March 27th, 2009

Working For Your Studio

By Emmi Salonen

Working For My Studio

I Love It

I choose who I work for.
I get all the credit.
I design the layout of the studio.
I organize my day around what I want to/need to do.
If I like you and your work, I can ask you to work with me.
If I don’t like you and/or your work, I can ask you to leave.
I make all the decisions.

I Hate It

I make all the decisions.
When there’s no work, there’s no money.
I stress about projects… and money… and time… and the future.
I have to fix the printer/light bulb/accounts/internet/mistakes…
Nobody covers me on my holidays. Do I get a holiday?
I’m not getting enough feedback. Am I evolving as a designer?
I can’t switch off.

Working For Their Studio

I Love It

I get paid every month.
I get paid when I’m ill.
They’ve got all the responsibility.
They have a cleaning person/accountant/IT guy…
When there’s no work, there’s no worries.
They have a lovely studio and they are lovely people.
I learn from them.

I Hate It

I stress about the projects.
They get all the credit.
I have to work with whoever they hire.
They manage my time.
They make the final decisions on my design.
They choose the clients.
I think I could do better if I had my own studio.

Originally from Finland, Emmi Salonen moved to the UK in 1996. She graduated from University of Brighton in 2001 with a BA Hons in Graphic Design. Straight after, she moved to Italy to work at Fabrica, Benetton’s controversial young designers’ melting pot. After a year, she was back in London where she worked a couple of years at Hoop Associates until moving to New York in 2004. There she was with karlssonwilker, a company known for its wit and clever designs. 2005 she relocated again and started running her own practice, called Emmi, based in a converted gun factory in East London, UK.

This essay first appeared in Never Sleep, a book written by Andre Andreev and G. Dan Covert, published by de.MO. Summary: There is a major disconnect between the life of a design student and the transition to being a design professional. To demystify the transition, we share the failures, successes, and surprises during our years in college and progression into the field: the creative process, monetary problems, internships, interviews, mistakes, and personal relationships.