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.
Archived entries for Teaching
This post originally appeared in issue 5 of Pikaland’s Good To Know series back in 2009. I recently stumbled across a PDF of it and was pleased to see how much of what I’m talking about in here still holds true for me today.
Being an artist in any capacity involves having the natural inquisitive openness (and motivation) for knowledge and experience (the natural “student”) even before developing the technical-proficiency (the literal student) to interpret/ communicate one’s unique voice. The varying levels of success on either of these sides, or how well they work together for each individual, defines the ability to accomplish “art.” The first has to come from an innate drive, the second through practice.
Design contains participants that run the gamut of pure production on one end and critical academia on the other. With no professional standards or barriers to entry the result is an infinite array of artifacts similarly functional-to-forgettable, beautiful-to-hyperpostconceptual committed by both master and apprentice under the vague, grey headercard of “Design”. Even as the ‘discipline of problem solving’, one problem it has yet to solve is finding itself a capable definition.