So I'm a recent design graduate that has had a job at a post production house for a little while now. The problem is, this place isn't centered on design at all, it's mainly an editing house and design is at very best an after thought. The time they book on design is ridiculous for what they want - resulting in very poor design. Basically, I make crap here...really crappy stuff. I don't like my art directors taste, it's really just not 'me'. I knew when I was getting into this job there would be the odd project that didn't tickle my fancy - but I didn't expect every project would be a soul crushing job. If I was freelancing, I could turn down crappy jobs, but I'm on salary and the city I'm in is very small - so the market is tiny. Am I just the rebellious youth that should sit down and work away and build up a crappy demo reel? Or should I leave and risk the world of freelance broadcast design? Have any of you professionals had my experience? Is this just not the field of work for me? Throw me a bone guys...thanks in advance.
The small city your in makes me wonder how much freelancing is going on there.
Being stuck in a dead end gig blows. Not being able to pay the rent blows a bit more. Put some feelers out, build a non-crappy reel, and make a move based on the response you get.
Don't rely on them to provide you with good reel elements. Make your own.
I ditto the grinner here. Work may suck, but not eating is a WHOLE lot worse. Even if the gig and your boss aren't to your liking, there is still much to be learned. Learn it. Talk to the engineers to find out WHY the scope need to be set so for NTSC. Find out what the audio guy expects to make killer tracks. Watch what you think are sh*tty designs and decide how you'd make them better.
THEN put all of that on your demo reel and find another job to get outta town.
The job may not be what you want, but at least use all of it to get where you want to go.
just my 2¢
bobby walker ii
broadcast video COW
Grinner and Bobby both give some good advice. There's some real wisdom in dem dare wurds... ;o)
Even the crappiest boss will push you out of some of your limits -- even if it's making you do something that really sucks and you know is crappy -- and it's always far easier to find a job when you are already working. Most bosses prefer to hire someone who already has a job just as bankers like to loan money to people who don't really need it. It's the way of the world, I fear... ;o)
Look for the nuggets of gold that you can extract in your circumstances, it'll be that shiny bright stuff among all the rock and sand...
When you get enough and someone else wants to "buy out your claim" -- then jump but not while this one's paying for your food.
As Bobby says: Eating is good. Yep, and both Bobby and I have the belly to prove it, right Bobby?#@!?
my 2 pence here.... for your showreel, try and have a good variety of styles and techniques as well,
show how versatile you are, get some animation in there if you can, as well as video stuff,.. the more the variety the better..
You've got to remember that in Commercial Art, "Art" is about 10 percent of the picture. If you expect to be turning out hight end stuff right out of school, you're in for a big disappointment, and quick burnout. Use this time to better your craft, (and save some money for the day you may just have to walk out) learn as much about every job in the place, and (as others have said) build a demo reel of jobs you would really want to do.
I've been in this business over twenty years, and there are still days when, depending on the client, I'm just a button-pusher cranking out crap. My feeling is that when the client demands crap, become a manure salesman. Some clients (and bosses) just aren't into listening, and you just have to go with the flow.
Art Director (and sometimes button-pusher)
Thanks for the prompt advice, this board rocks. Anyhow, I'll heed all your words of wisdom...I guess sometimes some clients just want button pushing. Sigh...I'll keep you all informed on my progress. Thanks again..
Ditto what everyone said. It took me a long time before I was able to actually create. Ya gotta be patient, or you'll drive yourself nuts or become an alcoholic or druggie, hmmmm you may do that anyhow. I learned how to get into clients heads and interject my ideas without really letting them know it was my ideas. Then after I gained some credibility, I argued for my points. Just take all of these guys advice and learn patience.
It's time to quit.
Designers have an inner clock that signals when to bolt. If you don't listen you'll become another frustrated hack. Your standards will get lower and lower.
After a certain point, fast turnaround is a dead-end - unless you like fast turnaround (I personally dig it).
Someone mentioned talking to the company about doing high end work - I agree that you should give it a shot. My only worry is that it can be hard to sell change.
If you do walk, prepare for a long stretch of unemployment while you get your demo updated and your mind back into a design groove.
Updating your demo will take at least 3 times longer than you think.
If you're in a small town, heck, start your own design studio and branch out to adjacent towns. Connect with a quality ad agency.
It's important to leave on GREAT terms - you've probably learned a lot more than you realize from the present company. Help them find a talented replacement. Also think of the company you're working for as a potential client for your higher quality work.