Niall Carlin

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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.

 

 

 

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