1. What college did you go to?Pittsburgh Technical Institute2. What did you Major in and what degree do you currently have?Associates Degree: Multimedia/ Interactive Web3. Since your not a 'graphic designer' per se, what job title do you currently hold?I am a Visual Developer, Which is a web developer, but I love design. Everyday I dive deeper into both worlds, design and development, which keeps me on my toes and helps me learn. 4. What advice would you give someone trying to become a graphic designer?Never stop learning, never think you are "good enough" because there is ALWAYS room to grow. Have a strong portfolio when entering any career field, especially design... good designers feel no remorse when ripping someones portfolio apart (not physically, but verbally). Always be social, learn to be a good talker. Attend social design events. Knowing people is half the battle. I know a lot of big named people in Pittsburgh and got 5 job offers before I graduated, which is mainly because I networked.5. What should someone major in College for to become a graphic designer?Graphic Design, or you could try many other majors, like Art Direction, Fine Arts, heck even web.6. What skills should someone possess to become a graphic designer?You will need passion, intelligence, understanding of failure, creative skill, LISTENING SKILLS, an open mind. I don't care if you're good in photoshop or you can make a mean drawing in illustrator, your design has to be spot on, and a commitment to your job, in this industry, you never stop working.7.What is a good way to begin a portfolio?Just make stuff, get creative, get motivated. Make sure the stuff you make has a purpose, or most designers will view it as silly or unwanted.8.What should be in my portfolio?Anything clean and useful. Don't overwhelm your portfolio with drawings you did of people, or other melancholy designs. Designers and art directors want to see useful things, or designs that serve a purpose, like I said above.9. Do you need a associates degree or bachelors degree? You dont need a degree, but its nice to have. I have an associates, but a bachelors is always nicer.10. what books and/ or websites could you suggest to help me with this project?I use Dribbble.com for inspiration, although these are the top dogs of design. Stay away from Deviant Art. Follow good people on twitter, and get involved with what they say. I would read any book that has to do with design. stay away from photoshop books, they do not teach design. Like I said, noone cares if youre good in photoshop.11. What colleges would you recommend for aspiring graphic designers?I like PTI, because I went there, and know how good the teachers are. Art Institute is very difficult to judge... you have to be at the top of the game to get a good job out of there, I only know a few people that have sucessfully fullfilled any kind of a good job out of there. But, every AI is different, I just don't like Pittsburgh's. Any school of design would be good, but stay away from technical schools or other 2 year schools (other than PTI of course). Even state schools have great programs like Penn State or Pitt.
Malorie Lewis's insight:
This is an interview done by email with a visual developer by the name of Nick Meloy. He also owns Nick meloy media. You can visit his website at nickmeloy.com
There are a lot of people that think being a graphic designer is easy. Sure it looks fun and is fun at times, but what they don't see is the behind the scenes work that takes place to make a success of the chosen career field.
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