Getting older and working in design

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  • dee-dubs

    I was wondering what experiences people had being older (assume a lot of people here are now the "wrong side" of 40) and working in the design world.

    I haven't worked in a studio for a long time so have been kind of isolated from the design workplace so haven't seen first hand whether there are people still happily working away in their 50s, + 60s or if this is a "young persons game" and the older person is gently led to the paddocks to be put out of their misery.

    Do people here plan to be in design industry for the rest of their working lives or move onto something else?

  • georgesIII0

    no, I don't plan too,
    I plan to be a designer of my life but my exit plan is to go back to the earth

    farmer, etc, I already have a good sized plot

    • already have a plot? awesome man. good luck!jaylarson
    • in italy, georges?Gnash
    • nah, in my home country, Italy was way overpriced, it's italy after allGeorgesII
  • utopian2

    It is a young man's game...the youngins love their parallax scrolling website themes and clip art style logos. Now get off my lawn!

  • pinkfloyd0

    get a facelift

  • yuekit0

    In terms of digital, I think the perception of "young man's game" may be skewed by the fact that the entire industry is still fairly new. I would guess there will be more diversity of age in the future.

    • < I had thought that, i guess if you are around 40 you were there at inceptiondee-dubs
    • Now that everyone is an UX Specialist, UX Developer.utopian
  • utopian0

    I have been slowly migrating to architectural design & architectural sculptural world from visual design over the past five years. I'm hoping to get out of the identity, branding, web and app world sooner rather than later.

  • formed0

    The architect world is hell compared to graphic/web! I did the opposite, came from two degrees in architecture and moved to graphics/web.

    Things evolve and change, like everything. You get older, you do more management stuff/direction, less hands on. And that's a good thing (most of the time).

  • ArmandoEstrada0

    Im 43 and I've been freelancing since I started 20 years ago. I hear what you're saying. These two things worry me:

    1- If my freelance dries up and I have to get a 'real job', I am not sure how many agencies would hire me based on the fact that I don't have 'real world' agency experience. I rent space from a smaller design firm but thats been the extent of it.

    2- I don't know how to do anything that is not creative. I work on TV commercials and photography shoots, so everything that I do is in the creative world.

    I understand where you're coming from. I don't want to end up working in a non-creative job, like Best Buy or something like that.

    Maybe just keep doing what you're doing and plan ahead. I wish I had more advice.

    • I'd hire a freelancer any time. You've proven you don't need supervision to get things done. Plus you understand that 9 to 5 is bullshit...zarkonite
  • monNom1

    Most notable painters did their best work in their 60s or something. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

    • not the same thing at allBen99
    • eh? painting is different than design or an ad campaign.iCanHazQBN
    • really? Have you ever painted something? it's almost the exact same process.monNom
    • That sounded snarky. I guess my point is that the thinking and understanding gets sharper with age, but you've gotta find clients that value that.monNom
    • ^ fully agree with monNomSimonFFM
  • CrimsonGhost11

    I'm posting under a second profile - 50% embarrassment and 50% because some of you know me outside of qbn and I want to be honest.

    I'm 41 and worked for an entertainment company for well over a decade. First as a graphic designer and web developer and ultimately taking on the role of art director for my department. I lost my job in January '13 when the company decided to outsource my department.

    I've been freelancing since then but lately it's slowed down to the point where my wife is basically supporting me. I'm amazed how undervalued our work is. People expect to pay a few hundred bucks for branding work you all know what's involved in creating.

    I, in a very Stockholm Syndrome kind of way tried getting another corporate job. I've gone on many interviews where I'm told I'm "overqualified" which is code for "we can get someone fresh out of school for way less." I even went on one interview where they asked me what I would improve on their sites and how, while a woman took notes and they thanked me for coming in. I saw many of my suggestions implemented on their site a month later. The result of all of which has made me feel unbelievably irrelevant.

    I got to a pretty bad place and tried ending things last month. "Things" being me.

    Yes, I've been getting help. I've always been an artist and creative and I wish I could figure out what my next path should be.

    • It's not easy. Thanks for sharing.Ben99
    • Damn. I share the same sentiment as benfal. Be well man.mrpt
    • It's not easy, but as long as we are alive and healthy, all the rest can go to Hell. We are full of possibilities and we will always find a path.Ben99
    • Sorry to hear it CG, glad you're getting help.EightyDeuce
    • Damn, sorry to hear things got so bad. Hope outlook is starting to look brighterdee-dubs
    • Stockholm Syndrome reference...brillian...utopian
    • Thank you. I'm 36 and can see similar challenges coming on the horizon. It's scary. And I'm single with no one to count on...LOKi
    • the path of a jedi is rarely even, my friend. stick with it, i'm sure your wife will be grateful you didn't give up :)scarabin
    • I wish I had an answer for you, as it pains me to read this. Please let me know if I can help in anyway.Knuckleberry
    • Well played on putting it out there.…
    • If you figured out what your next path was going to be, what would you know? --heydude420USA
    • As cliché as it might sounds, I was in the exact same place as you 3 years ago. and I mean.. exactly the same placeFabricio
    • But time does gets things sorted my friend, hang in there. I didnt have a wife 3 years ago (well, im gay.. haha) but things were looking really bad...Fabricio
    • Looking back now, my life has changed so much lately, and yes, once in a while I get the desperate of (fuck, where are the jobs coming from! There is no work!)Fabricio
    • All I am trying to say is... (in a very inarticulate manner) do not give up, please! Write me an e-mail, and we can chat about this ok?Fabricio
    • Thanks for sharing you too Fabricio. I'm sending positive waves to everyone in here.Ben99
    • I'd hope to think it's obviously your next step to greatness. The universe wanting you to focus on something. Have you figured that out?CGN
    • Allan watts is always a joy to listen too aswell…CGN
    • good one…CGN
    • Shit man. sorry to hear you got into that state. Hard for words from strangers to help but please try to stay positive. Millions of people have bad patches.HAYZ1LLLA
    • Sorry to hear that man. I know this is all just talk on the internet, and people saying try this, try that doesn't actually do much,ESKEMA
    • but that's the only way we can help right now.. Have you tried creating your own product / service? Being less dependent on companies and dealing directly withESKEMA
    • customers might be a solution. Or a path to another solution.. I don't know..ESKEMA
    • i've gone through similar things. it's not easy but don't ever give up. you never know what and when something might happen. i was really surprised a few times.renderedred
    • Fuck... Dude, work is just work, 90% if this is being able to sell yourself! I was a good designer... Not great, but now i pretty much don't even open PS...necromation
    • ... as i'm a CD. Sure it gets tough but death!?! Why let them win?!? Learn to play to your strengths and make yourself wanted... the rest is easy.necromation
    • you've solved many problems in your career, this is now the one you need to work ontimeless
    • teach what you do, mentor students, consult, anything to keep you in the gametimeless
    • thought of this during one of my dark times… now it makes us a few thousand a yeartimeless
    • I love ESKEMA's idea . . . creating your own product / service? Being less dependent on companies - start your own item / thing : field notes? holy ftimeless
    • it's just a blank notebook done well - sorry getting off topic. I know we're all saying things to bring you back up - are you reading these?timeless
    • hope they're helping alongside the help you're already getting. hang in there - I know it sounds like a cat postertimeless
    • Thank you all so much. I wrote a response on Page 2. Too much to add in one note.CrimsonGhost
    • Courageous post CG. Thanks for sharing. I'm hitting 40 too this year.Calderone2000
  • Ben990

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm kinda tired of graphic design sometimes and feel i won't be in the game in 10-15 years but i have zero idea what i would do outside it.

    I think there are too many self-proclamed designers and the profession is been diluted with all those websites offering graphic design for 5$.

    I feel the place to be is into apps and websites design, but i find those very complicated and perpetually changing and I'm very lazy.

    My dream is to create a website with a product, a service or anything else that would make me rack up a small decent salary and live out of it. But i have no idea what to do. I'm lazy and i can't code complexe stuff.

    I have no idea what my professional future will be.

  • BK1

    You guys are bumming me out.

  • spot133

    I've been transitioning to management (in my mid 30's) and now have five staff under me including a graphic designer, web designer, a developer and a motion designer. Some people will be 'doers' forever but generally the more people who work for you, the more money you will make. You also become a mentor and influencer through this direction, which I really enjoy.

  • Ben991

    We live in a very materialistic world (us, Westerners). And our image and what we shine to the others is important in an era of social network. It's easy been scared of not having enough money and a job to be proud of.

    When we reach our 40's+ I think we should be able to progress at another level and put our priorities on other stuff like being in shape, healty and happy with our friends, family and wife/husband.

    Easy to say, i know.

    • I want this as wellKnuckleberry
    • But life is so freakin expensive! Kids, mortgage, bills, food. Everything just goes up so quick...except my wage!BusterBoy
    • True.. i knowBen99
  • Ben991


  • uan0

    we all die at 45. or have you seen Horp around here lately?

    • horp a lorry driver now, he is much bettershoes
    • Logan's Run...I'd better get a wriggle on!BusterBoy
    • You're 15 years dead if your 45 in Logan's town.CyBrainX
    • Hey now. I'm a successful author of children's books about lorries.Horp
  • prophetone1

  • omahadesigns3

    Anyone who starts in their 20's and is any good is just bossing people around by the time they are 35.

    The real money is telling people what to do and going to meetings, not sitting around and setting type and figuring out break points.

    • you don't have to be good, but it's smarter. If we did this just for money, we'd all be broke.ArchitectofFate
  • exador10

    i's not quite as hopeless as it may seem.....
    I'm in my early 40s....about to turn 43 in a few weeks....

    I'm currently the creative director at a small but growing software company, also doing some design consulting for some of our clients as well....

    things change, roles change and we have to kind of change along with them....

    i've finally been learning html and css (lol, in my old age ) and am finding it a lot of fun....
    it's going to be a big help as i can now help turn around my designs a lot faster with that knowledge....

    also, and not to be a smart ass or elitist or anything...but i also learned what value i add ....
    you can certainly teach code to a great many people...

    but design? talent? creativity?

    nope...not so much....

    i've seen first hand for a while now how a lot of the younger set that prides themselves on being hotshit at frontend dev and design aren't 'really' all that smoking hot at all...

    not saying that there aren't some out there..
    but man...

    another thing is with your longevity usually comes a huuuuge skill set.

  • utopian2

    I am currently working on my second architectural project as we next house will be built from a blank slate. I am hoping that this will launching pad into my career as a residential architect. And now my architectural friends are bit envious, which creates a new set of challenges and obstacles. FFS, I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't!

    • < when you say your next house, you mean for you to live in?dee-dubs
    • yes, searching for a lot to build on and or a dilapidated garage/warehouse.utopian
    • Nice, sounds exciting! Im good at putting up shelves if you need help :/dee-dubs
  • _niko0

    think the same, looking to get more into illustration, storytelling and art as I grow older, things that don't rely on or need to keep up with the latest trends, fads and technology to be relevant.