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Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Raleigh, NC
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 12-02-2002 01:18

Hellp Asylumites! I have been away but have returned (the crowd yawnes) Any tips on breaking into a production shop? I have been working for many years in what is classified as "administrative support". This generally covers being a big fat momma hen and having to know something about everything. Over recent years I have studied Photoshop, QuarkXpress, PageMaker, Illustrator, DreamWeaver (did a few low tek web sites) a little Flash and other related softwares, Html, JavaScript with some study in other program languages and other programs.

Guess has resulted in nothing. It seems that no matter what I can contribute I best serve the corporate structure by ordering lunch.

Recently I sent a resume to what MAY result in in interview, but as there is NO, NADA, NOTHING, as fAR AS direction in any class I have taken or book I have read on what a print shop might be looking for I am lost.

Any suggestions are welcome. I may not be able to respond daily but will check back as I can. Many thanks.

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Mpls, MN
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 12-02-2002 05:19

Well I am also in the job market after 14 years in prepress production, the graphic market is oversaturated to say the least.

It realy depends on your job target in the printing industry. Say you are looking for "Prepress Production Artist/Assembler" in a prepress or printing company. My feeling on knowing specific software will only get you so far, it is not enought to know how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark, as one can teach almost anyone to do page page assembly and basic photoshop work. A basic understanding of Color Theory, Color Correction, Print Theory, and a good understanding of the printing process would greatly improve you chances.

One the other had, I my own interviewing. I have been running into money issues, no one wants to pay and the market is saturated with kid just out of school, wanting to get into graphics. Every it seam whats to be come a computer artist these days and they are willing to work of very little.

<Rant> It may be Minneapolis but I see 5-6 ads per night for 3 different schools advertising computer imaging schools, "Come learn how to create compueter games and Multi-Media Graphics." Yea, right. There a whole lot of jobs in that market. Minneapolis has a very large creative community, but very few are hiring and those that are, no longer need to offer much in salary. They must plan on everyone must plan on going freelance, without any experiance. That sounds fun. It seem like taking unfair advantage for youth full dreams and inspirations.</Rant>

I am not I the web biz, but my guess is the basics wouldn't get you very far. Knowing the server side, perl, php and SQL intergration would be a real plus.

I think I may have lost my way in this post, but I hope it will help a little.


PS. The rant helped me. Just getting depressed and sick of loosing jobs to people willing to work for peanuts.

[This message has been edited by jstuartj (edited 12-02-2002).]

Perfect Thunder
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Milwaukee
Insane since: Oct 2001

posted posted 12-02-2002 19:26

Now imagine how it feels for the kids. Do you think that every one of them is actually getting the jobs, low-paying though they may be? For every low-level page assembler forced to use Quark 4.1 on a 1999 iMac at $10/hour, there are ten kids working menial jobs, with their code-shy Dreamweaver skills and twenty-minute-preload-time Flash portfolios curdling around them, turning into a fetid soup of congealed hope.

You're a professional. Even if you have to work to make ends meet, there's a place for you. Have computers done irreparable damage to the required skill and deserved prestige of the printing industry employee? Yes. Any monkey can do 80% of this stuff now, and many monkeys do. The answer? If the industry is shrinking to its new "correct" size, either do what it takes to stay in it, or find a new career. Most people change careers at least twice in their life.

I've got a different but similar problem. Bearing in mind that, at 26.7, I'm a kid myself, I still feel about web design as you feel about print design. There are too many people out there with too little skill, competing for too few jobs among employers who don't appreciate quality when they see it. Milwaukee isn't all that much better than Minneapolis as far as jobs go. Perhaps we should open a pottery studio together?

Then again, here's a tad of (useless) advice for you -- it's not really about what you know, it's who you know. I've been freelancing, with mixed success, for the past five years, and every good job I've gotten, despite applications and cold calls left and right, has been the result of a backroom hookup. A high-volume freelancer friend of mine passes me some projects he's too busy to take; or my auto mechanic happens to mention that he's fed up with his web designer and I swoop like a vulture; or my parents' next-door neighbor lands a programming contract with a company that also needs a site redesign.

This isn't "networking," it's pure luck. How come luck, instead of skill, determines who eats and who doesn't? How come I'm snacking on baked artichoke dip and putting off sending out invoices because I don't need the cash yet; and designers far my superior are sucking down ramen while contemplating which of their computers to pawn to make rent?

At the same time, how come so many sites are made or maintained by people with no skill whatsoever -- people with job security, health insurance, 401k plans? I don't have anything like that, because the "job market" as envisioned in classified ads and job boards is pure c*****n.

Perhaps this should move to the Philosophy forum... and you're vindicated, jstuartj (should I just called you j?), since this rant has rattled on longer than yours.


[This message has been edited by Perfect Thunder (edited 12-02-2002).]

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Raleigh, NC
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 12-03-2002 20:12

Thanks for your thoughts, rants, input! It's a bad job market all the way around for lots of peeps. It seems there are two OddCats on the board? I'm the old one>:}

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