Expectations vs Realities: Starting my Internship

Expectations vs Realities: Starting my Internship

Hey everyone, it’s me, Justin! The newest addition to The Artoholiks internship program (or Space Camp, as we call it)! Let’s talk about that.

Starting an internship is interesting. You never know what to expect. “Intern” has so many meanings that as a job title it’s become almost meaningless. We all know someone whose entire internship was getting coffee and doing small menial tasks under the guise of “experience.” The other side of the spectrum is being mentored by your supervisor and doing work that interests you and learning a lot along the way.

But you never know how it’s gonna go! Some design internships consist of being handed last year’s projects and being told to make an updated version for this year. While you will still learn a lot along the way, its not the super creative endeavor you might hope for.

Expectation: A smile and a handshake upon walking in.
Reality: A welcome sign! (and those other things too!)

So going into the Artoholiks I expected something along those lines. I expected to be making stuff that wasn’t super interesting to me. I expected that my interactions with the rest of the team would be mostly about work. I expected feeling hurried to eat my lunch quickly so I could get back to work.

What I did not expect was being so heavily involved with the entire design process. Being asked to update the newsletter was a job I expected. Being asked to give it a redesign from the ground up was an unexpected, but greatly appreciated, challenge. (Be sure to sign up for the newsletter by the way so you can check it out later this month!). I was not expecting to be invited to meetings with important clients. I was not expecting I would be asked for my thoughts, feedback and critiques so quickly.

Expectation: working on my laptop in the corner.
Reality: This sweet setup with a second monitor and a graphics tablet! And a little welcome bag to take home!

I feel like the biggest fear someone may have about starting any new job, or joining a new team of any kind, is not feeling like you are an important part of the team. I have never felt so welcomed and important at a job or internship than I have this past month, and that makes me so excited for the months ahead.

What I Learned: How To Think

What I Learned: How To Think

My thoughts on thinking

If there’s anything I’d say is required for making a piece of art, it’s inspiration…

And sometimes inspiration is hard as hell to come by. Everybody hits walls while writing, exercising, learning something… honestly anything that you’ve gotta put effort into you can find yourself at a stand still at some point. It’s hard to get through and it sucks, you feel like your brain just decided to turn off, and there’s no hope of turning it back on.

Sometimes when this happens to me I have a real quick chat with my brain, something along the lines of:

Me: Hey I’d like to finish this project that’s due tomorrow please, it’s kinda important.
My brain: How about I think about some random shit that doesn’t have to do with it instead.
Me: Is there anyway you cou-
My brain: Nah.

It’s frustrating, but it happens, a lot. So, if you’re pursuing a creative career this is something that you kinda have to learn how to deal with really effectively. And what I’m going to say may seem basic but it’s something that I’ve seen time and time again here at the Artoholiks. The best way to get through a wall is to have other people to brainstorm with, and that’s the truth! It’s simple but it works, why waste hours by yourself sitting in front of a computer putting your fingers to your temples like you’re professor X in an attempt to get some kind of inspiration when you can just use other people’s brains?

And even though “Using other peoples brains” might sound like something a super villain in a cartoon might say it’s what you gotta do. Getting a bunch of people with a bunch of different perspectives gets you out of your own head (the one that doesn’t want anything to do with what you’re trying to accomplish) which is exactly what you need at that moment. That’s what the office here is always like, no matter what it is, whether its a photoshoot, a logo design, or planning an event, Iquan, Aaron, and Rasheedah are always bouncing ideas off of one another. Watching it happen everyday I come in is always an intensely fun and helpful experience because they are constantly inspiring each other and myself with an infectious energy.

So, the take away here is, when your brain isn’t working, just use someone else’s.