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Posted on 30th SEPTEMBER 2019 by eric team

‘New Creatives on the Block’ was a series curated for the ERIC Fest: Storytelling. Young graphic designer, Emmanuel Ajayi, asked senior graphic designer, Will Rees his burning questions. Here are the answers…

1) I need experience to get a job, but I need job to get experience. What course of action should I take if I want to get a high paying job as a creative?

 I would highly recommend working on side projects to build up your portfolio. Having your own side projects also allows you to work on things you are passionate about. Never do any work for free. Companies should not exploit you just because you’re inexperienced. Internships and placements at ad agencies are popular.. If you get a placement, work as hard as you can and get involved in as many briefs as possible. Even if you haven’t been asked to work on a specific brief try and pull together some ideas and present them to the Creative Director. Pull a keynote together and email it over if you have to. Overall you should try and keep an open mind, stay curious and gain as much out of a placement as possible.

2) How can I transition into doing freelance work that is well paid & full time? Do I need a team or can I do everything myself?

In my opinion, you can transition into freelance work once you have some connections in the industry you’re working in. You need to show that you have worked on some good brands and produced good work. It is something that should be thought about and planned and not rushed. You may want to work with a creative partner as it’s always good to have another person to bounce ideas off of. It really depends on your skill set. If you are purely design focussed then you can work on your own. If you want to write and art direct the next Nike ad, you will need a good partner next to you. One of the best ways of getting freelance work is through recruiters. They are the ones that big agencies will go to when they need some support. 

3) What’s the secret to getting bigger clients and charging higher rates?

There really is no big secret. It’s about working your way up the ladder and taking as many opportunities that may come your way. Work hard and never turn your nose up at smaller clients. Working with big brands is great but there is usually a lot more politics involved with them. You may lose a lot of your creative freedom when working on the bigger brands. Once you have worked on the smaller brands and smashed their briefs, the bigger ones will start coming. 

A bit about Will…

Will Rees is currently the Lead Designer at Leo Burnett, London. He has worked on a range of clients including The Design Museum, eBay, McDonald’s and Skoda. He is also a passionate street photographer and traveller.

A bit about Emmanuel…

From a young age Emmanuel has indulged himself into the creative arts, from drawings to paintings. He cultivated his passion for photography by being inspired by one of his favourite super heroes; Peter Parker a.k.a Spider-man who is a photographer for the Daily Bugle.

He’s not your average creative. He’s much more…

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