At this year's STL AIGA student conference I went to see a talk given by Scott Matthews of XPLANE that was basically an expansion of this blog entry he'd posted on the xBlog, guidelining some DOs & DON'Ts to job-seeking designers. You can read the entry [HERE] and get a basic idea of how the talk went, it was pretty informative and I got to ask some really great questions and think about the job application process from another perspective. I took really good notes and had been meaning to post them but hadn't found the appropriate time to mention it. Now seems like as good a time as any, because my Professional Practice in Graphic Design class is going to tour their St Louis office and get our portfolios reviewed by the staff there. Tomorrow night I have class with my teacher that works there, so I'll at least get to ask him if he knows we're coming in on Thursday.
At the beginning of his talk, he had us take these large blank note cards and draw a timeline. He had us designate the dot on the left as that day, and the dot on the right as our ultimate goal as far as we could see in the future. He told us to hold on to them, rather than collecting them from us, but expressed that he'd be interested to see what kinds of things we were writing down, since most all of us in the room (excepting a few teachers) were in our early 20s. One or two girls read their cards out loud and I thought they were kind of missing a lot of detail or holding unrealistic lapses of time between the steps they thought would be involved in the development of their career as a designer/illustrator/whatever other kinds of students were at this conference in this room, or underestimating just how much work it takes to do something like "own my own agency" but I guess it was good that it got everyone inspired and thinking big.
Below is a picture I took of mine. I'll say that I was trying to keep it realistic but still dream big, vague but specific to me, and the bubbles that span the entire card represent things that are consistent or long term goals that get developed and maintained over long periods of time, or may happen more than once in one's life. Oh yeah, and keep a sense of humor about myself, because I know we all get distracted or discouraged at times in our lives, so I wanted to account for that too while still keeping it light, because we all know that things like "learn how to learn & recover quickly from failures" and "work for/with people I like & respect & allow me to be 'heard' & understood" aren't really time specific ventures, we take them as they come.
Phew, that leaves me feeling pretty vulnerable posting that for everyone to see! To close on an awesome note, I wanted to share this video that XPLANE posted around Valentine's Day in another xBlog entry. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that I remember feeling really weird about myself when he advised us all against associating our work/selves with pictures or illustrations or something or another having to do with your cousin's neighbor's cute cat (I'm stretching this a bit because I can't remember exactly what he'd said about it but the general sentiment was definitely 'don't put cats in your portfolio, it will bore everyone to tears') since everyone I know pretty much picks on me for blogging so much about my cats or cat videos or whatever. Here's the rad video I was talking about.
A love letter to Designers from XPLANE on Vimeo.
Cross your fingers for me that our tour/portfolio review goes awesome and I somehow magically get invited to go to one or more of their visual thinking school sessions because I've wanted to go to one of those for like 4 years or something now, and it seems like either it's employee specific or invite only.