Everybody dreams of doing what they love for a living. Not knowing I would eventually become a graphic designer, I was always involved in art, drawing and designs as a kid. And as you get older and find your passion, sometimes you wish you had a mentor, not just friends whom you partner up with, but a third-party who has years of experience that you could learn from.
Why Seek a Mentor?
Having a willing mentor can be extremely invaluable to a graphic designer whether you are curious about getting into graphic design, are already training to become a designer, or have been a graphic designer for years already! A graphic design mentor is someone who has been there and could answer particular questions you have about the graphic design industry. They can offer suggestions about techniques, best practices, and critique your work while offering reliable feedback. Doesn’t that sound like something anyone in any industry would love to have at their disposal?
The Life of a Graphic Designer
When one thinks of being a graphic designer, they may only see themselves as getting to create all day and getting paid for it! They don’t necessarily have a real-world picture of living the life of a graphic designer. Experiences between designers can vary greatly! You have your graphic designers that do so for fun in their spare time. You have graphic designers that do so as a 9-to-5. You have your independent freelancers — your, graphic design contractors. And lots of other variations. The point is, skill set aside, not everybody’s experiences are the same, although the job titles are. So it would be great to get some insight into the life of being a graphic designer.
Pros and Cons of Being a Graphic Designer
As with many things in life, there are plenty of pros and cons of being a graphic designer. Don’t worry, though, the pros outweigh the cons. But having a mentor can prepare you for life as a graphic designer, and coach you on the pitfalls to look out for such as: hitting a creative wall, burning out on being a graphic designer, and BACKING UP YOUR WORK REGULARLY!!!!! These things happen, and every bit of knowledge you can accumulate is great to have.
Passing on your Knowledge
I’ll wrap up my post by stating the fact that sharing your knowledge and experiences as a graphic designer to other graphic designers is…good. A very underwhelming description, I know, but it is. Imagine, if I had a mentor to teach me the things I know now, to prepare me, my road may have been a lot smoother. And image what I would want to do with the knowledge that I benefited from the most? Pass it on. And those that I mentor could pass it on, etc., improving the lives and careers of future graphic designers. Not a bad thing. Sites such as Tuts+ are communities full of mentors, but having a personal mentor gives you a more intimate experience and more insight into the thing you will want to do for the rest of your life!