Career Breakout: Graphic Design, Passion Realized

Artists Square’s CEO, Racquel Cruz, knowing the art of Graphic Design is a very diverse and demanding market asked fellow graphic designer and member, Eliot Cruz for his professional view and the following:

“If someone were to ask you where they should start or how to expose their work, what would you suggest?”

If you’re creative and don’t know what career path you’d like to take, you’re not alone. By my own experience, I’ve learned so much. I would advise someone to learn about the different forms of art in the Graphic Design Industry, choose the one that interests them, and go for it.

1. Learn about the different forms of Graphic Design

Taking the path of a graphic designer comes in many different forms. It was not until my later years after college, that my career started to take off. In high school I got the “bug” by hand drawing large structural buildings, so I enrolled in a technical drawing class also known as “drafting.”

My pursuit of becoming an architect was short-lived, but my passion for creativity and my continued education has taken me to a different path and now I’m creating 3d graphics in the Simulation and Training Industry.

2. Choose the form of Graphic Design that interests you

Graphic design is art and comes in many different forms, such as: web design, print, interface design, architectural, simulation, animated movies, gaming, engineering, and much, much more.

Learn what’s out there, and figure out what’s going to interest you the most. Graphic design requires an understanding of presentation and principles; such as page layout, perspective, lines, typography, and of course creativity. You have to make it a point to find what interests you because many design careers can be very technical and detail-oriented. I got lucky in my line of work. Not only do I work on simulation training products, but I get to create all of my company’s marketing graphic demands; such as interface design, logos, posters, brochures, trade show displays and motion-graphics.

3. Stick with the Career Path you Have Chosen

As I have mentioned earlier, life has taken me to a different path from my earliest dreams of what I wanted to do in life, but I feel fortunate to have been working in the Simulation and Training industry. I have flourished in my artistic abilities throughout my career and continue to learn to this day. I have worked in it for quite some time now and love it. (Heck – One day I’m 3d modeling a helicopter and animating missiles being fired. Then the next day creating graphics for the company newsletter) I am fortunate that my path has worked out for me.

If you have a clearer picture (focus) of what you want… you have an advantage. Stick with it. You could be as fortunate in finding your dream job.

Career tip: Passion and investing in yourself will help you grow to be one of the best designers in your industry. Be that person that comes in early and leaves late.

As a manager, I mostly hire people that have a great balance of knowledge, efficiency and quality when producing graphics. For this reason, I personally test most people by giving them an hour to recreate a 3d scene from a photo (which coincidentally is about 50% of our daily tasks).

I recently tested two people. One of them has been in the industry for years, he did well. I gave the same test to a young man who was deaf and right out of school. He did just as well, but didn’t have the same experience as the first guy. I’ll be honest, it did concern me that I’ll have to invest time in training him and that communication could be an issue in this demanding field, but what grabbed my attention the most about this young man, was his passion and excitement about art.

His passion was infectious. His attitude and willingness to learn and grow showed me that he is on his way to finding his path. And to boot, he is one of the best artists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. What he does with a pencil is amazing. Well, I ended up hiring him and he has been doing great ever since.

Career tip: A degree and experience is great, but your passion will push your career further and will give you an edge on the competition.

Unsure as to your first step? I encourage you to go to Autodesk and download a 30 day trial of 3dsmax. Artist’s Square also provides a feature very similar to Photoshop to edit your artwork.

Good luck!

Submitted by: Artist’s Square Member Eliot Cruz. View samples of his work at:

Thank you Racquel for your question and special thanks goes out to Jimmy. For those wishing to reach out directly to Jimmy and/or view his work, he is an active Artists-Square Eliot. For those not part of Artist’s Square, join and let me know your thoughts.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Got Twitter? Follow me @DannyatECS

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