Here’s the second in my series of interviews, shining a light onto a few buddies working in the creative industries and hopefully helping/ inspiring any of you aspiring creatives to fulfill your dream and bag a job doing what you love the most!
1. What inspired you to become a print designer? Print design is where my two main loves collide- drawing and fashion. After University I was working as a textile artist and Illustrator and struggling! I found a fashion print design job through a recruitment consultant and after a week I knew it was a perfect fit. I was happy to have found a ‘useful’ outlet for my work and got (and still get!) the biggest kick out of seeing people wearing my prints! People like Lisa Stickley and Petra Boase inspire me too keep being a print designer….lovely, quirky designers making a huge success out of what they love!
2. Where/ who/ what inspires you the most? Everything inspires me! I always feel the most inspired when I’m travelling- being in new surroundings help me process everything I’ve seen/heard and this is when I get my best ideas. As I spend most of my day in front of a screen a lot my inspiration comes from the internet, I love Pinterest and pin images here http://pinterest.com/jesswilliams/. Nothing compares to real things and experiences though, I like going on adventures, I am always taking photos and sketching and record it all in lots of different sketchbooks. My fellow designers inspire me too, their work, the way they organise their lives and businesses, I’m lucky to be surrounded by a lot of creative folk!
3. Describe a typical working day in your life…
My working days are busy! I often have a million taks to juggle….I’m an obsessive list maker and have been using teuxdeux.com to organise my work, it’s a life saver!
I work both at home and in-house for clients. An at-home day starts early, I honour my no pj’s in the office rule and dress up! I’m normally at my mac, raring to go by about 8.30 a.m. With no work colleagues around it’s easy to stay sitting at my screen for a full day but to stay sane it’s important to take a breather every now and again. I try to get out of the house at lunchtime, walk around and interact with the real world. If i’m not on a deadline I always turn off at a sensible hour, I think it’s important to keep a good work/life balance so I tidy everything away and go back in to home-mode.
An in-house day varies from client to client but usually starts with a lot of travel. I love working face to face with companies and clients and feel it’s worth the time and expense to go see them. I love feeling like a part of design team and always leave refreshed and inspired!
4. If you could give any tips/ pearls of wisdom/ advice to a budding print designer/ graduate what would you say?
It’s not been that long since I graduated but it seems like a completely different world for graduates now! Social media has been great for independent designers/makers and freelancers etc and graduates can connect with the wide (and welcoming) design world instantly! I think it seems pretty important for a graduate to be armed with a good portfolio site, this doesn’t have to be a personal website at this stage, there’s plenty of free portfolio hosting sites out there. A profile on Linked In is also a good idea too, recruiters post jobs here and it’s a good way to connect with individuals within the industry. Having a Twitter/Facebook page can only help too…….I suppose all this is a lot of extra pressure at degree-show time but I think it’s worth the effort and will pay off in the long run.
It’s crucial for a budding print designer to get work experience, try different areas- interiors, fashion, stationary. Look online, connect with companies on Twitter and Facebook, call up and find out names, write emails. If you don’t ask you dont get so write a friendly email, attach images and a relevant CV and send it off. Write to as many companies as possible and do your research first, tailor the email to each position. If you’re still at university do it now! Often internships are unpaid (but not always so don’t write- ‘i’ll work for free’ in your email).
For me what really kick-started my career in print design was getting a ‘proper’ job. I think nothing compares to real industry experience, look online for junior fashion graphic design/print design positions or anything creative related. You’ll be getting sensible pay, regular working hours and an insight in to how the industry works. Seriously, the skills you’ll learn in a company are second to none. I worked for a supplier to high street for 3 years before I even attempted to set up freelancing on my own.
Job Sites I recommend:
For fashion jobs http://www.drapersjobs.com/
print jobs and placements: http://printandpatternjobs.blogspot.com/
Nice placement! http://tigerprint.typepad.com/tigerprint/placement-pack.html
5. Where would you like to be (career wise) in 10 years time?!
Hopefully I’ll have a team of designers so we can take on new and exciting clients without letting existing clients go. I would like to set up a big studio with other designers, where freelancers could come and work in a jazzy, creative space! Maybe we’ll have a shop too? I’m excited!
Hope you enjoyed this insight into the colorful World of a print designer! the fabulous Jess Williams as much as I did.
The Fabulous Times
See more of Jess’ beautiful handy work HERE!