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Creative Career Stories


Creative Career Stories Further findings from the Creative Graduates Creative Futures project – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Creative Career Stories

Creative Career Stories
  • Further findings from the Creative Graduates
    Creative Futures project

  • Reminder of the methodology
  • Key findings from the main stage
  • Themes from the follow-up work
  • current work (one year on)
  • finding work career facilitators
  • impact of the recession on lives and careers
  • the value of a creative education
  • looking to the future
  • Over to you

Methodology Main stage
  • Partnership of 26 institutions
  • design, sampling and administration of survey
  • 27,000 graduates
  • census of art, design, craft media graduates
  • Surveyed Sept to Dec 2008
  • postal survey, online survey, telephone support
  • 8 page questionnaire down from 20 pages
  • 3,500 respondents (14)
  • Creative Graduates Creative Futures report (Jan

Methodology Follow up
  • Email survey
  • 8 open text questions
  • mailed to approx 2,000 respondents
  • during Sept/Oct 2009 (mid/end of recession)
  • 400 responses (23)
  • Depth interviews
  • semi-structured conversation (up to an hour)
  • transcribed and summarised
  • 40 case studies/graduate stories
  • Creative Career Stories report (November 2010)

Key findings from the main stage
  • Majority working, and in creative occupations
  • Complex picture of employment
  • spread across multiple jobs (portfolio working)
  • high levels of self employment
  • still high incidence of unpaid work
  • and low pay
  • High levels of satisfaction
  • Different career drivers
  • Continual skill development
  • Model for other graduates?

Current work one year on
After graduating, I worked as a runner for
various TV production companies on and off,
whilst doing some freelance print design work for
local companies where I live, whilst working in a
pub part-time too. After a year I found a job on
a production website for a runner at a motion
graphics company. There I worked my way up from
runner, to designer, to lead designer. Before
taking the decision 4 years later to continue as
a designer and director on a freelance basis
Six months after graduating I got a job as a
camera trainee making commercials. It gave me a
lift. I thought, God this is really good, theyve
got proper, grown up cameras Ive made it.
Since then Ive probably done 300 jobs in one
form or another it evolves constantly. Three or
four years ago I made the move and called myself
director of photography. I could have earned a
lot more as a camera assistant but I was
deliberately trying to jump around on different
things. And accidentally I became a teacher
  • Some early turbulence
  • Settling into and progressing in their careers
  • broadening experience
  • managerial responsibilities senior roles
  • continuation of personal creative practice
  • Portfolio careers and self employment still key
  • Gravitation towards teaching
  • Importance of public and third sectors

Examples of current work roles
  • Creative Design Assistant
  • marketing work Community Improvement
  • running a graphics design company
  • Aftercare Worker for specialist addiction charity
  • Senior Designer supplying high street stores
  • Promoting live arts acts in arts
    centres/community groups
  • running a music based charity
  • freelance design work
  • Self employed fashion designer surfwear company

Examples of current work roles
  • Teacher of art, technical theatre, technology and
  • Marketing Assistant at a health care charity
  • produce own work (sculpture, photography, film
    and writing)
  • Research post at a London university
  • fund-raising for local theatre group
  • writing for media
  • Senior Production Design Engineer
  • Working at an Animation Studio in California

Finding work
The biggest help has always been from people I
have worked with in the past and/or ex-tutors
putting in a good word for me
I got a funded placement straight after
university. The placement company werent paying
me to be there so I could oversee other people
and do my own work as well, without the pressure
of having to churn out really good quality stuff
straightaway. Learning alongside professionals
was good. It gave me some pieces of work to put
on my show reel, so I had a better show reel as a
result. And I got a few more contacts through
working there, so found my first job quite
quickly after the placement
  • First jobs via
  • personal contacts
  • networks
  • placement experiences
  • Unpaid work to get a foot in the door
  • Trying out different kinds of work
  • Some degree of compromise
  • Feeling that HE could do more!

The key decision I have made since graduating
has been to continue to change jobs when I
stopped learning and growing as a designer. I did
everything I could to try something different
with each job before settling on to my current
Career facilitators
Impact of the recession
  • Resourcefulness and persistence
  • Income and growing creative ventures
  • Risk taking
  • Competition
  • Teaching safe haven (?)
  • Decisions about further study and development
  • Focus on long-term (recovery)

The value of a creative education
  • Opportunity for personal exploration
  • Learning by doing
  • Learning from others (the critique)
  • Access to work experience
  • Developing technical skills
  • Developing workplace skills and attributes
  • Business education
  • Confidence building

Looking to the future
I think Ive done really well. I have progressed
in certain ways moved to different areas of
print design, started doing a lot of childrens
wear, T-shirts but I mainly still do the same
thing I have always done but the skills and
techniques have progressed. Going to New York has
given my work a real boost youre in the middle
of the industry and its an eye opener. My
success is that Im still doing what I set out to
do in the first place, and that Ive managed to
make a living out of it. Ive got better and
better at what I do.
  • Key success factors and drivers
  • stay creative
  • develop new work and ideas
  • have greater control
  • learn new skills
  • gain recognition customer satisfaction
  • facilitating creativity in others
  • become sustainable
  • Financial gain vs personal development?

Where do we go from here?
  • What are the key challenges for HE? for the
    creative sector?
  • How can we prepare our graduates for entry to the
    sector? and for building sustainable careers?
  • Where next for the research?
  • what else do we want to know?
  • how can we continue to use the data?

thank you