Your first creative job is out there.
let's go get it.

You put in all the work. 4 years. You are ready to go. But no one you meet with seems to be feelin’ it. Your portfolio is not resonating. Your interview skills are just a bit off. You leave feeling stressed and deflated. And when your confidence lags…it shows.

My name is Chris Lyons and I'm a Creative Career Starter. For the past 15 years, I’ve been guiding Design School grads as they launch successful careers at places like Time Magazine, ESPN, Huge, Stink Studios, Nickelodeon, Sports Illustrated, Big Spaceship and lots of regional agencies, studios and corporations. I have over 30 years of experience, starting as Milton Glaser’s intern and ending up a Partner and Creative Director at 2 different firms. I'm now a Freelance Illustrator and a Teacher. And I can help you do this.

Emerging creative talent is the lifeblood of the creative industry. Let's get you in position to realize your full potential and get into the game. If you’re not connecting, not sure what to do (and getting nervous), let’s work together and get your creative career started. Have a listen: Then send me a note!


tools to start your creative career


6-week CREATIVE career starter course 

During my 6-week course I’ll help you craft an actionable plan, shape your portfolio, and teach you smart, effective ways to connect with the people at the places you want to work. We will do a deep dive into each of these topics based on your specific needs.

Below is the course breakout: 


week 1:  develop your career launch strategy

What's your plan? We’ll figure out exactly what you want to do and where you want to do it. Then get after it using precise, professional tools. Not random job boards.


weeks 2-3: portfolio review

We’ll go through your portfolio in detail and identify ways it can work harder for you. We will work to strengthen and expand your best work. And we will create new work based on your interests and professional intent. This work will be ongoing for our entire engagement (and beyond).

week 4: resume + web site development

Is your resume smart, well-written and well designed? We'll get it there. How's your site and your personal brand? We’ll dig in and strengthen the way you look to the world.

week 5: writing an effective cover letter

You need to nail this and I’ve got a formula that will serve you for all your letters.

week 6: the interview

How to make the most of this important engagement - from the handshake to your thank-you note, to negotiating your first contract. You'll be ready!


a la carte offerings


After some Q+A via email upfront where we'll discuss what it is you want to do and where you want to do it, I'll dig into your pdf portfolio to make sure it supports your goals. I'll assess your work and give you feedback notes on ways to improve existing work as well as thoughts about new work to strengthen your book.  


interview prep session

We'll spend 90 minutes via Zoom to go through all the steps to ensure you nail this thing. From the handshake to thank-you notes, you will make a strong, professional impression.


cover letter development

There is a right way (and many wrong ways…) to write an effective letter of introduction. You can disqualify yourself with a stinker. Let’s write a strong, memorable note. The format will serve you for all your letters.


Chris Lyons offers a unique blend of optimism and realism to both inspire students to achieve their career goals and give them the tools they need to make them happen. I wouldn’t have been able to land my job without the interviewing and networking skills he taught me.
— Ben Picard, Product Designer, Action Network

Chris provides a sense of assurance and has an innate ability to instill a sense of confidence in young designers. Let’s be real… we all feel that imposter syndrome. With the countless designers Chris has taught and mentored, he has a unique perspective of where you land in the spectrum of talent.
— Phil Czapla, Art Director/Designer, Kettle, Fjord

Chris Lyons is a staunch resource of support and knowledge. What sets him apart from the average “advice-giver” or mentor remains his tenacity – not just in his own efforts, but in pushing you to achieve your goals in tangible, proactive ways. I leave every conversation or correspondence armed with a game plan.
— Danielle Smith, Assoc. Art Director/Designer, Partners + Napier

How to properly write a cover letter; it’s a small step in the application process, but a crucial one. Chris’ methods not only helped me write cover letters efficiently, but seriously allowed me to get more responses and make connections with recruiters. I’ve shared this secret with a number of colleagues and they’re constantly impressed by not only its effectiveness, but its brilliant simplicity.
— Lauren Mays, Designer, Chase Design

Chris stressed the importance of a consistent personal brand and a focused, targeted portfolio. That was invaluable during my job search process.
— Liz Wells, User Experience Designer, Stink Studios

let's talk

If you are ready to get after the job search process like a real professional, send me a note and we can get started!