First Job Advice

  • Hello, everyone!

    I am in need of your advice. So next week Monday is the first day of my summer illustration internship. It'll be my first real job, my first real art job or day job. I'm super nervous because I've never done anything like this before. I've worked for my dad for a long while, but that isn't art related at all, I was a figure drawing tutor at school, and I've done like 4 small private commissions. So saying I'm inexperienced is an understatement. The studio is in a different state than I live or attend college. I'm flying out on Friday and will only have about two days to gain my bearings before starting so that'll be enough of a shock in itself.

    Whether or not you have an art job or not, I'd like your advice on what to do and what not to do when starting a new 9-to-5 and starting a job in a new city. I know the basics such as, "work hard, treat others with respect, be on time", but any nuggets of wisdom will be appreciated. I'm freaking out!

  • SVS OG

    @teju-abiola First, Congratulations!!!! What an exciting time!

    I think thatโ€™s where my first thought lands: Simply enjoy this experience.

    Particularly since this is a short-term (just for the summer, right?), try to observe & soak in as much as you can. While Iโ€™m sure you will work hard & produce great work, donโ€™t be afraid to ask questions and donโ€™t be afraid to make mistakes.

    As an intern, they know that this may be new to you and should have a measure of grace, so you can take comfort in that and encouragement in simply having this great opportunity!

    Also, get to know people (Networking is so valuable to your future steps). Perhaps you can get to experience the new city a little bit through one of your new friends ๐Ÿ™‚

    My youngest brother is going through the same exact thing! (programming not art, though) My parents helped him move this past weekend. Iโ€™m going to have to look back to see what else people say here so I can share with him!

  • @quietyell Thank you! It's easy to overthink and complicate things, but you're right. I need to do my best to simply enjoy the opportunity and experience.

  • @teju-abiola Best of luck--you're going to do fine!

  • @eli Thanks!

  • Don't forget to breathe. At the beginning of any new experience, the first day is the hardest, after the first week you'll have your new schedule down. It's short term, so try to soak it in and have a great time.

  • @rhirsch Thanks!

  • @teju-abiola Sounds exciting! Good luck Teju! I hope it all goes well. My advice from various 9-5 non-art jobs is to take a little notebook with you and if someoneโ€™s giving u lots of info on something take some notes. Iโ€™ve found sometimes at a new place it can be information overload at the beginning and it helps to be able to remind myself of things by looking back at my notebook. xX

  • @rachy That's a great idea! I kind of already do that, and I'll remember to carry it over to work. I get overwhelmed really easily so this will help a lot!

  • SVS OG

    @teju-abiola WOAH! I'm so happy for you.

  • @nyrryl-cadiz Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @teju-abiola I hope your 1st day went well ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @rachy It did! Even more excited for the second one!

  • @teju-abiola So glad to hear! I was wondering also and sending good vibes your way ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @eli Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @teju-abiola brilliant ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope the rest of the week goes as well xX

  • SVS OG

    Congrats! I'm sure you'll do great. They're lucky to get such a hard working, enthusiastic intern, whose work is also gorgeous. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As someone who has had 2 different 9-5 art jobs (though each for a relatively short time), my advice is to become the queen of "under promise, over deliver," especially when it comes to delivering art on time. If you're asked how long it will take you to get something done, give yourself a generous margin in case something takes longer than you think (it usually does.) And then if you deliver early, well, happy surprise! If you don't get to pick the deadline, keep in mind how much time you have and choose your concepts accordingly--maybe that complex idea is super cool, but if you need to get it done TODAY, well, maybe this simpler concept is better.
    On a somewhat related note, finding a process that lets you deliver good work on time, rather than endlessly-noodled-with-and perfected-amazing-work late, is awesome. In my first art job, I will freely admit that I was probably one of the poorest artists in the group--some of the work I did then I'm really embarrassed to look at now. I would look at what my co-workers were turning in and feel really inadequate. I didn't know until later, however, that I was the only one there to consistently deliver work on time. That got me a long way with my supervisor, and when she mentioned it to me it made so much more sense why she kept me on.

    Anyway. Probably unnecessary advice (basically boils down to "turn stuff in on time," which we all know from years of school anyway) but you asked ;-).

  • @sarah-luann Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ This is great advice! My mentor told me that he'll start out giving me a lot of work to see what I can handle, so finding a good process to help deliver on time is probably some of the best advice you could have given me.

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