Hi! My name is Alex and I’m a Go Media intern this summer. I thought it might be fun to write up a post about what I’ve learned, kind of like the ones of past interns Adam, Max, and Joanne. Disclaimer: I’m just a kid trying to figure things out. I don’t know everything and I’ll be the first to admit it.
Just to clarify, I’m the one in the middle.
Have an ego.
I walked in here with absolutely zero confidence in my capabilities. That’s no good. People say all the time that an inflated ego is bad news, but lack of even a trace of one might even be worse because you’re too afraid to make anything at all or even ask questions. How are you supposed to get better if you don’t take the plunge to make something and let other people see it?
This is one of those “do as I say not as I do” sort of things. I still haven’t mastered this piece of advice that I’m giving you right now.
Design takes time.
Another important thing I learned is that no matter how good the work being produced around you is, the designer didn’t just crap it out in a few minutes. Yes, the more experience you have, the faster the process goes, but it still takes awhile. It’s a hard thing to remember from time to time and easy to assume that the people around you are just flying through projects.
You don’t have to be a master of the software to be a great designer. There’s more to it. You have to be able to think out a piece first. How will it be composed? What colors will you use? Why? Is your message clear? Do you even have a message? There are some really great pieces out there produced by people who don’t know a lot about the software. Photoshop and Illustrator skills can only take you so far.
Don’t get overly competitive.
Competition is great and leads to some incredible things, but there’s no need to make the design game into one of Me vs. Everyone Else. There’s plenty of design work to go around so long as people keep existing. Each design piece requires a designer with different skill sets and styles. Network. Make friends. Recommend each other for work that you think is suitable. Design shouldn’t be a bloodbath.
Go out and live. How are you going to make things if you don’t go experience what life has to offer? Travel. Talk to a stranger. Get lost in an unfamiliar town (well, maybe not with these gas prices). Even if you just try a new restaurant, you’re still experiencing different color schemes at the very least. People from different places design differently for a reason. Go see what they see, hear what they hear, etc.
This might seem to counter what I just said about going out and living, but stumble around the vast realms of the Internet. You don’t need to have rhyme or reason, but you’ll see things that will lead to creative thoughts that you might never have had. We all do it anyway, so you might as well have an excuse to do so, right?
Get on every social media site you can. At least toy around with them because all it’s going to do is give you exposure. Besides, you never know what’s going to be the next big thing and we all secretly like to know that we were there before it got big.
Don’t ask everything that pops into your head (you’ll often realize the answer right after you voice it and feel dumb if you’re anything like me), but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Odds are, the person you’re asking has asked the question in the past. Either that, or they don’t know the answer either, but people are generally nice enough to not start screaming at how incompetent you are, how you don’t know anything, why did you get your nose pierced you idiot, etc.
Home is where you make it.
Anywhere can become home, even in 5 weeks. Appreciate it while you have the chance. Thanks, Go Media.