Arts & Entertainment, Design & Style

Life as a Working Designer

David Carson

Lesson time 05:58 min

David offers big-picture advice for designers, ranging from where to base yourself to the merits of working for free.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Live Where Your Work Is • Limit Distractions • Getting Work Seen • Working on Spec


[MUSIC PLAYING] - What is most important to you? Is the work most important? Or is where you live the most important? That will influence your decision, whether you know it or not. So if work is the most important thing to you, go to where that work is. If you want to do Hollywood movie posters, you probably need to go to to Hollywood. If you want to do only record work, maybe you need to be in New York. Maybe you want to do country music posters, then go to Nashville or something. Figure that out. If the work is not what drives you, then your decision is, where do I want to live? And is it, well, do I want to live by the beach? Do I want to live in the mountains? Well, that's fine. Then you go there. Or you want to live wherever, in a little town in the Midwest. And you find what work there is. You pick up what you can. But it's a fundamental decision you're going to make, whether you know it or not. What is really driving you? [MUSIC PLAYING] - In terms of workspace, I think you have to make what works for you a priority. And for me-- and I think a lot of you-- I've just gotten so comfortable on my laptop that I pretty much can work anywhere. I work on planes, I work on the beach in the Caribbean, I work in my apartment in Amsterdam. And I guess the only thing that's really consistent is, I have to at some point, isolate myself and really concentrate. When I work in my apartment in Amsterdam, I don't have internet in there for the very reason that I don't want to be distracted by it. And I can do that during the day, and I can go to my places where I work and some of the-- the work-share places even. But if I'm really concentrating, and I know I need to, then I don't-- I turn off the Wi-Fi. And just don't be disrupted. You know, your work environment has so much to do with your work. If you're working away on something, and maybe the night janitor walks by and says, oh, you're putting that there? And you go, well, yeah, why? No, no, I just-- I just wondered. And they keep going. Well, it self-registers. You know. People in your office, they go, you're going to make that blue? And you know, they're-- there's something for some early collaboration. But at some point, you've got to trust yourself. And hopefully, that's why you were hired. And that's where the best work comes from. Committee design never gets great work. It can get solid work and OK work. And it's rarely horrible because you've got enough weighing in that it's like reasonable. But I don't want to live there. So I would encourage you, at some point in the process, after you've had the meetings, and you've read the brief-- isolate yourself in a place you enjoy working, maybe get your favorite music on, and just-- and that's when I get in kind of my zone. And all of a sudden, three or four hours are gone. And I just-- and the best work comes out of. [MUSIC PLAYING] - You could be the best designer in the world, bu...

About the Instructor

From Ray Gun and Transworld Skateboarding magazines to surfboards and potato chip bags, David Carson changed the trajectory of graphic design by never following the rules or sticking to the grid. Now the pioneering designer is sharing his intuitive approach so you can send a message with boundary-breaking work. Explore typography, photography, logo design, and more as you learn how to make an impact and trust your gut.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

David Carson

Pioneering graphic designer David Carson teaches you his intuitive approach to creating work that breaks rules and makes an impact.

Explore the Class
Sign Up