May 18, 2011

Getting that Job...

Hey people!

Being creative seems like the best job in the world. Being paid to make art and mess around sounds like a plan, and when you're freelancing you're pretty much on your own schedules and so on.
It sounds like a lot of fun at first, but I've found people who got lost in freelancing and became too lazy to actually take on a proper job regularly, only when they were broke. There's been people who go from freelancing to work and can't cope. There's also those who can't get clients at all.

The creative industry can be crazy! Perhaps the hardest part is differentiating yourself from the crowd.
If Feel the Void was hiring, even though I'm not as skilled as the big company guys, I think I'd still look for people with good criteria and who stand out from the crowd.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is going into sites like Video Copilot or the tutsplus Network and just do tutorials all day. Well, there's nothing worse than going through someone's portfolio and finding the Ring (which is a very common one) and generally stuff that we've seen before. Speaking of the Ring, I once saw a video from a student which was a logo for a company, but had the same flat and round elliptical effect of "the ring" when the camera was in perspective. It looked very awkward and unprofessional.

I won't ramble about tutorials right now, since I talked about it in my article "Working with Tutorials" a while ago. So go check that out if you haven't already. John Dickinson has a short but very quick article on such things on his website Motionworks.

Simply put: Create original works! Don't do tutorials, anyone can do tutorials. Why should I pick you if I can just pick someone off the streets and have them do tutorials. They'd produce pretty much the same thing.
So what makes you different?

Or rather, how can you make yourself different?

Spread the Creativity

One way could be to take on the very creative approach by Jacques Nyemb of creating a funny but still creative and informative portfolio. If creativity is your work, why not show it in your application and CV.

There's more stuff you can see from this Google Search.

Don't just be creative, show your abilities in other fields other than being creative

There's an awesome article on CGtuts+ which applies to creatives in general titled "What Should be in Every Designer's Portfolio (that Probably Isn't)"
Basically, Harrison Ambs explains how not only do you have to be good at what you do, you should also be good at problem solving! If a client came with a ridiculous requirement that probably goes beyond your ability, would you strive to learn what you need to learn, go the extra mile and, most importantly, would you be capable enough to solve and handle problems on your own?

In one of Andrew Kramer's tutorials, "Blast Wave", he talks about how he figured most people would be able to pull of the effect, but saw it right to demonstrate the process of trial and error and solving problems as you go along, rather than sticking to scenarios that you're used to.

And that's what being creative is all about. You won't always get stuff you've done before. Someone could come and say "I want to create a sci-fi movie that's never been done before." Would you be able to handle such a case? And if not, why not? You know the software, you have the resources like stock images and stock footage, so why not?
When you're being interviewed, the interviewer is probably indirectly asking these questions. Show that you are not only capable to do what you do, but also to grow as you work and solve problems.

Do you think there's more to getting a job than just that?
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