Advice from a freelance designer
By Charly Hayes
Name: Charly Hayes
Current Job title: Creative Director
Company name: Anubis Creative
Creative Sector: Graphic Design
University Attended: University of South Wales
Course Studied: BA (Hons) Graphic Communication
How did you obtain your first design job?
I obtained my first job through messaging local companies offering my services. Sometimes even when a company isn’t offering a job it’s good to make yourself known so that they are aware of you if any positions do come up.
My first job was for a small video platform company, I was only there for 3 months as they went redundant but I was more classed as a customer assistant than a graphic designer which automatically made me want to find another job.
My second job was working at a print company, so I was able to widen my print design knowledge from that which I think is ridiculously important for any graphic designer.
After this I became freelance for the cliental, I had gained from the five years since graduating uni.
What advice would you give to students who are currently seeking industry experience?
Get your portfolio as wide-ranged as possible. Create briefs yourself to delve into all the outcomes surrounding design.
Even offer to design free logos to start-up independent companies or join Etsy groups and offer to create free logos.
Try to boost yourself as much as you can in Uni while you have the time and resources to do so. You have to remember that 40+ other people will be graduating from the same course as you – You want to make sure that you’re already ahead of them.
What did you learn in your first few years of industry work?
Uni teaches you the basics, but you really start to learn on the job. You will hit multiple challenges, but you will easily be able to work your way through them and adapt so that you can become a well rounded designer.
What do you wish you had known while studying at Uni?
I wish that I had put more time into mastering the Adobe Suites. I class myself as 7/10 in the Adobe Suites even though a class myself as a professional. This is because there is so much within the Adobe Suites that you are constantly learning about as you use them.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would have told myself to stick to your gut feelings. Push yourself into the world without hesitating and to use those 3 years of Uni to my best advantage to get the most out of the course.
What skills would you look for in a junior designer?
If I was to look for a junior team member, I would look for drive, a wide range of work, being able to explain your outcomes and above all being confident to take on a challenge.
Ideally, they need some experience but if no experience a wide portfolio to show that they are capable of doing more than one field.
What benefits do you think companies get from taking on interns and apprentices?
Learning new things – A lot of experienced creatives think they know it all but it’s also refreshing to see a new person’s perspective on things or how they approach a project.
You can learn a lot from an intern or an apprentice.