This website has been circulating recently containing short, 5 question interviews with the worlds best designers. Surprisingly, I'm not in the running to make the list, but I wanted to answer the questions anyway, so here are my answers exactly how that would appear if I made the list.
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
I didn’t go to school for this. I had to work really hard to learn what I know, by myself, using the internet while still living at home and not knowing what I was going to do with my life. I had to discipline myself to learn and create a bunch of work with no immediate return, and put it up on a bad website I created, hoping that someone would notice. That was a hard season, albeit a rewarding one.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Send a resume with a link to your Flickr account with work from 4 years ago. Be late to a meeting and hang your hat on the fact that you have a B.F.A. Have no online presence whatsoever and then tell me you’re a forward thinker.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
I wish I knew that landing a full-time gig is not the end goal. I spent a lot of time and energy trying to get hired, trying to find my place in the world that when I got the job, I let my foot off the gas pedal. I was thinking with a short-term mindset. Also, never stop learning about everything. Be a student of the world around you, especially if you didn’t go to school. People will come into your life with more technical prowess then you, who will be more convincing that you, and you have to be quick to outlearn them, not for the sake of beating them, but for the sake of bettering yourself.
Don’t be afraid to show your work.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Recently I’ve been waking up at 6 am every morning, weekends included. Im forcing myself to be a morning person not because I like it, but because I see the benefits of starting your day of with a couple hours of uninterrupted peace. I like being organized, so any tools, digitally or physically, that accomplish that goal makes me less distracted and more efficient. I try to carry around a Field Notes and I write everything down that comes to mind.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
Linchpin by Seth Godin, Steal like an Artist and Show your work by Austin Kleon, the Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook, It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be by Paul Arden.