The Job Hunt

I've been looking for work since last November-ish, on and off, for full-time and contracting positions. I've landed a few freelance gigs and a sales position at new menswear company Trumaker, technically as an independent contractor. So, no regular paycheck or benefits since last October. I love the flexibility of my schedule, but it's also nice not to have to pay for health insurance that I never use, but keep in case I get hit by a bus. Actually being hit by a cyclist is more likely, but I digress.

As a nerdy creative type I've been drawn to data visualization ever since I can remember. I didn't learn the term until fairly recently, but I would examine charts, graphs, and tables in my elementary school text books. They were efficient: all the information, laid out, organized. Not like those messy paragraphs on the other side of the page. Every visualization needs data, so I mined some from my job search. I went through emails and online recruiting portal accounts to pinpoint when I applied, if they responded, and if they did, how long it took. 

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I chose to keep the companies anonymous, but a good chunk of them are Bay Area startups. Most applications were for creative positions, others were either project management or office administration. The blank space prior to New Years was my holiday vacation, and the other follows my hire date with Trumaker, which makes sense. One company took 105 days to respond to my application, which I had completely forgotten about. More facts:

Average response time: 16.625 days

Average response time (less 105 days outlier): 4 days

Response rate: 50%

Success rate: 12.5%

* I only got one job (contracting) that was what I applied for, the other turned into a separate freelance opportunity. 

So what can we infer from this data? Expect to hear from a company within a week, and it will probably be a 'no.' If you don't hear from them, that's probably a 'no' too, but they could just be waiting several months to tell you. I am not discouraged, however, as I move forward. I plan to double my efforts now that I have a clearer sense of what I want to do. Fingers crossed, readers!

Color Palettes

You've seen these things around the Internet, I'm sure. Photos or screen caps of hip directors' hip movies are dissected and eyedroppered into 4-6 circular "swatches" of color. Part of me thinks this practice is lame – the epitome of faux-ethereal, girly blogging about cool interior spaces and the magic of succulents. But part of me thinks it's useful in the process itself of clicking around the image with the Eyedropper Tool, taking note of the subtle changes in hue in the shadows and highlights. 

Image via 500px, © Oleg Oprisco

Image via 500px, © Oleg Oprisco

Another interesting take-away from the 20 minutes I spent on these this morning was how a seemingly distinct color really isn't that distinct. For example, Ms. Flowers-for-a-Head below has clear blue eyes, right? WRONG. They're all kinds of shades of blue, and purple, and gray. These are things I know, of course, about the so-called building blocks of a digital image (pixels) but there's a metaphorical extraction to be made here. What that is... I'm not sure. I've only had one cup of coffee. 

Image via 500px, © Oleg Oprisco

I proffered these images from this article on the work of photographer Oleg Oprisco, who uses cheap medium format cameras to make the surreal images you see here. I like most of it – it's the kind of stuff I wished I was making in art school. I did go stand in the rain a few times with an umbrella and/or a dress, but that's about as far as I got. At least, I never set anything on fire. Hats off to you, Oleg Oprisco!

Image via 500px, © Oleg Oprisco

Image via 500px, © Oleg Oprisco

New goodies

It's difficult for me to walk past Japantown here in San Francisco without stopping and spending at least 30 minutes in the Kinokuniya Book Store, browsing through cook books, design tomes, and eclectic Japanese fashion mags. I've encountered some strange things in that store, but mostly it's full of great and cute things. Today I splurged a little and got the latest issue of Kinfolk, an Eggling that will one day (hopefully!) become a cactus, and a book called Whet My Appetite: Culinary Graphic Design.

Die hard fans/readers of this blog may already know, but I've recently gone full-on freelance with my photography, design, and all kinds of nerd skills. I got this particular book on design because I love love love food, food packaging, menus, and anything else having to do with food. I can work with anyone (except maybe a few kids on the playground...) but I'd love to work with restaurants, cafes, and independent gourmets. I figured I'd get some printed research into my hands for inspiration, even if I have to make up a few places to get my portfolio a bit more expansive. You can, of course, check it out here anyway.