These are some of my notes from reading “Don’t Get a Job, Make a Job” by Gem Barton.
Release early and release often. Don’t just rely on a cv to tell your skills, create proof! (p.23)
Your personality is your brand. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself.
Go to the clients, don’t make them come to you.
“Having a hook that is a perfect match for your business needs as well as a strong brand identity is the ideal situation to put yourself in.”
“…we learn most when we act on our ideas instead of questioning them to death.” –
the Free Architecture stall idea broke down the barrier for having a conversation with architects.
Build your ideas for the world to see so that you become a familiar name. e.g. an architecture student built his masters project inside a bus which he then drove around to present.
Specialism versus Diversity
Competitions that you entered for well know brands are a good conversation point in interviews. Think of how you are spending your time now . This might prompt a tough decision of what you need to give up in order to pursue what will realistically get you the jobs that you want.
Experience – “work for others in order to understand how the industry works from the inside, how to deal with clients and suppliers, and how to manage a studio in the best way.” (p. 78)
“…always be alert to what surrounds you, work for others before you start your own studio, and be very patient”.
“The results are stronger when you exchange ideas with people. ”
“Build best case scenarios in your imagination”. Write a few fake CVs of possible futures and print them out.
Going it alone vs teaming up
“Hard work and commitment beat almost any other trait” (p.95). Do what you love and trust your instincts – this is common advice but at the end of the day you still need to support yourself. It’s up to yourself to put your name out there.
“Getting a diversity of experience matters, particularly if you’re going solo.” (p.96)
When you’re making a name, don’t think of who you are now, but what you want to become.
Don’t become a hermit. If you’re going it alone then networking outside the studio will be even more important. “Look for arenas to continue critical dialogues to test your ideas”. (p.97)
“Even within a team you need to be individual”
“Do everything yourself at the beginning – book-keeping, meetings, clearing up, building, drawings – it is important that you have an understanding of all aspects of practice as well as the life of the things you design.” (p.105)
“When starting a collective, it is important to set out a shared goal, a mission statement or similar, summarizing who you are, who you want to be, and the ethos behind the work you hope to produce.” (p.107)
“work out who you are and then express that”
“Don’t wait for things to happen – you are the one who can create your opportunities. Draw the art you want to see, create the events you want to attend, write the books you want to read” (Mega, p.121)
“If you have to show your portfolio to someone, highlight your ideas instead of your technical abilities….Get out of your comfort zone”.