The biggest obstacle I had to overcome was myself. With little to no experience other than my two years at uni, I struggled to get into a positive mindset and to stop comparing myself to my peers and the work I had seen on company websites. The hardest part is probably sending applications to as many companies as you can to only receive one or two replies, however I continue to persevere and I am enjoying this experience as it puts a lot of things into perspective. I have realised that there is a lot of competition within the kind of work, as art it majorly based on opinion it’s difficult to know what somebody is looking for; it is about being confident in your own style and process, something I am learning to do.
I landed my first paid placement with Ave Design Ltd. in September and I am here until Christmas. I feel a sense of responsibility in my job role as I am being given work that I do independently as well as being part of larger jobs with the rest of the team. This has really encouraged me to be more direct and confident in my design work, presenting my ideas with a conviction that I know and understand what I am talking about.
The company have a small team, made up of three people; Adam (Designer), Darren (Senior Designer) and Ellie (Creative Director). The close relationship that this group shares is a nice environment to be in, as I can bounce ideas off of them and know that I am going to receive honest constructive criticism. Seeing Ellie, a female designer taking charge and having the drive that she does to keep her team working with efficiency; is something I would like to aspire to.
I have learnt a lot in the short time I’ve been with this team and I feel I have already advanced in my skills, by simply being around professionals that have more experience than me. They’re really helpful when it comes to answering my questions and showing me how to improve something; they provide me with excellent feedback that I can work with to further improve my work, which means I am constantly becoming a more experienced designer.
Being in the industry and experiencing how the team works in regards to meeting deadline and taking on multiple jobs at a time has helped me with time management and prioritising my work. I feel as though this is something that is going to help me immensely in my final year, as I will have learned how to manage my workload and be efficient with my time; without jeopardising the quality of my work.
In conclusion, I have had an incredibly positive start to my DPS year, however, I am not deluded into thinking that everything that follows this position will be just as positive. I am expecting there to be many more hurdles to overcome, but I am prepared to take on the challenge to allow myself to grow as a designer.