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Breaking into the Creative Industry: Nathan's Advice for Newcomers

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Hey there, I'm Nathan, and I'm a graphic/web designer working in the creative industry with Monday Media. I'm incredibly passionate about what I do, and I feel so lucky to be able to work in a field that allows me to express my creativity every day.


At age 19, I was able to get my foot in the industry with Monday Media. I had just finished studying graphic design at SAE and completed my internship at a local sign shop. I was able to impress the team at Monday Media with a strong portfolio and a positive attitude, which, I later found out, helped me stand out in a competitive industry.


If you're looking to break into the creative industry, as I did, here are a few tips that might help you get closer to your end goal. These come from my own personal experience, as well as sitting in on several interview processes and helping select for positions…


Create a strong portfolio.

Your portfolio is everything in this game! First and foremost, build a strong portfolio that highlights your abilities and skills. You have (on average) three years to build this up whilst you study, so make sure it looks like three years worth of work! Your portfolio should contain a selection of your best work, both personal and professional, and should reflect your distinct style and personality.



Don’t be afraid to show you're creative process. This is more so for us designers in the early years of our careers. Employers want to be able to see sketch works, mood boards, design drafts… not just the end product.


If you have a particular style, that’s great - show it! However, it’s also important to demonstrate that you’re more than just a one-trick pony within your portfolio. Show employers, you can design anything, for anyone, in any medium. Push yourself :)


Consider using an online portfolio or a website. I personally like to have a hard copy of my portfolio because I really like to physically show my work, and it’s a great idea for face-to-face interviews.


Networking.

Networking is also important in the creative industry, so connect with other professionals and attend industry events. By attending conferences, workshops, and other events, I've met some interesting people and made valuable connections. It's also a great way to keep up with the latest industry trends and technologies.



Sharpen your skills.

It is critical to stay current with emerging trends and technologies in the industry, in addition to developing your skills. Remember that employers want and need your skills. In particular they want you to bring the latest and greatest in design trends and knowledge of emerging technology. ,


If your course, lecturer, or whatever isn’t performing in that regard, my advise is that it’s your career and it’s up to you, and only you, to make sure you’re as skilled as you can be. YouTube and practice is often all you need.


Nathan Webster | Graphic & Web Designer | Monday Media


Be open to new opportunities.

It's critical to be open to new opportunities and willing to take on new challenges when you're just starting out. Freelance work or internships can be an excellent way to gain experience, build your portfolio, and make valuable connections that may lead to future job opportunities.


Persistence and patients is key.

Finally, be persistent, yet patient. It can be difficult to break into the creative industry, but with hard work, determination, and a love of creativity, you can succeed. If you don't get your dream job right away, don't give up; instead, continue to develop your skills, expand your network, and hone your craft.


Being patient… Gary Vee’s number one piece of advice


Let’s wrap this up

Pursuing a career in the creative industry can be difficult, but it can also be extremely rewarding. Two years ago I was just starting out, today, I’m a part of a team that produces some of the best websites of any agency in Perth. I work on a wide range of projects with some really cool clients. Best of all, my work is out there, in the real world!


It's crazy to think how quickly I've been able to establish myself in the design industry. It's an accomplishment I'm really proud of. You've seen the key points I've highlighted in this blog, and trust me, they're essential for success, as I've had to experience them at some point in my journey. So, go ahead and take the leap, apply these tips, and let nothing stop you from pursuing your passion for design just as I did.

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