Thursday, 21 July 2016

The latest greatest hiatus status

It's been about two weeks and a couple of days since I last posted anything, and it's been niggling me constantly since.

Problem was, I didn't know what to write about. It's not so much writers block as much as it was overkill. I went to London, did freelance, died in the heat, went home cried about my grandfather and missed a friend. I did so much that when it came to sitting down to write, it felt both tired and redundant to do so. But I've smashed that chain, broken through the wall and now I'm here again; did you miss me?



I thought instead of being angry about something, I'd let you know what had happened to me over the latest greatest hiatus status. Potat-ers. Well, let me tell you, I've done things. Yeah. Things.

I'll try break this down chronologically—probably the best way to tackle this.
Early July, I was down in London for New Designers 2016, exhibiting my wares and selling myself to the corporate big wigs of London. It was as hot as it was busy, standing there in a sweaty t-shirt, right in the centre of Islington's Business Design Centre. We had air conditioning (unlike many other exhibitors) and even then it was still a rather unpleasant existence.

Have you ever tried to convince someone they should pay you for freelance work whilst your back perspires like a dog in a hot car. I could feel my shoulder blades panting as I shuck hands with the head of humour for Hallmark; quite ironically it was almost the kind of thing you'd expect to see on one of those newspaper cartoon cards that they so heavily produce.

There I was, for a 5 days of the week, stood with sandpaper business cards in my hand and sweat patches bigger than my ambitions. Somehow this worked; I was in contact and in demand by quite a few people to my absolute surprise. I mean, I'm confident in my work and myself but heck, when half the room thinks you went for an armpit-only dip in the sink, it's a little difficult to be 100%.

Aside from this, Universal Music, Moonpig, Hallmark, River Island & Amazon didn't seem to mind at all. These companies, alongside two or three others wanted to speak with me, see my portfolio and care that I existed—it was a lovely surprise. But here's the issue.

All these people were interest in me and my work, but none wanted to commit. I liked and loved the people I spoke to, I found great interest in their opportunities but they all had one thing in common; placements. I went to London on the hopes of grasping at some southern freelance work, but everyone I spoke to had a different idea. They didn't want to give me a contract, nor did they want to give me a brief; they wanted me to come work with them for a set period of time instead.

This isn't a loss at all, but as a graduate it's exactly what I don't want. I've been through two placements already, even one in Sweden; so now, after 18 years of education, I'd kind of just like to be paid. Don't get me wrong, some were paid placements but they still aren't actually a job.

This is an issue that I think doesn't sit with the companies but the industry and it's graduates. Everyone is so excited to fit into the industry that they'll take almost any path into it they can, and big businesses have caught onto this. They know they can cycle through multiple fresh graduates each year, every year. End cycle, begin again.

As a graduate, the one thing you have over all middlewieght and senior designers is that you are fresh. You have just come out of the showroom and your polish is shining brightly in sun—your ideas are different and you are right on trend, finger on the pulse; counting as each movement passes you by. If someone hired you, they'd have new blood, new ideas and a whole different way of approaching projects and this is your highest selling point!

So imagine you are a big business. Fresh ideas, for little money on constant rotation would be the dream right? Backed up by senior designers that can apply these new ideas to solid visuals and concepts; that's the dream. Well if you don't give anyone a fixed contract, don't offer freelance but hand out placements like cigarettes in the 50's, then that's exactly what you'll get.

I am very grateful for the offers and interest I received but unfortunately like every other graduate this year, I'm in more debt that I can deal with and I'd kind of hope that this banking stranglehold and three years of back breaking hard work, that I could sort of pay my bills this month. Please? 

P.s. Remember just after that wicked cool GIF I said "instead of being angry about something" Yeah, me too. Sorry, I'm just a terrible keyboard warrior. Love Vin x


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