WE DESIGN. WE CREATE. WE DELIVER. We spoke to our Senior Creative, Kevin Wilson who was kind enough to give you a better insight into the creative world. Having worked with some of the biggest brands in British retail, Kevin has experience in bringing cutting edge creative to life. Here he answered questions that will help any aspiring designers get started in their careers.
HOW AND WHERE CAN YOU GET WORK EXPERIENCE?
If you’re still at college or University, your tutors should be your first port of call when looking for work experience. They will have a long list of companies you could approach, and the chances are these will be a list of companies they have used before and are of the type willing to take on work placements. If you’re not studying, then there are websites/recruitment agencies available online you can use to search for said companies who are looking for placements or interns. If that fails, spend some quality time with your trusted and reliable friend, Google. Google all the companies in your area, or farther out if you’re willing to travel, and write to every single one of them with a well thought out email/letter. If you can, cut out the middle man and try and find out about the people who work there (using LinkedIn) and target those who are more likely to read your email or open your portfolio with interest. i.e. if you’re a graphic designer, send it to the Senior Designer or Creative Director.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE YOUR CV STAND OUT?
My advice is to approach this with the view that, “most people are busy and don’t have the time to read my CV or look at my work”. Straight away, this will put you in full strategic mode and the mindset to approach this in a different way. It’s not just about sending your CV and portfolio to as many companies as possible and hoping for a reply, you need to think carefully about how you can grab their attention. It’s all down to your strategy and your creativity, you may even tailor your approach for specific companies. Just remember, first impressions are everything.
CAN YOU GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF WHAT YOU DO?
As a Senior Creative I get to work on a multitude of projects. Seeing print and multichannel projects through from concepts to final execution. Sometimes working solo, sometimes leading a small team all the while making sure the brief and ambitions of the client are always met.
WHAT DO PEOPLE LOOK FOR IN THE INDUSTRY?
From a seventy7 creative perspective, there are several things that we look for in potential designers and these may not be so obvious. Besides the great portfolio of work that will blow our minds, we also look for certain traits in a person. Ambitious, motivated, honest and the desire to be different. Be curious and eager to learn. Don’t feel the need to pretend like you know everything there is to know, a lot of people do, and it eventually backfires. After 10 years in the industry I still have a lot to learn, and I know it. The need to learn is a great trait to have so be open and curious about the role your applying for as this will show your honest and motivated.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO IT?
I never set out to be a Graphic Designer at first. From an early age I had a keen eye for detail and anything creative. I knew I wanted to be a creative but never knew exactly what job I wanted in the industry. I just followed my nose I guess and did a course in digital and publishing, which taught me everything from the history of typography to how to use Quark Express. That’s when I fell in love with the iMac and designing on computers. I think that was the point I knew I wanted to be a Graphic Designer. After college I went to University to get my degree in Graphic Design. I then took some time out to freelance until the stress of finding clients got to me, so I quickly got searching for a job. Luckily for me, seventy7 (Photolink back then) was the first interview I had in the industry and the rest as they say, is history. If you asked me what I thought got me the job, I’d say my portfolio mostly. I’d spent a lot of my spare time perfecting my craft and trying new techniques. I guess it showed I was dedicated to the cause. The takeaway from my experience- if you truly want to be the best at what you do, you need to put in the hours.
WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS ABOUT WORKING IN CREATIVE?
The best thing about working in creative is working alongside likeminded people. Especially here at seventy7, I can honestly say we have the best bunch of people here, it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. S7 also has a relaxed, fun environment which makes it so much easier to work in. It’s the opposite to serious and that’s what I love about it.
Keep your eyes out for more interviews like this one, or tweet us which job role you’d like to hear more about!