x4vi4_r3d Would like your thoughts on : Graphic design/Ilustration?
After 6 years in Uni on the wrong course (health issues/bereavement etc. affected my attendance and performance), I have decided to pursue my dream of becoming a graphic artist/illustrator. I don’t have any formal training, but I used to draw very well as a teenager and have recently taken it up again to rediscover/hone my skills.

I am already looking into getting my hands on the Adobe Creative Suite program for my Mac with a goal to start my own business in this area. My question is – will I really ‘need’ to go back to College/Uni to do a relevant course to be successful? I have seen a 2-year College course that seems to tick all the boxes, but I am a little reluctant to go “back to school” for another 2 years….more than, if I have to go back to Uni again afterward. Any advice will be appreciated (thanks in advance).

Some answers received :

Answer by Mr.Boombastic
I’ve worked in and around the graphic design field for over 10 years and must say that since technology, especially computer design software, continues to evolve at such a rapid pace, going back to school may only give you a foundation. If you are already familiar with design software from the Adobe Suite package and have a basic knowledge of deisgn/illustration, it may be a waste of time. In my experience, I’ve noticed that if you know one program, you can learn the others fairly quickly. However, research computer classes and adult education classes in your area to see what they offer. If you don’t have the foundation I spoke of, this may help you develop. These classes are cheaper and last typically 5-6 weeks. You won’t get a degree, but you will get the knowledge. Hope this helps. Good luck. It is a fun and creative field. Stay with it.

Answer by gromit801
In the Graphic Arts Supervisor where I work, and the best advice I can offer you, is to get a job for awhile in a print shop. Learn the production side of things, learn pre-press operations.

What ever you learn to create, still must be produced, and more often than not, the way you create something depends entirely on how it’s going to be produced.

I am constantly being sent designs for any number of things, that don’t have the necessary design attributes to be properly printed. I’ve had to get on the phone, and talk “Graphic Artists” through the process of how to create bleeds. Something very basic.

Whatever you do, do NOT do spec work. Your time is worth something. A lawyer or a doctor doesn’t work on spec, neither should you.

Here’s a good forum to check out. http://www.graphicdesignforum.com/

Answer by petew22
I am currently studding graphic and design at Leeds Met uni, and personally it’s a self motivated course, you have to learn the software your self. If I was you I would find a course that does night classes. Use Google tutorials and buy magazines to help you get familiar with programs, that how I am learning.


This is a really good site they have set brief to work from to get creating and enter the competitions.
Check it out could be useful to help get you started.