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Need to give up graphic design

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Jennifer CaputoNeed to give up graphic design
by on Sep 14, 2014 at 7:09:15 pm

Hello all. I have been doing graphic design for a while but I work in a completely different field that I just fell into.I am very grateful that I have a job but I wake up every morning full of dread that I have to go to that job.I have tried to get a job in graphic arts so that I can leave my very corporate job.On the weekend s I do homework for my web development class and I do computer modeling graphic s etc.The problem is that I have very little motivation to be great....practice. ...In anything, especially graphics anymore.Recently I have realized that I am not really good in graphics.But where do I go from here.what job can I do when this is what I have done. Here is my website just in case anyone wants to see it.Any idea what you can do after graphics. Thanks much

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Kylee PeñaRe: Need to give up graphic design
by on Sep 14, 2014 at 8:30:16 pm

I had a similar thing happen to me when I worked a corporate job where I felt unchallenged -- the desire to do something else, but the job creatively sapped me so much I couldn't find the motivation to do anything. I didn't seek to switch to a completely new line of work, but the sentiment is the same. What I found to help me was a passion project I could do at night that would give me purpose while also helping me practice and get new skills that would help get me out of my current situation.

The nice thing about having a job you can go to every day is that you have the financial stability to try different things in the evenings until you find something you can pursue. The thing I sucked at was having patience with myself through this stuff, so I hypocritically suggest you take all the time you have and put ti toward exploring things that might make you feel challenged.

I don't have specific suggestions for life after graphic design so hopefully someone else can add onto this thread with that, but I do think there's plenty of options.

twitter: @kyl33t

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Mark SuszkoRe: Need to give up graphic design
by on Sep 16, 2014 at 2:50:12 am

Jennifer, you don't give a lot of detail about your life. For example, this is a completely different conversation, depending on if you are a young, single person without a lot of people depending on you, versus being married/having kids/caring for an elderly family member, and a lot of debt to pay off. Young, single people with little debt are freer to experiment, to try things and fail and try again.

If you're saying you don't think graphic design is your "thing" any more, you might need to take a vacation from it for a bit. During that time, try to expose yourself to new places, new stimuli, new people... who will all help you see the world and yourself in a new way. That may re-invigorate your art direction, or it may lead you to to something radically different, yet with some aspects of artistry in it.

You're in a time where you need to do some deep self-evaluation. This may sound silly, but why not search the web for some of those free online aptitude tests, the kind that high schoolers take before they plan their college careers. If you ever took those tests before, well, you're a different person now, and it could be worth it to take some quizzes and see if there's something you forgot that you liked, or never considered in the context of a career. Read some new books, including some recommended by other people, not just a small sample space of stuff you know already. Eat strange foods. See some live theatre and dance recitals. Go to art exhibits. Listen to weird new music. Strike up conversations with total strangers. Everything is imagination fuel. Everyone you meet is your teacher, teaching you SOMETHING. You may have to think hard about what the "something" is. It isn't always immediately apparent.

I tell this to young people whenever I can: today's experts say people just graduating today will have at least five distinct careers during their money-earning years. Not five individual jobs, mind you, but five completely different careers, where you will have to get some schooling or training, work your way up a ladder of proficiency levels, until you get into management or pro-level jobs... and after about a decade of that, you'll quit and start from scratch again, in another career.... and another... until you retire.

In that kind of world, you are going to be in a constant state of churn, of learning, re-learning, growing in a new trade, reaching some peak, then maybe moving on. You are bound to eventually land on the trade you love best and excel at the most. But to find it, you've got to open yourself to the possibilities, to get outside your comfort zone, to taste new tastes, meet new people, see new places... as much as you can. That could mean world travel... or in a large city, it could just mean getting out of your old neighborhood and mixing things up on the weekends. Maybe taking a short class at the local community college or Learning Exchange, maybe take an improv acting class, or dance, or...?

All of these explorations are also going to help you with the boredom and stress of the day job, too, because you'll have a life outside of the job to look forward to. Don't just go home and veg-out on the net or TV every night. Mark the calendar with positive activities like going to the local Y for a swim, or meeting friends to go out and play cards or bowl or go for a bike ride, or team frisbee, co-ed sports, dart-throwing leagues, or geocaching, or something. They don't have to be grand or expensive. Just different and new. And folks are always needed to help out at homeless shelters, pet rescues, Habitat for Humanity builds, blood drives... environmental clean-ups, Big Brother/Sisters... you'd be amazed how much helping others helps YOU feel better.

One of the things I like to do is attend local Pecha-Kucha Nights with my wife. They expose me to a wide variety of people talking about a lot of eclectic things, and you meet new people to socialize with. It's cheap fun. Like attending TED talks on a non-TED budget:-)

I hope you try one or two of these ideas and that they will kick-start your creative juices. Maybe point you in a new, fun direction. Or approach your old goals, but from a new direction.

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Mark SuszkoRe: Need to give up graphic design
by on Sep 16, 2014 at 4:08:24 am

Seems like you should finish the degree program anyhow, so you can add it to the resume. Taking all the computer classes - do you really like computer science? Seems like you do, from here. What's the end game you envision for that? A sys admin? Or is it the foundation for something artistic like computer animation?

I guess a question I'd ask you is, what is it that you love doing so much, you'd do it for free, as a hobby, as your calling, if money were not an issue?

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Mark SuszkoRe: Need to give up graphic design
by on Sep 17, 2014 at 6:51:56 pm

I didn't get your answer to "what the dream job was", but you may be one of those people who are happiest working as their own boss, in an entrepreneurial setting. Ever explored that? Here's a thought that popped up while I read your response.

With your veterinary background and video production and some animation know-how, you might create a niche business, for example, making medical videos that explain visually to pet owners, what the vet is going to do for their animals, what the procedures entail, symptoms of a disease, etc.

The pet business is HUGE, and there have to be lucrative niches within it for things like training videos, breeder tips, techniques of competition and showmanship, etc. Any of that interest you?

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Jennifer CaputoRe: Need to give up graphic design
by on Sep 20, 2014 at 10:18:18 pm

Thanks Mark for answering my question. I have thought of biological animation before and I was looking at a Blender program that is made just for that purpose. You can use different animation programs to model with it so it is cool.I am taking a web development class but it seems like I am not very interested in it.In class I am very interested but when I get out of class it is just thoughts of work, cleaning the house....and other things to stress about.I am putting off homework right now and stressing about it. The thing is that I don't have dreams anymore.I think that I buried them to just survive and get by in life for so many years.Oh well, it is all good.

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Jennifer CaputoRe: Need to give up graphic design
by on Sep 16, 2014 at 4:10:00 am

Thanks Mark. I am 41 and I work over 40 hours per week doing a job that 3 people used to do.I go to school and I am taking a web development class right now.I have 2 degrees. One is computer game art and animation the second is general studies and I was one semester away from finishing a new media arts degree.I am taking computer science/information technology classes right now.Even with all of this it doesn't seem like there is much that I can do.When I did take a career test my top jobs were computer administrator..veterinarian. .graphic design and photographer.I have had many jobs. They were all jobs that required no education which is where most people go without a degree..not all..but that is where I went.I have never heard of Peca Kucha.I need to check that out..I also work out 2- 3 times a week.I think that I am just desperate to get a new job and it is sucking all the life out of me.

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