• Expanding my Skills

    I have been doing a considerable amount of thinking over the past few weeks, and I have been thinking about expanding on my knowledge, skills and abilities to grow both personally and professionally.

    I have found myself losing so much confidence in myself as a designer and my ability recently. There is some scary talent out there; which I guess probably does not help that I compare myself to world, top class designers, which can be motivating the majority of the time, but it also can be quite off putting. When I look at the idea of success, I remember there will always be something greater, which probably means I will go a lifetime without ever being satisfied, and why I am so self-critical.

    Would the most ideal designer have knowledge and skills of CSS, HTML, SEO, PR, Copywriting, and Photography? I am under the impression that just being able to design alone will not cut it? These have been a range of skill questions that have popped up for me whilst picking up freelance work. I must admit, I am not the most ‘techy’ person and have absolutely no knowledge in CSS at the moment, I am able to work with HTML to a point, and however I would not class this as a skill of mine.
    It is certainly cheaper to hire someone that can be a Designer, Developer, Copywriter, SEO Specialist and Photographer.

    I do seem to be in two minds at the moment about this. Being a recent graduate, I find myself questioning why I was not taught any of this throughout education, and I believe this can somewhat put some designers off wanting to continue and have a career in this, or maybe it is just me approaching the wrong kind of businesses.

    With everything going digital, I believe it would be beneficial for me to learn HTML and CSS, I also want to get my head around Fireworks too, which I will do as part of my research project on my MA. I am intending to speak to someone who specialises in SEO over the next couple of weeks, just to get more of a basic understanding into this… otherwise, I intend to learn more one step at a time.

    A designer friend of mine before she got her new job was recently going to take up an internship in PR for a couple of weeks, which I thought was a fantastic idea and would have been great for the CV. I do enjoy writing; in fact I loved writing my dissertation, however copywriting is another skill.
    I think it is definitely better to keep an open mind and want to learn more, there will be times when at least a basic understanding into these skills will be required.

    There are many tutorials online, and books available. Lynda, which has been highly rated and recommended to me by many designers, offers unlimited access to 1,605 professional video instructions for a month at $25 (£15.90). It is a great offer in my opinion, especially considering we paid over £3000, or just over £100 per 1 hour session in university. There is also a 7 day free trial, so if you happen to have a week booked off and fancied getting your head down for a few hours a day it will be worthwhile. This website also offers a free 7 day Trial, however just remember to cancel your membership if you do not wish to proceed and pay the £15.90 for a further month.