I found Sofia Clausse such an inspiration! I’ve been following her Instagram for a while, purely because I enjoyed the way her work looked and the way she worked. But I didn’t really know her backstory.
Listening to her talk about the fact that she would do things, really physically and on her own time away from her RISD work. Inspired to want to make my own work aside from university projects. You can also tell with the work she does, that she’s so passionate, she’s doing what she loves and working with people that she enjoys. Which made me want to start work like that too.
The other day I managed to go to my first Stack event, in which three people were being interviewed about their small publications. They were Liv Siddall who is the editor of Rough Trade magazine, Jack Self editor of Real Review and Steven Gregor, ex-editor of Gym Class Magazine.
It was really fascinating hearing them talk about how their magazines got started and where they were before. They also gave out some great advice. For instance, with indie magazines, there seems to be a certain standard that they have to be made from really nice stock, a certain number of pages, with beautiful illustrations and photographs from a selection of practitioners. There are these fictional rules. Liv mentioned this magazine called the Belville Pages, which was made by two guys in their house, they collected poetry from their favourite poets and printed them on a single piece of paper. Selling them for 30p each. Things can be simple and still beautiful.
A friend and I managed to talk to Liv after the talk, she had some really interesting things to say about finding what you want to do really simple and obvious but hearing it from someone who is in the industry made it so much clearer. She said to look back at your week or month and notice what you enjoyed doing at uni and what you didn’t enjoy and go from there. Do something you like.
It was a great experience to get to talk to people about their work and what’s best to do for yourself.
Will Hudson, one of the creators of It’s Nice That came in to talk to us for Making a Living week.
He studied Graphic Design at Brighton University and it was there that he created a blog for a project called ‘It’s Nice That’. After university he became a junior designer at Third Eye Design, still doing his blog on the side. But there came a point where It’s Nice That was doing fairly well and he and Alex Bec decided to make it a full-time job.
After his talk, there was time for questions and he gave some great advice. Or at least I thought it was good.
For instance, if you want to work for a certain company rather than say I want to work for you. Ask them to see your work, or ask for advice/go fro coffee.
Luck = preparation + opportunity. Get into the habit of doing things.
Work hard and have a positive attitude.
Hire people you enjoy spending time with.
Lastly, work just within you comfort zone, being open and honest.
Handsome Frank is an Illustration Agency, which I didn’t even realise was a thing. It started with two friends on a pub wanting to change their career paths and has now become a huge success, as they represent over 40 artists.
They do more of the business side for the creatives that they represent. For instance, promoting the artists, doing their contracts, doing all the legal things, portfolio meetings, debt collecting.
It such a clever idea I think, and kind of obvious too as illustrators are most likely to freelance.
Alec Dudson the creator of Intern magazine came to talk at Making a Living week. For me, I think it was the most interesting talk of the day. He was really honest with how he got to where he is and generally had a really interesting story.
He started off doing a lot of internships for magazines and not being paid for the work that he was doing. That was such a frustrating situation to be in because it felt like a never ending circle. However, he realised a niche in the market for magazines which was to bring to light creator and interns that work for free but deserve the recognition. Thus was created Intern magazine a biannual magazine that is now on its 5th issue.
I found out about Russell Weekes last year and thought that his work was so fascinating, so to go to his talk was really cool.
He talked a lot about how he has done a variety of different work and enjoys not having a specific field. He put this down to his way of thinking the fact that he takes “something and changes the way you view it”, he “gives someone enough but doesn’t spell it out for them”
He gave a lot of really good advice too, to do personal work even when you’re doing jobs because your personal work can often show people something unexpected. Also that if you want to send something to a company send a physical thing, it’s more personal and more likely to get seen. Another thing he mentioned was if they don’t reply after you’ve sent something, send it again and again.
Nik Hill and ex-student of London Met who studied motion graphics came in to talk to us about his work.
Once leaving uni he freelanced for a bit, trying to make ends meet doing the odd bit of commercial work. After freelancing for a company called Territory, they eventually hired him. He’s managed to work on some major projects with them, that have really made his career.
In his talk, he gave us some really good advice, to “live and die by your brand” “make a brand for yourself, get yourself seen”. “Everything falls back to design, after effects, Cinema 4D are just tools. At the core of it you’re a designer, it’s all about your ideas”. We may here these kinds of things from our tutor even though they’ve been in our situation. Just hearing it from someone who’s in the industry, and them drilling it in makes it seem more real.
Nik went into such great depth about his journey, about going on job seekers allowance and what its really like to be a designer. It was refreshing to hear.
This is his website of all his work.
Image taken form Nikill website.