Uni Art Club

Friday I went to my high school at the request of their art teacher, to talk to Art Club about what I do. Not many people from Uni go into art-related fields, and I felt really underprepared for the jump to a design program when I went to college, so I was excited to talk to students about pursuing the field – maybe give them more help. I swear the students are the same people as when I was there, and that I just don’t recognize them, so it was nice to be “home.”

We went through my portfolio and talked about the pieces and the kinds of work I’ve done. They asked me some good questions about my career choice:

  • What software do you use?

    I use the Adobe Creative Suite, which is the industry standard. That includes Photoshop (for picture-based work), Illustrator (for vector-based work), InDesign (for page-based work), AfterEffecs (for motion, animation, compositing), Dreamweaver (for writing websites), Acrobat for editing PDFs together, and Flash for, obviously, flash sites. I’ve been asked which my “favorite” is, but that always strikes me as an odd question. They’re very different workflows, so I use whichever is most relevant to the project at hand, and I try to use them together on projects to get the best results. However, to answer what the question was probably trying to get at: I’m most familiar with PS (I started on v.3, that was a long time ago o.O), but I think Illustrator tends to fit my style better.

    I also use Cinema 4D for 3D work. I’m not sure that’s an industry standard, but it’s what’s taught at RIT and it has a good learning curve for the casual modeler. Last time I tried Blender it wasn’t very friendly with me :(

    I’m a fan of TextEdit for my personal note-writing needs (do you really need all that autoformatting?), but otherwise I kind of alternate between NeoOffice and MS Office for more documentationy stuff.

  • How “lucrative” is new media design?
  • New Media is actually a pretty lucrative field. At least that’s what my professors claim. According to Coroflot’s design survey, Design Management (so making sure all the artists produce matching work) and Interaction Design pay the best. My understanding is that this may not be a spectacular salary by, say, engineering standards, but I can make pretty good money with less time at college, and pretty much all design relating to the intarwebs pays better than non-digital design. Bottom line: go into internet media and you’re unlikely to be a starving artist.

  • What do you like best about the field?
  • I really enjoy spreading information and education. There were a lot of reasons I went into design, but one of them was that I hated seeing all the ugly phonebook ads and flyers around town. Such an inefficient attempt at getting their message out! With minimal training in design, information becomes insanely more understandable.

    Like a lot of Uni students I have a wide variety of interests, and NMD is very good at letting you spread your skills around and work with other fields. While I was developing my interests, I was encouraged to study programming, print design, web design, drawing, 3D, and animation – which spans a pretty big range of skills. Other fields really don’t encourage, and even force you, to keep up with your education as much. Neither do they allow you to have your fingers in as many subjects.

  • What kind of clients have you worked for?
  • Mostly it’s been small local businesses that need to get their word out. A local burger joint, a sewing supply shop, my church, the campus medic service, etc. They’re nice to work with and it’s fun to see their business grow from my help. Not as glamorous or high-budget as bigger places, but since it’s just been me doing all the work I’d rather be doing this kind of work than something more high-pressure.

  • Can I email you questions later?
  • Of course! I love answering questions about what I do, and giving advice. :) Sometimes I get long-winded though…

  • What kind of portfolio did you have, going into college?
  • Ooh. good question… my portfolio was pretty bad, and the people at portfolio review days didn’t hesitate to tell me. My drawing teacher freshman year asked me, in genuine curiosity, “how did you get in with this?” after seeing the work I had done in his class. But as it’s college application time, it is with some embarrassment that I link you to my portfolio. Evidently it was good enough to serve my purpose at the time, maybe it will help the applicants of this year.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>