10 Steps to changing to a Design Career

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Hey guys,

I have been meaning to talk about this for a while now so yeah, I hope this encourages someone who wishes to go into the design field but feels like they have not studied any design course to be “CERTIFIED”.

First of all, I will brief you on my career background for those who do not know. I studied Architecture for my undergraduate and studying fashion design for my Masters. I am also teaching creative practice in Kingston University London.

I know you might think that I already had design experience and yes I agree, but my career at first was more logical than creative as I did more project management jobs than building designs. So yes, I might still be able to give some advice since I am now going towards Design Education(BTW I AM STILL ON MY OWN JOURNEY. lol). Here are 10 steps I think you should take:



You know why most Disney stories are fed to children? Because they know children will believe the fantasy and completely dive into the wonderland of imagination without thinking twice. Someone once said that the creative adult is a child that never died. One thing I have learnt from fashion design is that there are unlimited possibilities and that goes for any other type of design career. All you have to do is  to feed your imaginations. Be a creative individual.




Now you have to figure out what part of design you will like to do. The internet is your junkyard. There’s so much on there, so look around and see what part of the design industry interests you. Once you figure out what you want to do, read on it. Try to know what it entails.



While you’re still on the internet check for short courses or workshops. I took a short course in London College of Fashion after 2 years of freelancing as a fashion illustrator. Short courses are really helpful, there are online courses available as well. You can look up skillshare for interesting online lessons. YOUTUBE!!! is also a life saver. Be sure to look around for places you can learn a thing or two.



Practice what you’ve learnt. Do not just stop at practicing, try to build a portfolio that you will be able to use when stepping up your game. A portfolio is also good for documenting your progress and not only for getting a job or getting into a design school. If you need me to brief you on how to make a portfolio for university, let me know in the comment section.



This is something I wish I got to do. It is the best thing that could ever happen to you as a design newbie. Yes! they will use you to make tea and basically slave drive you but its a training period one must take advantage of. At this stage you are already in the industry and whatever mistakes you make are overlooked but you definitely will learn a lot about the design area. Fashion internships are everything! Sigh! But I am not saying you cant be great without them.



With your first internship done, you can start making changes to your resume. Look online for the best way to design your resume. People are badass creative these days with their cvs. So try something fancy if you can. You can choose to have online portfolio like using wix.com or wordpress.com. I know behance.com is amazing or better still stick to using your instagram as long as it looks professional.



This is key. You should try to find out who is in the industry. Meet up, have coffee, share your work. Make a business card now that you are sure this is what you want to do. Be careful what you call yourself. These days, linkedin profiles be looking too overwhelming, everybody looks too successful. lol! Stay humble. Share your problems, you never know what you can learn. Knock the right doors, dont just hang out for no reason. lol!


This step is not that necessary if you don’t want to but it is advisable. You are never too blown for a mentor. There are people in the industry that have been there way before you. Take baby steps so you can grow perfectly into the right shoes and surround yourself with successful people! Urghhh! I am still searching for my own mentor. lol!



We never learn enough. There is always something new out there. Improve your skill. Explore your creativity



You are set to go and conquer now. Dont be afraid anymore. Whenever you feel overwhelmed come back and read my post. Hehe!


I hope this was helpful. Be sure to leave a comment below. If this was helpful let me know. If you also want to know more about a particular industry. Please let me know. Love you




Comments (19)


September 8, 2016 Reply

Its breaking into the nigerian fashion industry. A post on portfolio will be appreciated.


September 8, 2016 Reply

Youb teach at Kingston??? OMG!!! That's just all shades of awesome!! I'm coming to London next year. Can we see!??

idowu okunusi

September 9, 2016 Reply

Awesome post dear. Welldone done and hope to network with you one of these day. #blessUp


September 9, 2016 Reply

Woooow this is awesome Claire. pls can we talk more about the illustration as I need to build a folio for my brand.How long are your classes for?

    Claire Idera

    September 14, 2016 Reply

    Hey Julia, the classes are usually a maximum of 2weeks. There wont be any workshop soon since I have relocated. I will put up a post on portfolio this week, I hope it helps.


September 9, 2016 Reply

Hi Claire, yes it has been helpful.. Do you have any suggestions on opening for interns in fashion designing ?

    Claire Idera

    September 14, 2016 Reply

    Hey Wofai, Sadly I dont know of any in Lagos. There used to be a site that announced fashion jobs in Nigeria. I am not sure it works anymore but you can check it. Its called Styljunki.com The best ways to go about interning is to approach the brand. Send an email along with your cv and portfolio. If I hear of any internships, I will let yuu know.

Rebecca Ilebiyi

September 9, 2016 Reply

Thanks for this Claire, very helpful. Kindly share on BUILDING A PORTFOLIO and I STILL NEED THE ILLUSTRATION CLASS!! any reference

    Claire Idera

    September 14, 2016 Reply

    Apparently, there have been workshops all over the place now, unfortunately I cant refer you to any because I dont know the quality of teaching in there. So you dont pay for something and say its Claire. haha! You get what I mean? But if you see any class you want to attend, make sure you ask past students for feedback. I will upload a post on Portfolio this week. Hopefully it helps.


September 11, 2016 Reply

This is beautiful Claire. I really need to save this post. Still having indecision problems lol.

    Claire Idera

    September 14, 2016 Reply

    Thanks Femi. What indecision problems?


October 21, 2016 Reply

This is really helpful and timely as I'm just a newbie in the fashion world . Your. Post in inspiring. Bless u

    Claire Idera

    October 25, 2016 Reply

    I am glad it helped


August 28, 2017 Reply

Really cool #inspiring..I like it,on a fashion internship now,but am still working out my brand of fashion,different fashion illustrations on sketch now..I like dis dear..xxx

Nesta Tsholofelo Boledi Chuene

September 26, 2017 Reply

Impatiently waiting for the next post 😎

    Claire Idera

    September 28, 2017 Reply

    Haha! I can't wait to post too. lol. Maybe this Monday!


October 13, 2017 Reply

Really helpful!

    Claire Idera

    October 13, 2017 Reply

    Im happy its helpful.


September 24, 2019 Reply

Thank You! lately I've been drawn to fashion illustration, doodling and painting. It's a lot. I have a couple of works. very few actually. I'm not sure if they are god or presentable. I'm not sure about a lot of thing. if this is just a hobby.... oh and I don't have a background in the design industry. Your post was very helpful.

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