Third year has been professional practice focused, which is ideal when you’re heading into the real world as soon as June comes (jeeeez). While It was heavily focused around becoming a freelance illustrator, (which for some people I think they would suit to a t) I’m not sure I have the self-motivation to find jobs and pursue work myself, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. In easter I even went about contacting various art & design companies for internships around where I live in Suffolk for summer, while I’ve had no replies I will continue the search closer to the time.
The Professional practice seminars were unbelievably helpful, they helped me understand the realities of being an illustrator; the taxes, invoices, pricing, legality, as well as simple things about how to confine to briefs and email clients. I also took on board the CV seminar and worked to make a professional creative CV I’m proud of and am happy to send to potential employers. While I faced the task of creating my CV, Business cards, Portfolio, I realised how important professional formatting, font, imagery were in order to encourage people to contact and hire you.
Another part of being a professional creative, is having a website portfolio for people to visit and view your work and learn a little about you. I spent weeks creating the perfect website for me, working to make the perfect smooth finish, simple, stylish that was diverse enough to show the variety of my work and my skills, but being sure to only show work I would be happy to do again.It never occurred to me before professional practice how imperative platforms are in promoting yourself, especially the use of hashtags/linking/tagging, and so I went about giving my social platforms a face-lift, making them more illustration based removing anything unsuitable/inappropriate, and being sure to link all my other platforms, website, blog on every-one.
All of the time I spent creating these important things, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to be after I graduate, what career field I want to go into, and I began to realise through the year, as I procrastinated all my time away, that I work best with short deadlines, I work best when I’m not self run, i.e I don’t think freelance for me is an option, but rather another creative field such as a creative in a team in a company perhaps. That being said I wouldn’t rule out freelance, I think I would like to explore free-lance on the side, as its not a very financially stable career, I would purse it part-time, and see how I do.
Obviously a big part of professional practice is the degree show, in this case making and presenting all my work so that people want to see more of my work, and hire me as an illustrator, and so I created things for my show that hopefully the professionals during industry night would want to and can take home with them. I chose a subject I was passionate about which was a worry for me for a while, as I assumed that some people would have opposing views to that of me, but decided that people like to see illustrators passion and fire. I spent a long way thinking how to best show and present my work so that people want to and feel like they can take it, and so I chose disposable things such as newspaper and zines, but I also made them (hopefully) so pretty and powerful that they don’t want to dispose of them. I also chose a newspaper stand to present them in, as a it suggests that people can take them.
Since first year I’ve come to realise how important communication is, whether that’s in an email to a client, in an interview for a job, or in a meeting with your colleges, it’s impetrative to be clear and confident. In my job, I meet lots of different kinds of people, and occasionally those people are in the art and design industry and so have been taking it upon myself to make connections with these people, being sure to invite them to the industry night. I’m not sure if it’s the course or university in general, or just growing in confidence personally outside of university, but I really do think I’ve come far from the nervous reck that cried in meetings and group tuturials in first year. I can quite honestly say I’m ready for the professional world, and that this course was a big part of getting me there.