Embarking on a creative career path can be daunting for young designers. But there is a path to success, something our Creative Talent and Network Director, Katie Greenyer, knows through her commitment to nurturing new talent.
As well as finding remarkable career success, Katie is passionate about supporting aspiring designers. She oversees Design Pool, our in-house internship programme, which has helped over 160 emerging designers to refine their creative skills and land creative jobs. For the past twenty years, Katie has made a significant impact on the growth and success of young creatives, empowering them to thrive in the industry.
Whether you’re a recent design graduate or a self-taught creative, here are Katie’s top tips to guarantee your first creative role.
1. Find inspirational leaders and follow them
“Who do you want to be like? What do you want to do? Research the people who are really cutting through and making a difference. Find the people who inspire you, then you can see how they did it and learn about their career journey. Everyone has a different career path. There isn’t one route, and that’s what makes this industry so different but also exciting.”
2. Learn the craft
“Loads of young designers are self-taught; there’s every tutorial you can ever hope for online. Within the creative industries, you are always learning, and I don’t think you can ever know everything!
Think about what is the story behind your idea? Why are you so passionate about it? Why would your idea make a difference? It’s about how you try and tell that story.
I wish young designers were better at that because I think they put too much time really into the tech when it’s about the craft and storytelling – ideation is the key to everything.”
3. Create a portfolio with breadth
“Make a portfolio with as much breadth as possible – men’s fashion, women’s designs, branding, marketing, social etc… Also network as much as you can to get a great portfolio together. Get involved with creative things. Always keep feeding the monster.”
4. Have integrity in your work
“Young designers are starting off their careers working with AI and AR. These are really exciting, with so many possibilities and potential, but it’s also tricky. Tech can remove the room for real world mistakes. Some of my best designs have come from my mistakes.
This tech is also before any regulation or rules, and I feel like we just have to be mindful as we go down this journey. I think you’ve got to maintain a level of kindness. Remember what belongs to you and what your craft is. It comes down to integrity and safeguarding yourself and others.”
5. Keep knocking on the door
“Without the right attitude, work ethic, commitment and willingness to learn, you are never going to succeed. If you think someone is going to come and knock on your door and just say, ‘here is your new design role,’ that ain’t going to happen. You’ve got to have an ‘I can do it and I will do it’ attitude and get stuck in. And then I would say, don’t give up. Because the door slams a lot, but one day the door won’t slam. And that will be your way in.”
Designers interested in work experience, internships and graduate placements can send their portfolios for Design Pool to firstname.lastname@example.org