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Quietstorm627

Am I wrong

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Hi all I'm writing this post because I genuinely need help with what I am dealing with. I felt that posting it here around people who are taking the same career path I am will help me out. The problem I have is how to go about getting to the level I want to be as a designer.

 

I personally am scared to death that I can't catch up with the speed of talent that this industry is putting out. I am not complaining,because I know what I have to do and the sacrifices I have to make. I just can't let myself settle,because I don't feel its any difference in me and a SCAD or Art Center student than just resources.I am one who spends countless nights up all night teaching myself new things,reading books,trying my hardest to improve because I am a graphic design graduate but not at a design school, so I was the best at my school but on a world basis Im at the bottom. I applied for internships and got one,but I was told that the usual interns they like are able to hit the ground running and aren't so far behind. I'm guessing I was taken on because of potential and hopefully not pity. Which motivated me even more to be better than I was when they first saw my work.

 

The people around me think I'm crazy because I won't want to do anything else but focus on getting better,they say Im going to dig myself an early grave,its not normal to feel like sleep is a "waste of time",because all it does is make me more tired not rejuvenated. I went to a counselor right before I graduated and she even said my drive and work ethic concern her. In my head I always imagined somebody my age who is outworking me because they didn't sleep for 48 hours or they stayed in the house three more hours than I did because I let my g/f coerce me into going out to eat with her. And it's like I'm imagining we are competing for some future job,and I refust to let them get it. I just need help from those who are where I am trying to go. I guess reassurance that I am not insane,contrary to what Im told by those on the outside.Whether or not I am doing the right thing in order to survive out there. Trying to find out if it is genuinely possible to relax and take breaks and still be able to compete against the talent that is out now when you are starting out. I know this is a unique situation, and it's like my health is probably suffering from what im doing to myself but it seems like the people that care about me don't seem to understand.It's not comfortable being scared about the competition you are up against,and being willing to sacrifice your health to get what you want. Is there anybody else out there like me that just refuses to settle for average and wants the best out of themselves. Or have just been in a situation where the people around you didn't understand why you were doing the things you were to yourself all for personal satisfaction? Thanks in advance for the replies. And if anyone wants to talk to me personally I'm more than happy to accept PMs.Jordon

Edited by Quietstorm627

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Sleep is essential. Work ethic is extremely important, but your health is paramount.

 

Find a stopping point and unplug. Sometimes just taking a walk and resetting provides inspiration that a book or tutorial wouldn't otherwise do.

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I have felt somewhat like this before, and i think 2 things might comfort you...

 

a. its a marathon not a sprint.

 

you may feel like you can't go out to eat with your gf because you need to get just a little bit better at what you do but that hour will do more for your sanity than plugging away endlessly.

 

b. Kurt Cobain was not an amazing guitar player, but he carved out his own niche.

 

there will always be people better than you at whatever you choose to do. And even if you are literally THE BEST then i'm sure you will still think "i wish i could draw like him, or design like her..." Basically letting the fact that there are people better than you, stop you from being all that YOU can be is a very bad excuse. And no one likes excuses.

 

Just keep at it dude! :D

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A lot of people who are young and starting out feel similarly at times. The fact of the matter is that, like any industry, it is not entirely made up of those young hotshots that get all the attention. It sometimes feels as though you'll never be at that point and to some extent you never will, but mostly because you'll always see someone better no matter where you are.

 

This isn't to say that you should settle. But sometimes pushing yourself too hard can do more damage then good. Think of your creativity like an engine, you can push it too hard, or run it too long without resting and you can break something (I know that sounds trite). Burnout in an industry that often requires long hours and difficult problem solving is a very real danger.

 

Pushing yourself to learn new techniques is good, but at the end of the day what makes people really stand out is their creativity and their ideas. Software and tools will change year by year.

 

Take a step back, breath, and let yourself relax a little bit sometimes. I don't know about you, but my best ideas never come to me while I'm sleep deprived at 4a.m. trying to do just a little bit more work.

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As the product of two work-a-colic parents let me say that a strong work ethic is a good thing but as with everything else in life it has to be moderated.

 

I'm assuming you chose this profession because it's what you love. That's awesome, cuz if it's not get the fuck out right now. however, don't let your insecurities rob you of enjoying what you've got.

 

and as far as feeling behind goes, don't. The same way that there's far better out there, there's also far worse. I work with a guy who got hired as a motion designer without knowing what After Effects was. He's terrible, so take comfort in that.

 

Finally, the hardest thing for me to learn right out of school was patience. If you can stick to it, with time things become clearer. maybe not easier, but you gain understanding and perspective with experience.

 

so suck it up, and do something nice for your girlfriend.

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I think you need to take a night out on the town and get wild, just a thought.

 

How old are you? Think you definitely need to relax a bit, but it is very good that you take that much initiative to learn the subject. I guess I am in somewhat of the same situation. I just finished two years of Television production, which was more focused on live television production, not anything close to design. My interest though has always been in editing/motion graphics, and luckily I found a job right out of school that gives me a chance to get better at what I want to do. It is more cutting than motion design, but it will give me a chance to teach myself motion graphics on some projects. I also feel the same that since I am getting paid for doing this now, that I should be very comfortable with the subject matter, but like people above said, it's not something that I am going to learn overnight, or in a few months for that matter.

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I think you need to take a night out on the town and get wild, just a thought.

 

How old are you? Think you definitely need to relax a bit, but it is very good that you take that much initiative to learn the subject. I guess I am in somewhat of the same situation. I just finished two years of Television production, which was more focused on live television production, not anything close to design. My interest though has always been in editing/motion graphics, and luckily I found a job right out of school that gives me a chance to get better at what I want to do. It is more cutting than motion design, but it will give me a chance to teach myself motion graphics on some projects. I also feel the same that since I am getting paid for doing this now, that I should be very comfortable with the subject matter, but like people above said, it's not something that I am going to learn overnight, or in a few months for that matter.

 

Im 22 right now and a week and some change freshly graduated.

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Dude - you are in the wrong mindset. You're too young to think like

a corporate hack.

If you fear, something is wrong, and I believe what is wrong is you have not found yourself.

You are trying to rate yourself against other people. Forget it and do your thing.

Follow your heart.

I strongly suggest a good painting, print or sculpture course, to get your

brain away from worrying about other people and concentrate on who you

are. If you decide to get back into the mill of graphics insects, you will be a better

and less frightened insect for having done so.

 

Im 22 right now and a week and some change freshly graduated.

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I am 24 and have been through and sometimes still go through that. I mean I graduated with a BA in 3d when I was 20 and thought man I would love to do television and stuff. For 2 years I tried to get a job. I finally got one but it was on the production side of live television and they knew nothing of motion graphics or for that matter 3d. The management was awful and the pay was horrible. So I learned what I could and moved on.

 

During all my free time I was studying and teaching myself programs. I taught myself AE and Premier and Final Cut. I really spent to much time on it and never went out (like you were saying). Finally I got fed up/burnt out with the whole deal and started going out with my (now) wife and spending all my free time outside enjoying life.

 

We moved to her home town colorado where I worked as a library security guard for 9 months. I continued to learn what I could and send resumes to jobs I thought I could get. I actually, just recently (like 6 months ago), got a job editing. Its for church television but its something. They said they like my attitude lol.

 

No one here knows anything about AE but they have taught me a ton about Final Cut. I am learning all i can but on my down time I dont worry so much about it. I find it helps keep some level of creativity and drive to work. Me and my wife go out on the days we have off. I mean we make ourselves go out so we dont just stay at the house and do nothing and become bored with life lol. I spend time playing video games and watch flicks. You have to have a hobby or something to do other than just graphics (at least I do) or you will just fall apart.

 

Oh and about the feeling of being way behind.... I have watched thousands of demo reels from everywhere and every time I do I get down on myself because I look at my work and see garbage. But I know that I am continuously learning and growing. I tell myself every time I feel like that, that I am further than I was a year ago and the more I learn the better I will be. As a matter of fact I am probably going back to school in the fall (though I dread having to take english and spanish classes lol) because its a way to learn so much about stuff I have never had a chance to learn. Its a crazy crazy market to be in but man I love it so much I would not trade it for the world..

 

I hope this helps you. Keep your head up and eyes open, Always always believe in yourself, Learn what you can when you can, and Dont over exert yourself because you will get burnt out and lose some of that passion for this business.

Edited by chizmniz

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the trick is balancing the learning with prolific experimentation and making your own stuff. Ive gone through periods where ive been sucked into the vortex of what i dont know and trying to get my head around various things like char anim in C4D or AE expressions, which are both pretty deep. the thing though is to use what you learn before you forget it, and to allow yourself to go into the intuitive creative space in addition to the I" gotta get better and learn this or that" mode.

 

learning the tricks is part of it, but i'd say avoiding making crappy looking design at whatever level you're at is the key. if what you're making isn't cool to you, keep at it, try another comp or start over, but be persistent until there is something cool happening in what you're doing, and then feed off of that. and yeah, you're a little you to think like an old hack, but maybe its just knowing how much curve is ahead on the learning curve. stay with it in acquiring skills, but dont give up, or forget to make stuff thats cool to you, which is how people will be able to use you for commercial stuff to the best of what you can do, otherwise the less flavor you bring or have on your portfolio, the more you have to do idea-less soulless stuff for a paycheck, and thats where the corporate hack mentality. get good before you have kids and can't quit a crappy job or freelance.

 

ive seen people come and go that are lazy with their design and low on persistence. try not to think too much about other people and just do it. (way hard to do, but is key to being dope)

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I mean I graduated with a BA in 3d when I was 20 and thought man I would love to do television and stuff. For 2 years I tried to get a job. I finally got one but it was on the production side of live television and they knew nothing of motion graphics or for that matter 3d.

 

Like me, but opposite, I graduated from Television production, but in all honesty live production can be extremely boring and I believe it employs a lot of unskilled people who believe they are 'hot shit'. In my free time I am trying to learn Mograph, because the level of skill that it takes to make awesome motion graphics is way beyond any kind of television control room job. All they have to do is push a button to roll the thunder animations that take hours to make by skilled artists.

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Regardless of age, or experience, we all have a lot of learning to do. If you approach your career from a point of "this is my starting point, and that over there is my ending point" then you're going about things the wrong way. Your career should be something that's being shaped and molded over time.

 

My ex-boyfriend (and let me stress the EX part here) was a workaholic. He felt very similar to you. He always had to be "the best" but mostly it was just insecurity. He knew he wasn't the absolute best there was, and it ate away at his self-esteem. I don't know you personally, but this sounds a little like what you're dealing with. We are no longer together, and I'm happily married to someone else now, because of the fact that he couldn't balance his life. He never wanted to go out to dinner with me either, and if I forced him, he resented me. If he could have just let go, in my opinion, it would have made him a far better designer.

 

Focus on what you like to do, and what you're comfortable with. Yes, push yourself to be better, but keep in mind that you cannot know everything there is to know about everything dealing with Design. You don't want to wake up one day, alone, hated and miserable, but "the best" designer...or do you?

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Its somewhat normal to feel this way just getting out of school. I know I did, although to a much lesser extent. The fact of the matter is when your looking for a job and interviewing and such, the people who will be interviewing you will understand that your just out of school. If they are looking for a rock star designer position to fill, they wouldn't be interviewing you. I guess what im trying to say is that no one is going to expect a super-ultra-mega designer out of you, and they wont be paying you for that either.

 

Just get in! Hopefully someplace you can still learn, and don't worry so much. Your going to burn yourself out before you even start...

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Like me, but opposite, I graduated from Television production, but in all honesty live production can be extremely boring and I believe it employs a lot of unskilled people who believe they are 'hot shit'. In my free time I am trying to learn Mograph, because the level of skill that it takes to make awesome motion graphics is way beyond any kind of television control room job. All they have to do is push a button to roll the thunder animations that take hours to make by skilled artists.

 

 

Man you speak the truth lol

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Im 24, and just graduated a little over a year ago, I think i went through the same issues you have had.

 

Worrying about my skills not being good enough....stressing out about the competition of some 17 year old AE wiz kid. Before I graduated I was totally paralyzed with fear about getting a editing/mograph job. I saw so many of my fellow "art students" working at starbucks, and I thought..."wow im fucked."

 

...but I spent a few months working on my reel, trying to learn more about AE, and I ended up being able to choose between 2 different junior job positions. If its what you want to do, go for it, immerse yourself in mograph scene. Just don't go overboard, make time with friends and family (Dont play world of warcraft either, that sucked up way too much of my time! :rolleyes:

 

I think its really important to be in a job with other creative people...Freelance is great, but learning new techniques and creative "things" is better! You can only go so far with software...push your creative..

 

There will always be artists better than you...just make sure you are doing what makes you happy, forget about them and you will carve your own niche.

 

I recently went on a tour of the Guild Wars (PC Game) studio and got to check out all their concept artwork....Their artists were so amazing...it made me want to crawl up and die...and go flip burgers for a living. I may never achieve motion graphic super stardom, but somewhere down the line you will make something really cool, and people will say "Wow, I wish I was as good as that guy."

Edited by supaidaaman

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yo man,

 

you are way to young to be feeling like that its normal thou just learn to enjoy keep it simple thats something I had to learn this last year don't be a stressed out workaholic nobody wants to be around stressed-out workaholic either Firebetty put it best. Another tip I learned that may help you is to get out have fun meet new people and network you never know who you are going to meet or what around the corner. I def. found jobs through luck in meeting the right person out with my GF. I have to admit I feel the same way sometimes I'm 28 in school I changed from being a sound engineer now to a motion designer big switch, I feel old sometimes but who cares way I look at it we all have different cards to bring to the table so enjoy. Don't stress your still young.

 

laters,

 

coin

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Do yourself a favor - pick up this book.

 

It's Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be

by Paul Arden

 

 

Not that you need any more motivation, but at least you will find some of the same thinking you're thinking and maybe you'll feel a bit less paranoid about it all.

 

and btw, I admire your perseverance. One piece of advice - don't compete against the world. Compete against yourself.

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My ex-boyfriend (and let me stress the EX part here) was a workaholic. He felt very similar to you. He always had to be "the best" but mostly it was just insecurity. He knew he wasn't the absolute best there was, and it ate away at his self-esteem. I don't know you personally, but this sounds a little like what you're dealing with. We are no longer together, and I'm happily married to someone else now, because of the fact that he couldn't balance his life. He never wanted to go out to dinner with me either, and if I forced him, he resented me. If he could have just let go, in my opinion, it would have made him a far better designer.

 

I think I may have been guilty of being just like firebetty's ex.

I used to work a crummy job and worked on my skills when I had any free time.

I thought my ex-gf was a needy selfish bitch (which i still think she is) for trying to get me to stop working hard.

She even suggested a career change. I resented her for nagging me to make time for her.

Needless to say we had a messy break up. (plus she took custody of my cat. damn her!!)

 

Having said that, my current gf still endures the same kind of behavior from me.

But instead of nagging me, she encourages me and tells me how proud she is of me.

That in turn makes me want to step away from the monitor and spend time with her.

But even though I was spending less time at the computer, my work was getting better and my career was moving ahead.

To this day I feel like I owe alot to my current gf and how patient she has been with me.

 

so be careful of what kind of girl/boy you start a relationship with. it just might make or break your mograph career.

 

btw- im not implying anything about you firebetty. i'm sure you're a great gf/wife. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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I too come from the tv production side of things. Got my first job at 17 shoot real estate interior. Though is was not what I wanted it gave me some extra cash and chance to learn. The point is I still use some of the things I've learn to this day, such as camera work and lighting, but only on software. Take it from me. Take it little by little and keep learning everyday. That's what life is all about. Your too young to work on your craft 24/7. Ok back to sleep now. Just had my wisdom teeth pulled. Man these are good drugs!

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I think I may have been guilty of being just like firebetty's ex.

I used to work a crummy job and worked on my skills when I had any free time.

I thought my ex-gf was a needy selfish bitch (which i still think she is) for trying to get me to stop working hard.

She even suggested a career change. I resented her for nagging me to make time for her.

Needless to say we had a messy break up. (plus she took custody of my cat. damn her!!)

 

Having said that, my current gf still endures the same kind of behavior from me.

But instead of nagging me, she encourages me and tells me how proud she is of me.

That in turn makes me want to step away from the monitor and spend time with her.

But even though I was spending less time at the computer, my work was getting better and my career was moving ahead.

To this day I feel like I owe alot to my current gf and how patient she has been with me.

 

so be careful of what kind of girl/boy you start a relationship with. it just might make or break your mograph career.

 

btw- im not implying anything about you firebetty. i'm sure you're a great gf/wife. :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

LOL...I was very supportive the first two years - it was the last two that were hell. But after not getting any attention or always hearing the excuse "I can't go out this weekend, I have to work on <blank>" It got old- FAST. I'm sure your current girl is great. I don't think you're implying anything about me, because I'm sure our situations were very different. Just keep in mind that even though your girl might be showing you her best, most supportive side, she might still be feeling a bit neglected. Make sure you show her that she's more important to you than finishing up that project that's still going to be there tomorrow. You don't want to lose someone as great as she sounds.

 

And for the record, you should avoid the word "nag" - nagging is something that certain men bring on themselves because they lack the ability to listen to or follow through with an initial request.

 

But I'm not implying anything about YOU ynaka. ;)

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Really good thread here. Much more useful than a tutorial.

 

Advice- Be patient with yourself.

 

Competition is no good- you need to work as a team. Look at the credits on any good project, there are at least 10 to 30 people, from designers, producers, directors, animators, and animal trainers. They work as a team or they fail.

 

Imagine watching a basketball game that was a free-for-all, with no passing, just all the players trying to get the ball and score their own goals.

 

Tune yourself in to the needs of those around you. Fill those needs. You'll become indispensable. You'll make the contacts that will always get you booked on jobs. Skill will come in time.

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Theres nothing wrong with being a workaholic as long as you can find balance. Figure your stuff out now and have a livelier life in a few years with a higher day rate :)

 

Patience also counts for a lot in this industry. If you want it, you gotta work for it.. If this is your long term goal, dont freak out its taking awhile to achieve it. If you start hitting dead ends, you might need to reassess why you're not getting anywhere (ie; your capabilities, attitude, portfolio presentation, etc).

 

Good luck!

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Great thread... My advice:

 

Don't try to be a Jack of All Trades - You'll end up being a Master of None and spread yourself thin.

 

There are so many aspects to design and you will never be the best at all of them ;) Experiment and push yourself, learning as much as you can, but focus on what you are good at and enjoy. You'll know when your work is getting better. You'll feel it and others will notice as well.

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