CIU blogs

Social Media & Your Career

This week’s lecture was on the topic of social media and your career. To start off the lecture we listed all of the possible website, apps or blogs that people have that they could use to network with and it was surprising how many I used on a regular basis and how it could be purposeful for networking. I have seen before on mainly Facebook and Instagram self-promoting as well as pages specifically made for showcasing work and with 600 million users for Facebook alone the responses and feedback are incredible. Feedback is a great aspect of showing your work to the world. People that might not necessarily need to know the field you’re in can respond to your work.

In an article about how social networking has changed business (https://hbr.org/2010/12/how-social-networking-has-chan.html) it stated that “Social networking is also flattening organizations by distributing access to information. Everyone is equal on the social network. No hierarchies need get involved” I think this really does apply to the fact that not only professionals can get noticed on social media. Most of the time some of the most amazing works of design, art etc. are by students or unknown artists that without social media wouldn’t be noticed.

Techniques of promoting were also discussed and promotional pranking seemed to be quite effective and interesting. The idea of taking something and hinting or showcasing a part of a movie or a product for example as a prank got a more lifelike reaction rather than actors being paid to do so.

In the end, social networking is the way of self-promotion for this day and age and it has and will continue to change in the future to come. Promoting yourself can lead to many unseen opportunities and feedback which can be very beneficial to see what people like and don’t like. And this is why social media and networking is the most important business development.



CIU blogs

Inclusive Design

This week’s lecture was on Inclusive design and how in your creative practice you need to include lots of cultures whether you are making a film, game or design. In the lecture (https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-12-inclusive-design-9df8f239653b) it stated that “we can only create what we know” and it is completely right. We don’t notice or bother to learn what we don’t know and instead continue with the everyday project which only cater for one particular audience that is limiting. The aim is to broaden the horizons and share your creative work for anyone who wants to read, play or listen to it.

Being broad however can take away from the message or targeting audience that you might be advertising for as an example. If you stray away and become broad from what you’re targeting and advertising for an unrealistic buyer the design itself is becoming useless. A way to solve this and create a design that can accommodate for several cultures, religions and disabilities by creating with multiple people. I have my own views and beliefs but they can be completely different to the next persons but if I was to collaborate as part of a team the combination of views and beliefs can make something completely different than I could. This can suit this broad array of views but also keep within the guidelines.

As you can see graphic design has had a great influence from inclusive design and I quote I once came across from an animation studio once stated that “they don’t make their movies and animation for children, they just don’t exclude the children”. This is a perfect example because you are not targeting that audience of children but you’re not excluding them. In the end you can’t cater for everyone but you can do your best to accommodate for majority.


CIU blogs

Secret interview techniques

This week lecture was on the secret of interview techniques. I myself have always wondered what the sort of questions being asked at interviews are and following that what type of answers are they looking for. It is inevitable that everyone will be a part of an interview somewhat in their career and it won’t be just based on your portfolio. There are a number external things to your skills and portfolio like the way you behave and present yourselves that are just as or even more important to an interviewer. This is one of the main reasons that interviews are conducted and in the lecture (https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-8-secret-interview-techniques-8cdd5b225eee) it clarifies what exactly interviewers and employers are looking at from when you first walking in and walking out of an interview.

The interview

In the lecture it outlined the steps of the interviewing stage and it all begins with the phone call. This is the first conversation you have with your potential employer and keeping this in mind will be the ultimate impression you have on them. It has been known that the usual questions asked at this stage include your career history and to tell them about yourself. The second stage is the face to face interview and this is where the stakes of the interview are much higher and the sneakier the interview questions become. Asking non direct questions rather than being direct questions often give you a scenario which unconsciously allows the interviewer to see how you operate in certain situations.

What I found interesting

I found it quite remarkable the testing process which designers may have to go through with the biggest on in mind being the Microsoft design test. This test is designed to see how you can work in a team and deal with a design problem with an example being to design a mobile for a blind person. What I also found interesting is the way you are able to research and prepare yourself for the interview process are there are plenty of books, blogs and websites all dedicate to assisting your interview.

What am I going to take away from this lecture?

From this lecture I have learnt that in order to be noticed in an interview I need the skills and portfolio yes but there is also a part of my personality and the way I am that needs to stand out and be remembered even after the interview. Being a little quirky and enthusiastic might be exactly what their looking for and if these along with you skills are what they want then you have a chance.

In conclusion

Through this lecture I found a lot of things interesting including the interview tactics and tests but I also found myself surprised that I didn’t know much about interviews even though I am coming near to having to have some. This has sure helped me as I now know some valuable knowledge on this topic which can help guide me and prepare me for when I have to go to interviews.


CIU blogs

Your income and your art.

This week’s lecture for CIU was about your income and your art. Before the lecture I have always thought that there are only two ways to make an income in the creative field and that is by working on a salary for a company or to do your own freelance work. Even though these are the two most common I have now learnt that there are other ways to make an income that I would’ve never even thought about and some of these include…

  • Crowd funding
  • Having a day job to support whilst working as a creative
  • Consulting
  • Commissions
  • Public speaking
  • Funding
  • Sponsorship
  • And royalties

Through the lecture it came to my attention that many and if not most of the class had no clue what or where their main source of income would come from, with myself included. Discussing this in the tute did help us understand that there are many opportunities to have a financially supporting income in a creative field and that it is no different to any other career or job paths.

Most interesting part about the lecture?

Crowd funding was one of the major standout from this lecture. By researching some examples of crowd funding on kick-start initially most of the ideas seemed crazy but with the support they get from the peoples subscription donations they are able to make prototypes and update their product with every donation. Now the amazing part about the crowd funding is that it is not major donations from a couple people, its small donations from thousands of people which in many ways is getting and spreading the word around of the item being funded. Before looking at the products in my head I kept thinking, why do people donate to these things? But after looking there are some pretty cool stuff out there that are not just amazing but innovative.

What do I take from his lecture?

Before this lecture as a graphic design student I have always found myself to be more creative when working on a project I am passionate or want to do rather than the ordinary. In saying this I am not one to take risks so I have always said that I would want to be working for a company where I have my working hours and have that constant pay check. After reading this lecture (https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-3-your-income-your-art-133fe7b09488) I have second thoughts. I am more confident now that there are so many ways in which I can work as a creative with an income rather than the working for someone else or as a freelancer. I now know that I don’t need to be restricted from being creative just to make an income even though it is still a common situation for creatives not to have a great or steady income there are things to fall back on like being a freelancer which other fields couldn’t necessarily do.

Week two lecture

CIU blogs

How are we the same?

The week two lecture was based on the question of what do animators, audio engineers, game developers, filmmakers, web developers and graphic artists share in common. The main topic that I took from this week’s lecture was the outstanding amount of times the creators and examples of these creators were perceived in a particular way. The 10 key components for the creative industry in the lecture were…

  • Entrepreneurism
  • Short term work
  • Low pay
  • Long hours
  • Keeping up
  • DIY learning
  • Informality
  • Exclusions and inequalities
  • No future
  • And love the work

What I found interesting?

Through reading and watching the videos in this lecture there were many key aspects that not only caught my attention but also were interesting to me. Never before had I of thought that this was how creators were perceived especially in common forms such as comedy series and reports. In the short scene from Parks and rec it showed one of the characters acting slightly crazy and weird over a board game which he had created completely from his imagination compared to the usual everyday worker. Not only did the other character in the show completely disregard the game and interpreted that he was just having fun but suggested and asked when the other character was getting back to their job. This for me was an outstanding question as why couldn’t he make this his job creating games, he seems to enjoy it, be passionate about it but still has this conscious saying that he needs a “real job”. In another video about the Pixar campus it showed a reporter walking around and talk to people but also having fun with all of the amazing technology and external entertainment for employees. Another key component that one of the Pixar employees made stand out was that he always has other people asking him how he gets any work done. Pixar being one of the best and award-winning animation studios wouldn’t be possible or work if the work itself wasn’t done. The “work as play” ethos is definitely seen at Pixar with the game rooms and TV.  But these are often interpreted as distractions but from a creator view it’s a resource of finding new ideas as well as a break time.

What are the problems with the creative field?

There were many problems that were discussed in the lecture and most of these stem from the notion of it being short-term work with low pay and long hours with no definite future. Being in the field of graphic design I can clearly understand where this notion is coming from but it can be easier and difficult for everyone and we not all the same…..but we are similar.

How do we tackle these problems in the creative field?

To tackle short-term, precarious work many creators have had to in their lifetime take on several jobs that are “pay the bills” jobs which can be defined as the jobs we wouldn’t be doing if we had money but it was also stated that there is beauty to this as it can expose you to interesting ideas and clients that can develop you as a creative. I found this a great notion that creatives should allow as being inspired is what creating is all about. Low pay is one of the worst fear for anyone in the creative field as it is something that goes up and down depending on the client, the job and the competition. There isn’t any particular was that I know that can make you have higher pay but making a group of clientele and a great name for yourself can certainly aid in receiving higher pay. Long hours for a creator is a given for some projects but by simply managing your time and explain to a client a suitable time from you can reduce these long hours.

What did I take away from this?

Love the work was what made me understand even though the creative industry can be hard on you, give you low pay and take up most of your time in the end you love what you do. I love designing and the amazing things that I am able to create and produce with my skills and imagination. I couldn’t find anything that truly compares to the passion I have for creating and like Steve Jobs once said

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do” – Steve Jobs