Everyone has been asked “What do want to be when you grow up?” or “What is your dream job?” at some point in life. Not all individuals are prepared to give a straight answer to these questions, and understandably so. To make a sudden choice as to what you would like your lifelong career to be is a difficult, heavy, and pressure filled decision. For a long time I had no idea what to answer when I was asked one of these questions. I too found the decision very hard to make.
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My mind is still not entirely made up, but with my skillset and preferred hobbies, I’ve taken an interest in the ever expanding field of graphic design. Luckily, a man who’s been a friend to my family for longer than I’ve been on the family tree has spent a large portion of career in graphic design. He now enjoys a career as a professional musician and leader of his own band, but before he stood on stage, he sat at a desktop. His name is Matt Bloodwell, and I recently had the chance to call and ask him about his many years working in Graphic Design.
When asked what one can do as a graphic design degree, Bloodwell said “Graphic Design is moreso a category or spectrum of different careers as opposed to one specific job.” He added “Let’s say you get a degree in Journalism, there’s a few different career paths you could take with that education. You could get a job at a newspaper; you could work in Photojournalism; maybe have a job in communications; you could even become a news anchor.
Graphic Design degrees are like that in that they provide career choices. ”Some popular graphic design careers today are web development; multimedia art and animation (places such as film or video game studios); even marketing team designers. I’m not entirely sure what type of graphic design I would like to make a living of, but my ever increasing interest and practice with digital media is tilting my mind towards an animation studio or advertisement team. I seem to have a knack for drawing pictures on paper, then scanning and photoshopping them to make a mastered final product. I once took a web design class, and I found it rather boring, so I don’t really think creating websites and individual web pages is really my forte.
I did ask Matt if a graphic design degree was a requirement to get a job in graphic design. His response was “Not all places will require you to have a degree. It certainly does help get you noticed, but some places will give you a shot if you can show your skills to them. That’s what happened to me. I didn’t go to school for graphic design, but I worked for a firm in Orlando that designed advertisements and signs for local businesspeople and they let me in after I provided some samples of work I had done personally.” Specifically, Matt worked on piecing together visual ads on his desktop while he worked in graphic design.
That is one of the jobs I would be interested in, but I would prefer to be on a company’s marketing team as opposed to a freelance independent firm for the purpose of job security and a higher salary. “I made about thirty five thousand dollars a year at my job. The place wasn’t a huge business or chain, but it was successful.” Currently, graphic design jobs offer about $30,000 to $50,000 per year wages on average depending on the exact job position and firm. $ome firms of course pay more, such as the advertisement teams for major corporations. Animators usually make the same average pay, but of course can do better if their movies, games, or whatever other projects they produce do well.
“It takes more than having Adobe Photoshop or Flash on your laptop to be a graphic designer. You have to understand what each program you install can be used for, what functions the digital tools within them serve, and even sometimes how to use your programs in tandem.” This is something I practice. Currently, many of the images I produce are the result of a combination of tools from Pinta (essentially Paint.net but for Mac OS) and Google Draw, which is one of the programs Google Drive offers. Many of the tools I rely on exist in Pinta. Despite its bugs, it’s a very useful program. Google Draw has some unique tools as well (Plus it’s free. Who doesn’t love free?) and is a good program for mastering.
I asked Matt how long he practiced on his own working with photoshopping programs and tools before he got his graphic design job. His response was “I worked a good three to four years just making stuff for fun and for friends on my laptop. I know you’re progressing pretty well. Everyone has their own rate of improvement I suppose.” Hypothetically, you could get a graphic design job with no experience going by Matt’s logic, but that wasn’t his point of course. It’s just that people have different unique skills and talents that they hone in their own ways, and that they shouldn’t always view each other as a standard. I love this about visual art. I love being able to create what I want on my own terms and at my own pace. I hope to bring my own style to someone else’s studio someday.
“Being a graphic designer will bring a variety of different projects and new work experiences no matter what job you’re doing.” I didn’t really ask what Matt meant by that but my interpretation is that no matter what type of graphic design job I choose to have, I will face new challenges during my career and work with varieties of people. I still haven’t made up my mind as to what I want to do for the rest of my life, but graphic design has been weighing on my mind a lot in recent times, and Matt Bloodwell has given me some new insight that definitely has made me want to give it a try.
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A Narrative of My Desire to Pursue a Career in Graphic Design. (2023, Mar 11). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/a-narrative-of-my-desire-to-pursue-a-career-in-graphic-design/