On Friday 19th November, I was delighted to meet illustrator and photographer, Mark Howe, who came in for an afternoon talk with the Graphic Design students, and left feeling really inspired by his playful style and truly lifting, optimistic outlook of his practice.
Mark gave us a series of hint and tips for "the big, wide world" which I hope to remember and consider whenever I pick up a pen, or brainstorm ideas...
*love constructive criticism.
*ideas DO matter, but work on your skills- software and craft practice will back-up what you already know.
*read- DON'T just look at the pictures!
*carry a camera and/or notepad at all times- don't miss anything.
*collect and organise refrences- you never know when you might need it!
*figure out WHY you like them- not just whether you do or don't, this will really help your analitical studies.
*draw more/paint more/MAKE THINGS- practice makes perfect!
*widen your input.
*improve your presentational skills- this will really help in company work, and selling yourself to agencies and commissions.
*think PROCESS- redefine the brief, take a step back and evaluate what you are doing, what you/ the client aspire to achieve.
*RESEARCH- brainstorm, reference, follow any possible direction.
*formulate ideas- choose a route (defined by client, or independently- work to your strengths)
*test and evaluate the route
*rework/revise all ideas- you never know where it might take you.
*REFLECT AND LEARN.
*get involved- go out and find real projects, entreprenurial practice will really make you stand out from the crowd and lead to successful commissions.
*collaborate- you will do this when you work in future employment and for design agencies, so why don't you get a head-start now?
*work online- publish all of your work online, great for exposure and a good way to show clients your work easily and effecitively.
*a printed portfolio- showcases a good level of professionalism at interviews- you need to mix publication of work in both digital and traditional mediums to appeal to all audiences and tastes.
*talk to people- make connections, professionally and socially- go to degree shows- never under-estimate how important networking can be!
*create mailshots/"leave behinds"- printed documents to leave behind to ensure people don't forget about you- posters, pop-ups, etc.
*ask for placements and projects- be CHEEKY! if you don't ask, you won't get. the worst they can do is say no.
*create a notebook of contacts to generate familiarity and contacts throughout the design world.