Mar. 2019

I become boring!

#CoffeeChat #CareerStory #IntoAdvertising #PortfolioReview

Elliott is the first one that said yes to my coffee chat invitation this year.

It was not my first time doing the coffee chat. Last year, my teacher Suzie introduced me to do one with Hope, a graphic designer that time worked in a service design company, then changed back to be a graphic designer now. I still remember that time I was shaking, with no ideas about how to talk and what to talk about. And the coffee was too bitter to drink (I really cannot drink coffee).

So this time, I began to think about it even when I started my research on choosing the people to send the invitation. Elliott came to my mind was first because he works as an art director in an advertising company, secondly was his background, he studied fine art before. I was very curious about how he turned his art career into the advertising industry. After the “tasting” day, I was quite interested to know more about this area and see if I can be a good fit.

Changing career path from what you learned in the university has become common these days, but doing that is not easy.

There are still tips of doing that though. Duan introduced me a school before, AWARD School, which can be used as a jumping board for people from other backgrounds to get into the advertising world (I wanted to apply this year, but missed the time).

Fortunately, Elliott didn’t need to do it. Besides fine art, he also learned graphic design and kept doing art and graphic design before getting into the industry. He got his first job in the Ad world because of his teacher. But he still loves the School and everyone running it. It is a great school, and many amazing creatives do it. He encouraged me to apply for that next year and believes it will definitely help my job prospects.

Till today, Elliott still found passion on it, at least part of it. He admitted that it is not easy to be in this industry, sometimes you just have to work extra hours for the best results. He also recommended me to apply for smaller advertising studios. Because they will be a little bit picky on the clients so that I can play with more fun projects. He also encouraged me to think about being an in-house and generally applying for everything about design (he also said “do not try to work in the suite, you just cannot do it”).

Being an art director means somehow you need to work closely with a copywriter. He encouraged me to find one so that I can have a creative team, but he also said there are some cases that people can enter the industry alone.

At the end of our conversation, he had a look at my portfolio. My portfolio is the website, so it was quite easy to just show him on the phone. I observed how he interacted with my website, which part he noticed the most, which part he spent some time to read, which part he skipped. They are all valuable information for me to keep improving the user experience and sell myself better.

After seeing my works in graphic design, Elliott pointed out that some of the projects are more interesting and encouraged me to put them first. I thought about doing that before, however, they are not completed to me (I do not why I have no interest in perfecting my old projects, maybe I just like them when they were done at that time, the imperfect live feelings). When I learned more along the journey, my works become more professional and more completed.

And they become boring in some ways.

There are still nice ideas behind, but it becomes harder to surprise people.

I felt really disappointed at that time. Lots of doubts with myself.

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