Forums > Digital Art and Retouching > DAR Critiques > Am I Considered an Amatuer


Resendez Lavalais

Posts: 336

Baytown, Texas, US

I have been doing graphic design for some years now.. around 4-5 now.
Ive never took any classes or had anyone physically teach me.

Youtube, common sense and google were my main resources
I want to know would you consider my work still  amateurish ?

Does it look like I work hard on my photos? Im just curious in other peoples opinions right now


Jul 28 12 04:57 pm Link


Krunoslav Stifter

Posts: 3884

Santa Cruz, California, US

What does the market say? It always gives the final grade, no matter what you or I think. 

The short answer is "no" in my opinion. Or at least you have potential to be considered a pro based on the work you have displayed. But remember that most people undervalue themselves and overvalue others. Don't be that guy.

If you do your work concisely and responsibly following the industry code of conduct and you are getting payed for it. You are a professional.

Keep it simple. Focus on delivering hight value to the client on a consistent basis and monetize the effort. And as for the title somebody gives for it is pretty much irrelevant at this point.


Some food for thought.

You can look at amateur vs. professional question from two angles. 

- One is that if you can get payed and therefore by definition you are considered a pro.

"A professional is a person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks and to complete them for a fee. The traditional professions were doctors, engineers, lawyers, clergymen, architects and commissioned military officers. Today, the term is applied to accountants, educators, engineers, scientists, technology experts, social workers, Artists and many more. Many companies include the word professional in their store name to signify the quality of their workmanship or service."

- The other way of looking at it is the "professional" code of conduct. Depending on the industry that may very but I would say if you try to complete your job with excellence on your mind, responsibility and dependability. You are making a client satisfied with your work, plus you are getting payed. Than you can be in my humble view considered a professional.

Here is some more food for thought.

"Amateur professionalism or professional amateurism is a socioeconomic concept that describes a blurring of the distinction between professional and amateur within any endeavor or attainable skill that could be labeled professional, whether it is in the field of writing, retouching, computer programming, music, film, etc. The idea is distinct from the sports term "pro–am" (professional–amateur), though related to and ultimately derived from it. The concept and terms have been used, since 2004, as a descriptor for an emerging sociological and economic trend of "people pursuing amateur activities to professional standards"

"Professionals are obligated to operate according to high and strict standards of conduct in performing their work, both in terms of proficiency and of ethics. In the formal professions (Law, Medicine, Accountancy, etc.) such standards are formally set out in the codes of their professional associations (e.g., the American Bar Association, the American Medical Association). These standards place the interests of the client or patient foremost, requiring the professional to exercise due diligence in serving those interests. Failure to do so can result in censure or loss of license to practice in the profession.

Being professional means fulfilling responsibilities and taking heat. Any employee, no matter what the job, has a contractual obligation to the employer to fulfill the requirements of his or her job description while giving the employer's interests high priority. Beyond that, working professionally generally means holding to more formal standards of performance and ethics than you might in your personal life. Conform to professional and/or industry standards in doing your job. Do it skillfully and well. Don't pursue personal agendas at the company's expense."

I know lot's of people who are getting payed but I would not consider them professionals because they deliver crappy service or product. And I also know a lot of amateurs who are delivering great value and are honoring professional code of conduct but are not getting payed for it. Blend the two and remove all doubt. Simple as that.

Oh and BTW. Don't think in terms of how many years you have been learning and working with the software or where you have learned it. Think in stead in tangible, measurable, verifiable results. That is hard data that all markets respond to. And use it to build a reliable reputation. It will serve you much better.

Just my 2 cents

Jul 28 12 05:54 pm Link

Digital Artist


Posts: 6716

Ankara, Ankara, Turkey

Resendez Lavalais wrote:
I want to know would you consider my work still  amateurish ?

yes smile

Jul 29 12 02:20 am Link


Brick Wilson

Posts: 373

Palatine, Illinois, US

Skills at retouching are decent. Skills at graphic design are another matter entirely. There's not much to judge based on your example, just a new background and a plain line of text.

And sometimes the content speaks as loud as the skills. This says "Hey there's a bunch of dangerous giant explosions going on over there but pay attention to my ass instead"

Jul 30 12 09:52 am Link


Ken Fournelle

Posts: 99

Saint Paul, Minnesota, US

Kruno +1

Aug 06 12 01:23 pm Link