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Opinions Wanted! What's Expected of a Senior Designer?

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Tara DevlinOpinions Wanted! What's Expected of a Senior Designer?
by on Feb 21, 2013 at 8:43:16 pm

Hi Everyone,

Please settle a bet for me.

I work in the promotions department of a national cable network: I have a boss who thinks that, when given a project, a Senior Designer should be able to present 3 separate, distinct, directions - including logos when necessary, style frames and storyboards - in 8 hours! Yes... THREE. After all, he says, "they are 'Senior Designers.'"

Personally, I think that is a ridiculous expectation, not to mention the recipe for designer burnout and borderline abusive. Creative people are not machines and art is not a science.

Just wondering what other people think. Am I crazy or just have low expectations?

Thanks,
Tara


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Vishesh AroraRe: Opinions Wanted! What's Expected of a Senior Designer?
by on Feb 21, 2013 at 10:12:30 pm

Tara

Creative people are not machines and art is not a science.


I concur with you on this point. I am working as a Senior Motion Graphic Artist right now. In my previous company my boss gave me a task of designing and animating 20 films just in time span of ONE week.

This is INSANE. How could you expect someone to work continuously in this way without taking proper rest and sleep.

People who are from Management department(and don't have any knowledge about the procedures of animation) think that we have a Magic Wand that will create everything that we have in our mind directly into the software. Its a shame that Artists are not considered as Humans but Robots.

This is a BEAUTIFUL field with some STUPID people on top.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

2011 3D Demo Reel:








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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Opinions Wanted! What's Expected of a Senior Designer?
by on Feb 22, 2013 at 12:54:44 pm

I'm with Vishesh on this one - I was Art Director/Senior Designer at an ABC affiliate for fourteen years. I was expected to do whatever had to be done, with almost no regard to a realistic turnaround time. The News Department drove the ship, and everyone had to jump to stoke to fires.

The upside of it in my case was that News was populated by interns, kids just out of college, and managers who couldn't get out of their own way, so once they gave me my marching orders, I was in charge (of everything but deadlines). Generally, all I was given to go on was a title/topic, then I had to pry out details like runtime, design ideas, elements needed, etc..

If you want to keep your job, you get used to it. There are fifteen people waiting behind you to take it. That said, you can always walk out the door and work freelance. It takes a while to get going, but there's lots of work out there, and it's infinitely more interesting.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Vishesh AroraRe: Opinions Wanted! What's Expected of a Senior Designer?
by on Feb 22, 2013 at 4:49:18 pm

Joseph

If you want to keep your job, you get used to it. There are fifteen people waiting behind you to take it. That said, you can always walk out the door and work freelance.


Totally agree with you. Specially in Developing Countries like India, there are many who are ready to work even for few pennies or free just for the sake of Organization Name and Value. I really hate this attitude. Once they do this, people at top take advantage. There should be a UNION of artist to change whatever is happening in the Animation and VFX industry.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

2011 3D Demo Reel:








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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Opinions Wanted! What's Expected of a Senior Designer?
by on Feb 22, 2013 at 5:20:29 pm

Interesting you say that, Vishesh. While there are unions here in the US, they are not by any means in all of the broadcast markets. So the TV station I worked at was a non-union station, while our sister station in Boston was a union station. What was bad about the union stations was that everyone was segmented into their various job niches, and no one was allowed to cross over. If you were a graphic artist and you wanted to shoot something, or do audio for something, you were not allowed to touch any of the equipment. It made projects take waaaay longer, and did not allow for any cross-training, which to me is so important in our industry. Just my experience. But for growing markets such as India, I think that the time just might be right for unionization - salaries there are probably too low - although I know nothing about the cost of living there.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Tara DevlinRe: Opinions Wanted! What's Expected of a Senior Designer?
by on Feb 22, 2013 at 5:56:55 pm

That's funny... I was actually just thinking that if this was a union gig, unrealistic exceptions would be properly managed and creatives would not be (as) abused. Workers need a voice and an ally - especially since there are so many desperate people waiting to do anything for pennies.

I like your idea about freelance, Joe! I worked freelance in the past, and I had a lot more freedom and a lot more fun!



I'm wondering if anyone else wants to chime in?

What are some of your experiences managing timelines and expectations?


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Vishesh AroraRe: Opinions Wanted! What's Expected of a Senior Designer?
by on Feb 22, 2013 at 6:09:14 pm

I like your idea about freelance, Joe! I worked freelance in the past, and I had a lot more freedom and a lot more fun!

I am with you Tara. I personally feel that Freelancing is a Life Saver option for Artist :D. Good money and less working hours. Specially the freedom we get ;)

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

2011 3D Demo Reel:








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Dave LaRondeRe: Opinions Wanted! What's Expected of a Senior Designer?
by on Feb 22, 2013 at 9:04:03 pm

[Tara Devlin] "I'm wondering if anyone else wants to chime in? "

Okay, I'll bite. I used to work as a Senior Promotion Producer at a midwestern ABC affiliate.

Your boss' demand for you to make three different alternatives in 8 flippin' hours reveals that he may be able to find his posterior in the dark, but only on a good day... or night. He's either too incompetent or too afraid to make a choice that he foists it off onto the next in line.

Do you know what brown, stinky substance rolls downhill?

I've worked for --and with -- that kind of person before. It's not a lot of fun. Personally, I'd vote for incompetence rather than fear: it seems to be the more likely possibility, in my experience.

Any chance that this dweeb will be s**t-canned in the near future? I think his days are numbered. I don't know if company politics make it possible to mention this subject your boss' boss, but SOMEBODY has to be made aware of this jerk's unreasonable and counterproductive demands.

Now on to diplomacy: perhaps you can suggest to to the boss the following: "Instead of my taking 8 whole hours to do creative work -- two -thirds of which will be rejected -- what if we take an hour to work out ONE way to do it that we both like, and then get on with the project? As you say, I'm a senior designer and it shouldn't be too difficult for the two of us to get that accomplished in an hour's time."

If you want to be diplomatic, of course. If you want to see this numb-n*ts gone, I'd go above his head.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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