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How I lied my way into MTV

05.7.10 @ 5:12PM Tags : , ,

Up until now I’ve never really told the truth about my career as a graphic designer — namely, that it was a complete sham. Sure, I’d dabbled in Photoshop once or twice in college and a few times as a corporate video producer after graduating. But everyone dabbles in Photoshop — I’d certainly never had a job as any kind of designer. In 2005 my main goal was to start a film career in New York — by any means necessary. It’s a long story, but thanks to starting this blog I ended up going from unemployed in NC, living with my parents, to having my own place in Manhattan and working as a graphic designer at MTV. How? MTV was hiring graphic designers, so that’s what I said I did. Now that I don’t work there anymore, I can confess it was a total lie! I created a fake portfolio for the interview, and after I was hired I did Photoshop training on my laptop on the train every day to and from work using I figured as long as they didn’t give me anything hard in the first two weeks, they’d never know. A year later when I was designing a bunch of high-end web applications as a Senior Designer, no one was the wiser. Suckers!

Just wanted to share how I got myself to New York. Back to your regularly-scheduled content!


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  • I smell lawsuit!

  • I did the same thing with a web design job — I’d built sites off of templates before but totally said I knew HTML and CSS when I didn’t.

  • Correction, Ryan. We didn’t say we were hiring graphic designers. We said we were hiring “cheap photoshop monkeys to crop pictures.” By that standard, you were probably as qualified as anyone else (and, to give you full credit, you still are).

    • Erik, if you’d paid me what you originally quoted it wouldn’t have been as cheap! You know it took me two years to get up to the day rate you first quoted? Carrot dangler!

  • Hahaha, I did almost the same thing, except I had a small portfolio of flyers I had done when I DJ’d/promoted parties back in University… but somehow I managed to convince the production company I was working for to pay for a two years of Lynda classes!

  • That’s great!!!
    Fake it till you make it!

    I love the story and your blog!

  • We knew it!

  • your former boss on 07.27.12 @ 8:45PM

    oh rilly?

    all makes sense now.

  • Awesome. I did the same thing once. We creative folks can make anything up, even our portfolios!

    • no design school…well…
      the euro-sort of influenced icon is a give-away.
      but it’s ok…we are all just learning as we go.

  • Hello fantastic blog! Does running a blog like this take a
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    hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, if you have any suggestions
    or tips for new blog owners please share. I understand
    this is off subject however I simply wanted to
    ask. Cheers!