Memorization is a skill that gets you far in life, especially when you’re taking a test, singing a song or reciting a movie script.
As for one of our graphic designers, Tim Olech, the original Skip-it and 1992 Perfection by Milton Bradley commercials are 100% ingrained in his brain. While he calls it a curse, we like to think of it as one of many quirks, forms of ingenuity and abilities that make him the creative, conscious graphic designer he is today.
Pursuing graphic design
Tim knew he wanted to take up a career in design around his sophomore year of high school. He was very much interested in becoming an artist of some sort, so he decided that graphic design was an ideal route that would allow him to express his creativity while producing a consistent living wage.
After pursuing his dream of studying graphic design at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts, Tim got his hands on as many small freelance projects as he could manage. He even approached the owners of a butcher shop he used to work for when he learned they were interested in expanding into visual advertising and social media. He helped design brochures and signs for the shop, but when that slowed down, he found more part-time work and kept freelancing until he made his way to Brafton, full-time, in June 2018.
Getting into content marketing
Tim didn’t exactly picture himself in content marketing for his profession, but has found his experience thus far both engaging and insightful.
“For most of my life I had focused on the content and not so much on the marketing of it,” he said. “The only experience I had was with making a podcast I previously worked on. Promoting and posting across multiple social platforms, tweaking keywords and tags to try to get organic traffic – that was my only previous experience with content marketing. But I’ve learned quite a bit at Brafton, so maybe I’ll have a better idea which direction to go for any future projects.”
He doesn’t mean to be cliche, but Tim stressed the fact that he loves being able to create every day at work. There were instances down his professional path when he didn’t have the flexibility to be creative and put his design skills on display, but his career at Brafton flipped this, and for that, he’s grateful.
“Troubleshooting and adapting to a situation is an incredibly valuable skill.”
For other aspiring graphic designers – who may be interested in pursuing a career in content marketing – Tim said adaptability is a top skill to acquire.
“I think troubleshooting and adapting to a situation is an incredibly valuable skill,” he said. “Illustration and design ultimately rely on the clients and you’ll most likely have to change something or move things around to accommodate any edits that may come back. This may be more applicable to writing, but it is important to keep in mind that you might have to ‘kill your darlings.’ ”
Other tips and tricks – from both a creative and general perspective – suggested by our graphic designer include:
“Don’t be afraid of critique. Make sure you backup everything. Remember to eat meals regularly. Don’t smoke face down in bed. Drink water.
But ultimately, use every experience as a learning experience.”
From tech and finance to consumer goods and real estate, there are many different industries that come through the design department. Personally, Tim loves working with clients who have actual physical products, because he really enjoys the type of work that comes out of it. Some clients with higher SME can be tricky, with terms that don’t quite lead to illustration as easily, but Tim finds that extra research gives more context and leads to a more interesting illustration.
“Don’t be afraid of critique … Use every experience as a learning experience.”
If one thing’s for sure, it’s that Tim is undeniably appreciative of the opportunity given to him by Brafton. Not everyone can say they love coming to the office and crunching the keyboard five days a week, but Tim loves every chance he has to get creative in the workspace.
“I’ve said it before, but I’m so thankful that I get to go to work and create art, Monday through Friday. No matter the type of clients or project; the good or the bad, I still love coming into work.”
“Also, Bagel Monday doesn’t hurt.”