"I'm Graduating: Now What?" Meet Our Speakers, Pt. 1

GraduatingNowWhat-Carousel.jpgNext Tuesday, March 18th, we'll be hosting our next speaker event titled "I'm Graduating... Now What?". Our panel of designers and illustrators has had the full-range of experiences, from full-time work to freelancing to working from home on the side of other jobs to turning those side jobs into full-time businesses. And they'll be sharing their tales of how they found those jobs, what they found most difficult and how their experiences can help YOU in your own hunt for work.

Read on to meet the first 3 of our 6 panelists and click here for more details and to get your ticket. (Don't forget SPD Student Members are free but you still have to sign up for a ticket!)

"I'm Graduating... Now What?"  //  SPD-U Speaker Event
Meet Our Panelists, Part 1

T. LeClaire is currently the in-house graphic designer for rag & bone working on a variety of design projects that divide equally between web and print. He has received his BFA in Communication Design from Parsons the New School for Design and a DEC in Professional Photography from Dawson College in Montreal. T has taken part in 4 internships during his studies at Parsons, all ranging in retail and editorial design. As well as working in-house, he takes on freelance projects that focus on branding, print and web design. (Editor's Note: We can't help but brag that T was also a winner in our 2012 Student Design Competition. And speaking of that, be sure to check back with us tomorrow as we begin to announce this year's winners!)

SPD-U: How'd you get your first job or internship?
T: My first full-time gig was actually rag & bone. A friend of mine just finished up an internship there and told me they were looking. Funnily enough, I wasn't interested at first because it was labelled as an internship and at that point I felt I'd done enough (4!) of those. But I took the interview anyway and found out they were flexible and turned it into a freelance paying job. Two months later they gave me a full-time offer as their first in-house graphic designer.

Kristie Bailey is a creative individual devoted to the expression of challenging ideas via editorial design. She has been recognized by SPD for her work in Howler Magazine and O, the Oprah Magazine. Currently working as an associate art director at Popular Mechanics and a freelance designer at large, she designs intricate, unexpected, and colorful features and infographics.

SPD-U: How'd you get your first job or internship?
Kristie: I found my first job through old-fashioned hard work and a bit of luck: I reached out to designers that I really greatly admired, and asked for the chance to learn from them. They happened to have an opening and were willing to take a risk on an unproven designer.

Brett Affrunti is an illustrator and artist based out of Brooklyn, NY. He is an alumni of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with clients such as The New Yorker, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and more. He lives and works in his Brooklyn home with his wife, Ashley, and dog, Mason. He also collects magazines from the 1950s and 1960s such as Boy's Life, Saturday Evening Post, and Sports Illustrated.

SPD-U: How'd you get your first job or internship?
Brett: My first job out of school was actually for an illustration representation agency as an office assistant. It allowed me to really learn the ins and outs of freelancing, illustration, and commercial design as a business. My first commission was about a month after I graduated, for a small magazine called "Washington CEO". It was a half-page illustration, and I remember I was over the moon to get a job at all! I believe the Art Director that I worked with responded to an email promo that I had sent out a few days prior, so she called with a job as soon as one came in.

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