Drawing on a creative drive [Cape Times (South Africa)]
(Cape Times (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) What does your job entail? My job is to take written or spoken communication and turn it into a visual form. For the most part, I work with existing material from clients who want to make subtle changes to their brand image without detracting from their brand building exercises over the years.
For instance, they might want changes to the layout or new designs for logos, letterheads and other corporate branding items.
I often get written briefs and content that includes copy and images. However, I work from digital originals which are passed around among members of the creative team for comments or updates.
The design process usually starts with a brainstorming phase, when the whole team throws ideas around till we come up with a general direction and some specific design ideas. Once we have decided on a firm concept, each member of the team starts work on their particular job - copywriting, illustrating and designing layouts.
The firm also works with new businesses that need us to create corporate identities and marketing material that reflect their concept of the business and will appeal to their customers.
Other jobs for illustrators include illustrating picture magazines, or comic books, which are like movies, with each frame similar to a frame in a film, as well as corporate training material in comic format for large and small organisations.
Describe your average work day: My day starts at 8.30am with browsing the internet to keep up to date with events and see what is happening on the creative sites. After that I prioritise items for the day, put in my earphones and start drawing.
When you work on one project for a long time it's often valuable to get a new perspective, so during |the day I often chat to the copywriters and art directors and other people in the creative team about the job.
Best part of the job: It's fun working with a team of creative people, and it's exciting when ideas solidify and you know you've come up with a winning concept.
Worst part of the job: I like everything about this job.
Why did you choose this career? I have wanted to do this since I was 14 years old. Art was my favourite subject and it made sense to make a career out of it. I particularly liked doing pictures of real life events.
What else would you have liked to do? I think I would enjoy being a pathologist - CSI probably has a lot to do with this.
Are you paid enough? I'm comfortable, and I believe that if I put in more effort I will be rewarded accordingly.
Rate your work stress on a scale of 1 to 10: Stress levels vary from 6 to 10. What makes this job stressful is tight deadlines and miscommunication. Sometimes it feels as if there are a million things to do and you don't know where to start.
Travel opportunities? I haven't done much travelling, but there could be opportunities in future to go out on shoots and visit clients' sites all over South Africa.
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