Advice to New & Aspiring Graphic Designers

I have so far enjoyed five months of employment as a junior graphic designer with The James Agency. I was extremely lucky in landing where I have and am still not quite sure exactly which celestial bodies aligned the day I was offered a job here.

Identifying as an aspiring designer myself, I want to share a few personal mantras I try to embrace daily. Hopefully these will help you on your journey to landing your dream job.

Be curious

Explore what people are doing in the industry. Find a few blogs you like, peek at your colleagues projects and most importantly ask questions. It will kindle your imagination and fuel a desire to improve your skills.

Get a piece of that humble pie and take your bite out

You’ve studied, you’ve practiced, you’ve sketched, you’ve researched, you’ve done THINGS.

But guess what–the people charged with showing you the ropes will always have done more. If you are someone like me, this can feel intimidating, frustrating, and most of all discouraging. Those feelings while challenging can ultimately be fruitful in your journey. The key is to accept them and remember that you are all still learning. Their mentorship is the single most important asset to becoming a stronger designer.

Be hard on yourself

By this, I mean push yourself to be better. Acknowledge your shortcomings and unrelentingly strive to overcome them.

No one is going to make you improve, that’s up to you. Don’t be The Eagles, don’t take it easy.

Get to work early

Being new to the industry I often feel there is not enough time in my day to absorb the things I need to learn. I have conditioned myself to get to work as early as possible every day. This lets me get started on my work and squeeze every learning moment I can out of each day. You will not learn anything by sleeping in. The good news here is eventually you will be able to sleep more–when you are dead.

Hopefully this helped, maybe it didn’t. Either way, get back to work.

John Blades | Junior Graphic Designer


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Veronique James


Veronique founded The James Agency (TJA) in 2005 with the goal of creating an agency focused on open communication and transparency with clients and employees. Today, the award-winning, integrated agency specializes in consumer advertising, public relations and digital and continues to exemplify Veronique’s original vision.

Veronique and her team collaborate to produce creatively-fueled, results-driven campaigns that help clients achieve their goals and positively impact their bottom line. Under Veronique’s direction, TJA has been honored with numerous industry and culture awards, including being named to the Inc. 5000 and Entrepreneur Top Company Cultures lists.

Actively involved in the community, Veronique is currently a member of Entrepreneur’s Organization, Arizona Chapter. She served as the organization’s third female president in 2017/2018. She has received numerous accolades for her leadership, entrepreneurship and community involvement.

Veronique is originally from Southern California and graduated with a BFA in Visual Communication from the University of Arizona.

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