Photo by Brenda Chi
So last night I was invited to participate in a talk at Art Center along with a few other recent grads (Yuhki Demers, Elsa Chang, Amanda Jolly, Maximus Paulson, and Victoria Ying).
It was a very fun event where we shared advice about what life is like shortly after graduation. Everyone had something interesting to contribute and even I learned a lot! Here are a few things I walked away with:
- Everyone is scared the Monday after graduation. The unknown future is a very daunting thing, but your peers at school will have a much more impact on your career than you think. Their opinions of you and your work will often get you jobs! ‘So don’t be weird.’
- A lot of people believe ‘luck’ has a lot to do with your career path, and to a degree it does. However, luck is really the act of preparation + opportunity. You sometimes have to go out and make your own luck - i.e. find opportunities and go after them! You’ve hear it’s all about being at the right place at the right time and it’s more than true. But that also means you have to be getting out there and be proactive about it. Sometimes that means failing, but that’s ok too.
- Try and try again. Most of the alums on the panel applied more than once to get into an internship/training program. The key was to show growth in your portfolio - that meant creating new pieces rather than refining old ones.
- You must make time to do your own personal work no matter where you are in your career. Even if you’re at a studio with a full time job, you’re expendable and if you are let go, sometimes you won’t have anything to show for it. Most companies keep you under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which means you can’t show any of the work you did with them and if it takes 2 years for your project to come out you have to wait before you can show any future clients that work. So in order to keep your portfolio updated and fresh you must find time to create your own work.
- Travel. Open yourself to new experiences and you’ll never know how they can inspire your work (even much later in life). Being in a place and breathing it in is much different than using Google Images for reference.