Since leaving the Comfortable Tyranny of Full Employment©, I’ve worked with a lot of local entrepreneurs; clients not all that dissimilar to myself. I enjoy working with sole propreitors quite a bit. They tend to be more connected to their work; they tend to be engaged and generally passionate about what they do. Our design outcomes are based on one-on-one decisions made between two rational adults rather than some unending chain of committee and stakeholder meetings that never really settle anything other than to have another meeting later. Working relationships feel more compatible when both client and designer exercise the agency and diplomacy that comes with shared responsibility. This holds true for the local creatives I’ve hired or shown with as well. There’s a general sense of ease and hometown comraderie that comes from working with your neighbors and peers.
I was recently asked about how to go about promoting yourself for your first job after design school when you haven’t really specialized in anything yet. The student had originally asked for feedback on his portfolio, but this quickly became a much larger conversation trying to pinpoint where he wants to go, and doing what, and at what level. I’m posting this mostly because I feel like it goes places the other million-and-one advice posts don’t.