Thursday, September 15, 2011

Advice from Anne

The last comment on the previous post was from  Anne C. Kerns, AIGA who closed by referring to another comment she made in reply to the plight voiced by Anonymous in Joplin on the original crowdsourcing post. Mysteriously, it kept disappearing, so because I thought it was excellent advice, I am making it available as a regular post. Thanks for sharing your insights, Anne!

I am a self-employed designer. I don't do spec work or contest work. If I work for free, it's because I choose to donate my services, unique outlook, and skills for a cause or organization I support. (When in doubt, refer to www.shouldiworkforfree.com)

@Anonymous near Joplin, MI:

I am sorry for your situation. If you have time to do contest-type work that doesn't pay, then you have time to do the things that can change your situation.

Why not put all that thought and research into developing a business model where you pick an industry, develop a portfolio, and then pitch it to actual paying clients.
or
Redesign some poorly-designed materials and pitch those to those businesses.
or
Pick a problem in the world. Design a piece that educates or advocates. Pitch it to the organizations that address that problem.
or
Go to the library and check out some marketing and self promotional books.
or
Ask to borrow another designer's marketing and self promotional books.
or
Call the institution you graduated from and find out if there are networking events, or job hunting advice, or career fairs.
or
Find a business mentor. Barter design services.
or
Partner with another un- or underemployed graphic designer and support and coach each other with real ideas, not complaining. Same time every week. Set goals.
or
Write and illustrate a children's book and sell it on Lulu.com or Amazon.
or
Make illustrations and sell them to a stock image company.
or
Make illustrated portraits of people (or children, or pets) and start a web business doing custom portraits.
or
Start a unique creative project, put it on the web, tweet about it, and watch it spread like wildfire. Many personal projects have turned into paying work or books -- dailymonster.com, postsecret.com, stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, typographyforlawyers.com, dailydropcap.com, thisisindexed.com, gapingvoid.com
or
Come up with a Kickstarter idea and write an awesome proposal to get it funded.
or
Do more than just one of the above.

You obviously have internet access since you posted a comment on a blog, why are you limiting yourself to Joplin? You can work for clients anywhere these days.

Good luck -- make your own.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment