This come from a previous blog of Q/A's I posted a year ago today on myspace celebrating my 200th Blog at the time. This is from a friend & fellow Graphic Designer, Jay Millionaire. It was actually a reply that I wish I would've blogged back then, but here it is... one year, 135 additional slept-on blogs later. Hopefully it'll inspire other artists. Peace!!
What advice I'd give to a young graphic designer just starting in the field?
Learn as much as you can as far as media & software. The more you learn & get familiar with programs & different media, the easier it'll be to find a good job. Becuz, being an artist is hard, & being Black just makes it even harder. So you want to absorb as much as you can & make sure your shit is tight, regardless. Because you want strong pieces for your portfolio & diversity.
Also, too. Something I had to learn, never allow yourself to get settled on one particular style or catering to one particular audience. Because the more versatile you are, the better. And wherever your job or career takes you, you might have to dumb down a little to cater to a certain audience. But don't let that interfere & dumb down your own creativity. That's why I keep a sketch pad on me. Whenever I feel an urge or get an idea, even if I don't have plans for it now, you'll never know if it might be good for you in the long run. Even if it doesn't get used, it keeps your creativity sharp.
Example.. My Black history blogs started off as a simple calendar I designed to teach myself. It almost went to print at my job. Unfortunately, it fell through, cuz they didn't try to sell enough advertising, nor did they promote it. So instead, they did a spread page ad for it. I designed that, but I didn't put any of the content of my calendar or any of the other stuff I researched, b/c I plan to take it with me & use it for myself.
Another word of advice, whatever media you work with, as for instance Magazines, look at other magazines with a similar target audience for inspirations as far as colors & style. Sometimes art, photos & print magazines can be inspirations, too. Everything I look at from album covers to package designing, even picturing images I see in real life can spark ideas. In other words, being observant is something very useful from the little things ppl take for granted.
And don't be afraid to think outside the box or jot down something that may seem weird or stupid. And never throw away failed projects becuz what might not work for one client or job.... might work for another.