When it comes to joining the workforce, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. There are many paths to a great career, and the success of a company often depends on different skill sets and perspectives. This is certainly true for creative jobs like designers, creative directors, illustrators, graphic artists, visual designers, copywriters, web designers and more.
To find out about jobs in the arts, we spoke with Kelly Blumberg, head of graphics at Old Navy. She provides insight into a creative career path she prefers and how club kids interested in the arts can build a successful art career of their own.
With the number of creative jobs on the rise, he reminds us that creative and art are vital to a brand’s success because creatives literally make a brand! Without the lead creative roles within a company (and the brilliant minds to fill those positions), there would be no product, no online presence, and no story to tell. Here’s more on how young people can harness their artistic talents in careers of their choice.
What is a career in the arts?
Although many people can literally equate jobs in the arts Creating art, Kelly reminds us that there are many different skills and roles in a creative career. In fact, companies like Old Navy have multiple departments that are directly influenced by the creative approach.
Creatives often work in cross-functional capacities that bring solutions to problems revolving around efficiency, cost effectiveness and operations. Some examples of creative roles at companies like Old Navy include:
- creative director – Determines the brand’s creative vision and oversees the creation of digital and print content to support that vision
- designer – It is an all-encompassing title that can fit into various categories including product or pattern design
- Digital Designer – Creative team members that include web or app designers, graphic designers and UX (user experience) designers
- Creative Strategist – A member of the marketing team focusing on the overall marketing and advertising plan, as well as creative solutions according to the company’s strategy
- Visual Merchandiser – Attracts and motivates shoppers by creating dynamic visual product displays and in-store environments
Modern companies like Old Navy benefit from a creative mindset throughout the organization. As such, visual art plays an important role, and so do creative techniques. Being a creative strategist means thinking outside the box and creating solutions to challenges in business operations. For example, in the apparel industry, a strategist might develop new ways to reduce waste or continuously improve sustainability in apparel design.
Pursue a creative path
Kelly did not follow a traditional path in his art career. As a self-taught designer, he was driven by his passion and desire, simply put “Yes.” She explored available courses to teach herself the basics – diving in with curiosity and determination. From there, he chose as many creative jobs as possible to gain practical, real-world experience. “Hands-on learning is so powerful,” she says, “and these days we have resources at our fingertips to learn about anything using platforms like YouTube.”
Leading from her experience, Kelly advises the kids at the club to try different things. He suggests exploring different creative opportunities until passion strikes. Kelly realized through her experiments that creating art for the things she loved was not only a work opportunity, but also extremely gratifying on a personal level.
With career ideas in mind, youngsters can choose their path to achieve their dream role. For some, this may mean a more traditional path, such as going to design school. For others, a non-traditional approach may be more appropriate. This includes finding projects for online tutorials, creative mentors, and even hands-on experience.
Advice for young creatives
Kelly is a big advocate for the non-linear path to a creative career. When asked what advice she would give to club kids interested in creative jobs but unsure where to start, her response was simple: Try everything.
Here are five more tips for club kids:
Be curious and open to opportunities, And then say “yes” to them even if you’re unsure how to execute them. In this day and age, there are countless ways to learn, including free tutorials or boldly seeking advice from others in the field.
Use available resources. We have an infinite number of resources at our fingertips. Use the tools available to help you build your skills — from YouTube videos to webinars to in-person classes or workshops.
Find a mentor Talks with other creatives to ask for advice, insight, or guidance. Finding a mentor is a great way to learn about a new career from someone who is already in the field, and many creative aspiring professionals are happy to share their experiences.
Give yourself space to create And try different things in different ways. The path will become clearer for young people who recognize when their emotions are activated. Allow your unique style to take shape!
Be brave, be humble, And put yourself out there. Don’t give up! Having the courage to share your vision with the world can be scary sometimes. But it can be amazing opportunity.
Discovering a job in the arts starts here
Boys & Girls Clubs helps youth nationwide identify and pursue their passions in the creative arts. Through mentorship and exploratory learning, kids at the club can find their way in an immersive way so they are prepared for an art career when the time is right. Find out more about how clubs support children to confidently pursue careers in the arts.
Old Navy has supported the Boys & Girls Club for 20 years — a true legacy partner. Old Navy’s partnership combines local community involvement and in-store donation drives with employee volunteerism aimed at helping youth dream big.