Taken from a live video. I thought it was cool and could be used as a desktop background or whatever. (Blown up from72dpi)
These were all taken with my iPhone’s camera and edited using both the Camera+ and Snapseed apps.
Right click to download and enjoy
I like when people reach out for help. I’ve done it a lot in my life and I don’t foresee an end to it any time soon so when green designers like Frank, who are fresh out of school and struggling, contact me asking for help I feel compelled to point them on the right path.
Here’s my advice. I’m sure it will change as I grow and develop, but it’s what has gotten me here. And here is a pretty fun place.
Hey Frank, I’m glad you reached out. I think there’s a gap that a lot of students have to jump when they leave school and are faced with finding full-time work in this job field.
Fortunately for me I have the love and support of a great family that stood by while I spent hours and hours (and still do) toiling away at my computer, pouring over design books, and writing on my blog, all in an effort to learn more about the craft of design.
I haven’t seen your work to any great length so I can’t go about dissecting what it is about it that you can improve, but I can give you some key pointers on making strides to being hired somewhere.
1) Know the programs
In mid-sized to larger agencies, individuals can often be a bit more specialized to one area of design, but as a beginner you’ve got to be open and willing to do all the shit work that’s out there. I still do it. We all do. It pays the bills when you’re starting out.
My first job was a 3 month internship atwww.iperdesign.com that I was able to stretch into a 9 month internship after I demonstrated a strong desire to learn to my superiors. Iper was a small company of 4 with a rotating staff of interns, and I stood out because I had showed strength in my fundamentals. Knowing the programs, as well as having a keen of eye about what looks good, propelled me to a higher state than some of my peers.
When I think about what got me to where I am, I’m reminded of how simple I kept my designs. No matter what the project I always tended to keep things neat and organized rather than overly conceptual. As a beginner you may benefit in looking at Swedish design, the work of NYC based Pentagram and similar agencies (RGA comes to mind) that present clean, bold design to their clients.
You have to practice at it. Keep things bold. Use white space to your advantage. Do a good amount of fake work. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you can make it fucking bad ass.
I’ll keep this simple: Typography is everything. If you at all feel like you struggle in this regard then I suggest you practice it every day. If you see a style you like on a site (www.designspiration.net has great easy to replicate designs) then I suggest just copying them directly until you truly understand how pieces are balanced.
3) Tap your friends
I actually got my first internship interview because someone who went to Rowan was working at Iperdesign and they needed interns.
I showed up way over dressed (3 piece suit!) and won their attention by showcasing work that wasn’t school work.
My portfolio contained a book of photographs I designed and had printed by www.blurb.com as well as some personal pieces I had created for fun mixed with some small freelance work.
In addition to tapping your friends for job leads, you’re probably going to have to get your feet wet with freelance work. It sucks in the beginning, and you shouldn’t do it a lot, but I would recommend reaching out to people and offering your services for free. This will help you build a real world portfolio that you can then show prospective employers.
4) Play up your strengths
While you work on any weaknesses you may have in your portfolio (ie. only student work) you need to keep bolstering whatever area of design is your favorite.
Check out sites like www.psdtuts.com and just look through the articles to see how they achieve effects and compositions. Photoshop is a powerful enough program that people base their entire careers solely around it, so I make an effort to learn new things as often as I can. You never know when something you read about may come in handy.
5) You gotta want it
You clearly want to work in the industry, Frank. That’s the mindset you have to have. If you want to work in this industry you have to just do it. Offer your services up and keep putting yourself out there. Set your work to a standard and keep striving towards (copy it if you have to, but don’t claim it as your own) until you are confident in your skills.
I still wake up somedays and wonder if I’m even good at my job, but then I remember I’ve been working like crazy for the past 5 years to get here.
Keep at it, Frank. DO NOT STOP.
There comes a time when you have to stop searching for inspiration and start making.
Easier said than done, right? In fact limiting ones own sense of visual intake can be nearly impossible in today’s “touch of a button” society in which everything we could ever require is available at the swipe of a finger or a key stroke.
There are certain things I do each morning when I get to work that always determine how the rest of my day will pan out, and even though I recognize these trends within my own routine only by acting on them continuously can I begin to break and reshape their influence on my day-to-day life.
These actions almost always include getting lost in “Inspiration sites” like Behance and Designspiration, and while these are both invaluable resources for designers, they can also be a terrible burden when you allow yourself to become overexposed.
Nothing works harder to kill my own motivation for design than to overload myself with inspiration. The fact of the matter is that there is so much data out there, with so many people producing amazing work that when it comes time to actually knuckle down and create you may run the risk of creative paralysis. You may become overwhelmed with the sheer volume of professional level work that you will find yourself unable to settle on an aesthetic direction, or your motivation may backfire and you could find yourself paralyzed with fear of failure or mediocrity.
In order to combat this paralysis, this dragging weight of impending failure and mediocrity, I’ve begun to limit my own exposure to the very thing I once I sought to inspire. The simple strategy to fight this burdensome irony is to consciously limit yourself from it and allow creativity to flow through execution.
Besides the more you look at the work of others the greater the chances will be that your work will end up looking like theirs and there isn’t much worse than being known for doing something that looks like something someone more famous has already done (and probably did even better).
So if you’re like me and you get bogged down by all the beautiful things on the internet, don’t fret! Take a step back and make something. It may not be game changing, but it may be a step towards something that is.
— Have a great week
The story of how I landed my first freelance client is kind of a goofy one. The entire span of 2000-2010 is a blur of rock music, video games, shitty art projects and failed relationships, but in 2008 (maybe it was ’07) I remember entering a small contest to design an avatar for someone in my World of Warcraft guild that inevitably led to my first freelance job.
The job came after I won a small design contest that was hosted by one of our playgroup’s members. I designed a simple 200×200 pixel avatar for one of the players who just so happened to also be the owner of a Christian book publishing company based out of PA. I had never done freelance work before so I was completely unsure as to whether or not I was qualified, but after discussing my experience with him he assured me that I wouldn’t have a problem learning the ropes. Within a few months of winning the initial contest I was set up with some of the designers at the publishing company and was being shown the ropes on how to properly design and set up files for book cover production.
It ended up being an amazing opportunity to both learn book design as well as to earn some extra cash while I made my way through my last years of school. I worked from home, which was awesome, made $20/hr which was even more awesome, was gaining a ton of experience in how to conduct myself with a client, and was building a relationship with a company that would last me for half a decade. I was lucky to have been given the chance to grow as a designer while I was still in school and the company even paid to have me come out to their offices in PA a few times so I could meet with designers in person and get some hands-on knowledge.
It’s always been a bit bizarre to explain to designers who are just starting out in their careers that I met my first client in a video game, but it always makes me smile. Remembering back to how I got my first break also reaffirms my statement that “work can come from anywhere at any time,” and I believe what’s important to take away from my experience is that keeping an open mind and a positive attitude tends to yield benefits years down the road.
As always if you have any questions about this article or anything on my site please don’t hesitate to shoot me any email or hit me up on Twitter @JimViola. If I don’t have the answer for you then I’m sure I know someone who can get it for you.
Have a killer week.
Hey all, this week I’m holding a giveaway to win one of the above pictured iPhone 4/4S cases. I’m sorry, but I only have this available for the 4/4s model right now, but if you are so in love you have to have it you can purchase one on the cheap from Society6.com (click here). Just make sure you select the right model before checking out.
I personally have this case and I love it (which is why I’m giving one away). The color prints great overall, a little faded wear it bends, but not severe enough to warrant a return. The case is low profile and grants you easy access to your screen. I recommend a screen protector. The case does not cover the top or bottom of the iPhone completely, just the corners. For a side view of the case model please follow this link: http://society6.com/JamesMichael/CMYKStronauts_iPhone-Case
This contest is going to be just like the T-shirt giveaway that ends this February 1st so it’s only open to US and Canada residents who follow me on Twitter and tweet the correct phrase.
This contest is going to run the entire month. The winner will be announced on March 1st.
• 1 Winner
• US and Canada Residents Only
• Contest closes on February 28th, 2013
• Contest winner announced on March 1st, 2013
How to Enter:
• Follow me on Twitter @JimViola and copy this message exactly:
@JimViola‘s iPhone 4/4s case giveaway on Zomgimbored! Click for deets: http://zomgimbored.com/2013/01/29/iphone-44s-custom-case-giveaway/
• You can also “Like” Zomgimbored on Facebook for an additional entry. Un-liking and re-liking the page won’t count There are few enough of that I know who you are, haha.
Protect your iPhone with a one-piece, impact resistant, flexible plastic hard case featuring an extremely slim profile. Simply snap the case onto your iPhone for solid protection and direct access to all device features.
Open to US and Canada residents only. Up to two entries allowed per person (Twitter follow/Tweet and Facebook Like). Contest ends February 1, 2013. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator on March 1st, 2013. The winner will be notified by direct message on Twitter if they are the winner (which is why you need follow me).
Thanks for entering and good luck everyone!
You can download the vector set for free by clicking the image below or clicking here.
Check out my other vector sets by clicking here: http://zomgimbored.com/category/freebies/vectors/
Kitchen_Vectors_2013 by James Michael Viola is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
You are free to download, alter, and manipulate the vectors within the files as you see fit, however the redistribution or sale of this file or the vectors contained within is strictly forbidden.
Last year I created these shirts in an effort to raise money to attend the How Design Live Creative Freelancer’s Conference in Boston and I still have a few left just taking up space in my room so I figured it would be best to give them away. Unfortunately I only have sizes L, XL, and XXL left so if this appeals to you entering the contest is easy!
The Contest Details:
• Four Winners
• US and Canada Residents Only
• Winners announced on February 2nd, 2013
How to Enter:
• Follow me on Twitter @JimViola and copy this message exactly:
@JimViola‘s t-shirt giveaway on Zomgimbored! Check it out here for details on entering: http://zomgimbored.com/2013/01/24/t-shirt-giveaway/
• Like Zomgimbored on Facebook
• American Apparel Unisex Tee
• Soft ink (white)
• Seafoam Green Tee
• Shirt comes NEW in air-tight poly-bag.
Open to US and Canada residents only. Up to two entries allowed per person (Twitter follow/Tweet and Facebook Like). Contest ends February 1, 2013. Winners will be chosen at random using a random number generator.
Hi guys, I’m Jim Viola and I run this here design bliggity blog. I know a lot of you are just stopping by to pick up free vectors and then you’ll be on your way, but I just wanted to let you know that I think that is awesome. One of my goals with starting this blog was to help designers who are strapped for time with projects by offering them some of my designs free of charge. 2012 was a pretty stellar year with over 43,000 page views (which comes out to be just under 827 views a week), a number I wasn’t even hitting per month when I first started the blog two years ago. So from the bottom of my heart I wanted to say thank you to everyone who visited and to all the blogs who featured my simple vectors this year especially: http://www.Abduzeedo.com, http://www.Tympanus.com, and http://www.photoshopvip.com.
The new year brings a fresh start with it and I hope that I can continue to impress my readers with entertaining and original content including the revival of my Moody Mondays segment as well as some others like Designer Primer and Freebie Fridays. Unfortunately my time has been unequally divided between my new job, freelance, and video games so I haven’t had time to gather or create new content for the blog, but with the reduction of freelance work for the new year I plan on putting that energy back into pumping fresh blood into this site. One of my new goals this year will be to deliver quality/original writing content that will encourage and embolden young designers to keep seeking out new opportunities and making the most of their current contacts.
Like it was in the beginning, this blog is and will continue to be about spreading knowledge and providing quality content to those seeking help and answers about design. I hope you all have a safe and health 2013 and I look forward to interacting with you on Twitter and in the comments section.
Happy New Year!
Check out the entire year in review here: http://zomgimbored.com/2012/12/31/2012-in-review/
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 43,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals