Marshalsea Graphic Designwww.ArtPal.com/marshalsea
Art & Design life long after the college years! What was it like? Like many creatives, many of us simply did not have the funds for years of continuing education beyond the the standard 3-4 year trade school or typical art college programs. Some of us just had to get to work and take care of the every day needs by getting a job that would pay the bills! Of course we all wanted to become employed by the posh and well to do art agencies of the big cities or even some suburban successful studios with ties to the big social scenes in the art world! Some of us, like me, had to adjust to the real world once finding that the art world was very saturated with already talented and experienced artists and designers who already had their foothold and their place in line for the desirable positions that would ever become open. This reality just pushed for the need to find the closest available work related to the art trade. But what direction to go in?
So many avenues to travel in the art world and it was according to the skills we developed over the years that would determine what jobs to apply for. The search became a few interviews that were over my head for sure, but that is how you test the waters. Some interviews were sound reminders that experience is what would be needed and would be lacking at that point just after graduating an art college.
I learned some extremely valuable information from a handful of art teachers in those college years. Some were out of touch with the present working world in both technology and financing as well as current salary levels. Some of my teachers were more in touch with the employment standards of the day and offered better advice. For example, a teacher that was an experienced current mural painter could explain some of the experiences of getting jobs or freelance projects covering everything from the search, the pay, the attitudes, the outcome and the future work with a network developed from a single client. This teacher also mentioned an extremely valuable tip about gaining print shop experience and the value of doing so. This was my most valuable advice and I took it.
My first art jobs were more or less a joke. Finding unqualified employers was very easy. All talk no action and it was actually enjoyable to give an exit resume to those few. The advice I had received about Print Shop experience would now take place.
First actual art job full time would be in a very busy quick print copy place that had 3 locations. After one year I would become the manager of one of the shops. Good experience in all aspects of that type of business.
4 years later I made the decision to grow more technically with a Lithographic company that had a lot of bells and whistles as far as printing equipment in the 4 color world. It was also a graphic art union shop which taught me even more valuable lessons in various areas of print and business, not found in a standard non union shop. Life lessons learned there for sure!
5 years later, and thru 3 different layoffs each with a return including massive overtime, I had to get more stable work. This I did in yet another different kind of printing. Flexography / Corrugation and Die printing would be the next 5 years, again giving me even more valuable print shop experience. It was these years that the computer graphics had there start in this particular company. No training was offered so I went thru a few short term night courses on my own which helped immensely! Technology was ever-changing already and I would be part of that for the next 20 years of my life.
Jumping ahead 20 years I learned so much more about the various printing formats, management, supervisory functions and freelance design. This is where I found the most satisfaction. Helping others in graphic design while benefitting myself. Not easy by any means but well worth it. This is where I will continue to live in the current art world and the learning never ends!
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