Drew de Soto is the author of the popular ‘Know Your Onions‘ series of books. His new book What to put in your portfolio and get a job: Graphic Design is now available at a discounted price for blog readers at Articul8publishing £5.50 + P&P instead of £6.50 + P&P until August 31 2014 – coupon ‘Knockabitoff’. Here we talk to Drew more about his work, the creative industries, creative graduates, his future & more.
What first attracted you to the creative industries?
Well, I nearly joined the army, which would have made a very different creative choice, my camouflage makeup would have been the best. But I think the reason I went into graphic design was it was a step away from art, and a step towards business. I really liked the idea of a ‘commercial artist’, I still do.
What inspires you to stay involved and be such a big part of the industry today?
I still love it. We all do don’t we. Graphic designers are a breed apart. What other industry is there where the norm is to have a side project? You don’t get many plumbers say ‘yer, I’m making 10ft sculptures out of pipe work’, although I did show a scaffold’s work in our gallery once.
I’m not sure I’m a big part of the industry. I’m not really a ‘name’, I’ve just written a few books that people seem to like.
Tell us more about your latest book in the Know Your Onions Series?
The first two in the series, Know Your Onions: Graphic Design and Know Your Onions Web Design have been doing really well. They are reasonably large books and tend to cover most bases in not too much detail.
When we have work experience or interns come to see us, it seems they all have similar concerns. Typical issues are how to go about getting yourself and your portfolio into shape ready to apply for a job. So I wrote What to put in your portfolio and get a job: Graphic Design. For such a long title, it’s a small book, but imparts knowledge from a potential employers point of view.
I’ve already had a few people say it has directly help them land their dream job. I couldn’t ask for more than that.
Do you think creative graduates are getting enough advice and support today?
No. I don’t think they ever have. Part of the problem is who’s responsibility is it? Employers, as the government would have you think. Government, as employers would have you think, or universities as students would have you think.
Can you see the numbers of creative graduates increasing in the future? Are we close to reaching a point where demand for creative jobs is outreaching the numbers available?
I don’t think I know the figures to be able to comment. But it does seem that everybody out there is a graphic designer. I will say that the quality and competition is far, far better and bigger than when I was a pup with a crayon in my hand. You only have to look at creative blogging and portfolio sites to see just how good some of the work is. Today of course, it rarely matters where that person is in world the either…
Can we expect to see more Know Your Onions Books in the future?
Yes. My publisher wants me to write ‘How to set up and run a successful Design agency’. In the small range, we have brought on board some experts in intellectual property and copyright and sales/new business.
What’s your next challenge for 2015? Do you have any target’s you’d like to reach?
I’ve been in business (my own business) for 15 years. I’m going to take a look at my established business and pretend I’m a start up. I really want to get a different view on how I could do things differently…
Drew de Soto Author of: ‘What to put in your portfolio and get a job: Graphic Design‘
Available at a discounted price for blog readers at www.articul8publishing.com £5.50 + P&P instead of £6.50 + P&P until August 31 2014 – coupon ‘Knockabitoff’