Friday, 9 January 2009

Post Show Blues

Don’t be surprised by the feeling of anti-climax that might descend after the show, most students feel like this. If not handled the right way, this first few months has the potential to be a puzzling and directionless time. You need to make the mental shift from students to designers, thousands of people have done it successfully before and this should be an exciting time for you.
Don't loose focus, you may well need a part time job to sustain you in your first year. I did.... 10 months in a Marks & Spencers warehouse, but during this time I was still sending out promo stuff, visiting potential clients and doing freelance work. It helps if you can find a job that has decent hours that won't preclude you from doing freelance work when it comes in, even better if it is somehow related to design/the arts (unlike M&S warehouse!)
Eventually after a lot of hard graft a client base builds up, people that use you once a fortnight, once a month, twice a year etc etc. That's when I gave up the part time job.

The main thing to remember is that this is all under your own control, clients won't know you exist unless you send them emails, pdfs, web links or call them and make appointments.

“There is no UFO full of art directors criss-crossing the night sky plucking up talented young artists and launching their careers. Young artists must invent their own careers project by project.” Kevin McCloskey.

So some of that income needs to be spent on developing your freelance career.

Again it helps if you collaborate with others, have a studio, or work as a collective, this will afford you a support network and you can split costs on studio rent, materials, promo costs etc. Make sure you team up with the right people though.

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