Mike Robinson

My dorm at Kent State University

Another shift gonna come

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I remember a cold crisp November evening sitting in my dorm room working on a new drum track or designing something on a cracked version of Photoshop CS…delaying the fact that I needed to decide on a major. At the time it seemed like I had to choose a path and that I would be forever set in that direction. The fact that the degrees were literally housed in two separate buildings didn’t help the matter either.

I was interested in marketing and advertising. I had dreams of owning my own business. I eventually chose business. As soon as I finished and went into the real world, I quickly realized that most of the techniques they taught me we’re already outdated.

it’s hard to fathom it now, but when I was making those choices, the information that was taught, and had been taught for years before, was not up-to-date with the possibilities of today. social media was born when I was a freshman in college I was one of the first thousand or so people to ever sign up on Facebook. I had been sharing handheld video content of my band and recording sessions and uploading them on video service platform. I had been building websites since the late 90s. and I would encounter a chapter or two on what would later become known as digital marketing.

I recently heard a conversation with Aaron Limonick, a concept artist at activation blizzard, he described a similar situation at a similar time. Limonick studied at the arts center talked about how there wasn’t even a field of concept art when he was studying. And when he stepped out into the real world, he had to quickly develop the ability to adapt and learn. he went on to talk about how there has been at least three major shifts in the industry that had him rebuild and re-adapt. and I share his sentiment.

Luckily for me, I had already been using these creative tools in my spare time, which gave me a leg up developing digital content early on. it’s really crazy how much the world of marketing and creativity/design merged upon each each other you would’ve never guessed it from listening on the lectures that I sat in on in the early 00’s.

And I’m sure it Has to do with the marketing industry that my mentors worked in. in that agency model you would have floors dedicated to executives who would go downstairs and talk to the illustrators and then would go down to another room and talk to the copy writers and furthermore communicate with the printers. All that has changed. We are now the strategist, the designers, the copywriters and the printers.

Another shift will come. Perhaps we are currently going through it with the emergence of generative AI. in my opinion, the most important skill is your ability to learn.

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