Design insights & tutorials.

The Life and Times of a Go Media Intern

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Hi! My name is Alex and I’m a Go Media intern this summer. I thought it might be fun to write up a post about what I’ve learned, kind of like the ones of past interns Adam, Max, and Joanne. Disclaimer: I’m just a kid trying to figure things out. I don’t know everything and I’ll be the first to admit it.

Glen Infante, Alex Salen, and Dan Black at WMC Fest
Just to clarify, I’m the one in the middle.

Have an ego.

I walked in here with absolutely zero confidence in my capabilities. That’s no good. People say all the time that an inflated ego is bad news, but lack of even a trace of one might even be worse because you’re too afraid to make anything at all or even ask questions. How are you supposed to get better if you don’t take the plunge to make something and let other people see it?
This is one of those “do as I say not as I do” sort of things. I still haven’t mastered this piece of advice that I’m giving you right now.

Design takes time.

Another important thing I learned is that no matter how good the work being produced around you is, the designer didn’t just crap it out in a few minutes. Yes, the more experience you have, the faster the process goes, but it still takes awhile. It’s a hard thing to remember from time to time and easy to assume that the people around you are just flying through projects.

Think.

You don’t have to be a master of the software to be a great designer. There’s more to it. You have to be able to think out a piece first. How will it be composed? What colors will you use? Why? Is your message clear? Do you even have a message? There are some really great pieces out there produced by people who don’t know a lot about the software. Photoshop and Illustrator skills can only take you so far.

Don’t get overly competitive.

Competition is great and leads to some incredible things, but there’s no need to make the design game into one of Me vs. Everyone Else. There’s plenty of design work to go around so long as people keep existing. Each design piece requires a designer with different skill sets and styles. Network. Make friends. Recommend each other for work that you think is suitable. Design shouldn’t be a bloodbath.

Get inspired.

Go out and live. How are you going to make things if you don’t go experience what life has to offer? Travel. Talk to a stranger. Get lost in an unfamiliar town (well, maybe not with these gas prices). Even if you just try a new restaurant, you’re still experiencing different color schemes at the very least. People from different places design differently for a reason. Go see what they see, hear what they hear, etc.
This might seem to counter what I just said about going out and living, but stumble around the vast realms of the Internet. You don’t need to have rhyme or reason, but you’ll see things that will lead to creative thoughts that you might never have had. We all do it anyway, so you might as well have an excuse to do so, right?

Get online.

Get on every social media site you can. At least toy around with them because all it’s going to do is give you exposure. Besides, you never know what’s going to be the next big thing and we all secretly like to know that we were there before it got big.

Ask questions.

Don’t ask everything that pops into your head (you’ll often realize the answer right after you voice it and feel dumb if you’re anything like me), but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Odds are, the person you’re asking has asked the question in the past. Either that, or they don’t know the answer either, but people are generally nice enough to not start screaming at how incompetent you are, how you don’t know anything, why did you get your nose pierced you idiot, etc.

Home is where you make it.

Anywhere can become home, even in 5 weeks. Appreciate it while you have the chance. Thanks, Go Media.

About the Author, Alex Salen

My name is Alex and I'm a summer intern at Go Media. There are few things I love on this earth more than new socks, but art happens to be one of them. Oh, and Pokemon. Pokemon forever.
Discover More by Alex Salen

Discussion

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/John-Cole/1338956299 John Cole

    Nice stuff….thx

  • http://www.facebook.com/lex.singleton Alexander Singleton

    This is a great little article. I must admit I’m guilty of the competitive bit- I make a point now of really making a big deal when I like someone else’s design, rather than being annoyed that I didn’t think it up first. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/medestruit Adam Merkison

      Haha. Competition is what fuels creativity though, so you can’t completely rule it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rickdeancarlson Rick Dean Carlson

    How do you become an intern for GoMedia? I am currently going to be a senior majoring in graphic design and would like to have my design skills put to the test. I would do anything for this amazing opportunity to get an internship at a place like this especially since i need to graduate!

    • http://simonh.me Simon H.

      Hehe Rick, just them your portfolio, you never know! The contact info are on the contact page of their website: http://gomedia.us/contact

  • Anonymous

    Good advice, Alex!  Haha, my favorite quote is “Design shouldn’t be a bloodbath”.  Maybe a fake bloodbath would be kind of fun though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/medestruit Adam Merkison

      2 men enter, 1 man leaves.

    • http://twitter.com/Alex_Salen Alex Salen

      THAT’S what we should have done for my last day!

  • Nick Mersenski

    i really wish i would have went into an internship out of school. It sounds like you’ve had a lot of great opportunities for individual and creative growth there. Wish I could say the same thing about my first job out of college…

    • http://simonh.me Simon H.

      Well, there’s always time to find one now :-)

  • Adribel González

    Interesting indeed! Really useful for someone like me, who’s starting out in the design business. Going out and living is as important as anything else. The best way to get ideas is to stop thinking about that and start focusing on the small stuff. Music helps a lot too.

  • Adribel González

    Interesting indeed! Really useful for someone like me, who’s starting out in the design business. Going out and living is as important as anything else. The best way to get ideas is to stop thinking about that and start focusing on the small stuff. Music helps a lot too.

  • Leonardo D’Aubeterre

    great article! Thanks! 

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