Recession is good for the mind and soul...(?)
I read the Design Week article 'Students urged to avoid design' where heavyweights such as Ian Cochrane and Michael Peters say a recession is a good thing for the design industry. I went to Peters' President Lecture talk back in November, and found him inspirational. The man survived 3 recessions and set up two of the biggest names in the branding industry 'Michael Peters Group' and 'Identica' (where I have a placement lined up - woop!). I think his comment that this recession will flush out mediocre designers and consultancies was all too true. There are those who just want a job, and those who want to design. There is a big difference. I'm prepared to do placements for a year before applying for a permanent position.
I am broke...but the experience has been invaluable (and costed my poor parents an arm and a leg - Thank God I'm Greek!) and I've worked in studios I LOVED and a couple I haven't loved too much. Truth is, if I hadn't done as placements as I have, at the variety of places that I have, I would've settle for the first job I was offered, and may not have been completely happy, but wouldn't know any better. Ignorance is bliss - so they say. I've still managed to keep myself motivated enough to do my own work on the side, some personal, some for clients, and my portfolio is expanding and improving almost weekly. I can't believe how far I've come in just 6 months since graduating. While at New Future Graphic, I met a photographer who told me when he graduated with an Art degree, it was during another recession, he had loads of free time, and used it to grow more in his personal work. I took this to heart, and it's been the best advice. Thank you Ben :)
One comment I got during an interview which I don't agree with is 'you better hope to find a job before the next lot of designers graduate, you'll have more competition'. No - this is not a fair statement. I will have had a YEARS experience in many of the best studios, I have good references from people who count, and after 6 months of calling every number in the yellow pages, I'm much more savvy and selective about who I call. I don't get nervous at all anymore in interviews or on placements, I'm comfortable voicing myself without trying to impress or please anyone. I must say, I feel almost grown up. Hahaha...I am 25 this year, so I would hope I don't fumble and stumble around like a 20 year old graduate.
A very, very big thank you to all the lovely people I met along the way: Gemma, Dave, Keshi, Chris, Michelle, Marianne, James, John, John, Ned, Mervin, Mark, Michael, Andrew, Andy, Rachel, Vicki, ohh...I do hope you all know who you are! And again to my selfless parents, and my supportive brothers and beau.