Our first speaker of the semester was Niall Carlin from Double Jump Studios who came in to talk to us today after Greg introduced the module. He gave us a great insight in to what it was like to be self employed in the industry in Northern Ireland.
Notes from the talk
Niall’s talk started out from a somewhat pessimistic point of view – telling us that although we were lucky that the internet exists and we have all the answers at our fingerprints; this means that we’re no longer special because our knowledge isn’t as valuable as it was in the past.
So how do we stand out and beat the competition?
- Brand yourself.
- Learn the hard shit – design theory, colour theory, typography, composition, etc.
- Expand from these base skills and learn that creative briefs don’t have one set answer – “learn skills that don’t have answers.”
- Be willing to learn things to get jobs – even if it means getting a job as a runner and learning from those around you.
Have a hero
- Find someone you look up to and push yourself to be more like them.
- Accept that there will always be someone better than you and allow this to inspire you rather than making you give up – you have to make the bad stuff to improve and understand what makes things good.
Put yourself out there; join a community and share your work with them
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable – this is a creative field and you will have to share your work with a lot of people.
- It’s all a learning process – criticism is good.
- Don’t be afraid to ask other artists for feedback or for help – fresh eyes are good and it is a good way of making contacts.
Deadlines rule your creative life and they should; you need to have a stopping point
- If you don’t set deadlines you will keep trying to perfect parts and never finish anything.
- Time is money in every industry – learning time management is critical.
- As well as being able to manage time, learn how to manage people.
- Get a big whiteboard and live in it.
- Have stand up meetings; you’ll get shit done quicker.
- Offer help when you see someone struggling
Ask why, not how
- Anyone can learn the technical side and the tools used, google can teach you the same things as if you ask how to do something.
- Asking why lets you know the reasoning behind their creative choices, this is much more beneficial.
Don’t be the best
- If there’s no one better than you it’s time to move on or your learning curve will slow way down.
- Always have someone you can learn from and always be working to improve yourself
- Push forward and learn new skills.
- Put yourself in challenging situations or you won’t progress.
Don’t play it safe; be tenacious and take risks. It will show you’re passionate and a valuable asset to the team.