely all the parties and celebrities that the movies may depict it to be (although occasionally, it is) I have to admit, I have met a few big names in the name of work, however, they are few and far between…

The design industry is a lot of high paced, hard work, long hours, low pay, and constant changes to art supplied from clients. It takes a passionate designer with a lot of willpower, and little regard to self esteem to succeed.

Let me explain the “little regard to self esteem to succeed” part… Many times, a client will change a design, often after the designer has spent hours on that very area; or a client will actually yell and scream at the designer, mostly due to deadlines that are closing in, and something has been overlooked (also, mostly by the client) or needs to be changed at the last minute… Having little regard to your own self-esteem, and ‘not taking it personally’ and NEVER treating your concept art, or any art created for a client as a personal piece, and NEVER getting attached to it, means that you can easily disconnect from your hard work, and, if required, completely redesign it.

I have spoken with quite a few ‘new blood’ designers, and they have not been taught this vital tip, the one rule that all designers need to follow to be able to function in the industry. Where did these designers study? In the ‘get qualified quick’ training colleges, of course…

grrrr!!!

*end rant… for now*

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