Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why I Design


I've always harbored a secret desire to be an artist. This goes way back to when I was a child. Besides the fact that I never actually took steps to learn how to be an artist, i.e. taking a serious art class (Mr. White's 7th grade art class doesn't count. And it was really Jamie Kendall's fault I got thrown out and told to never come back.) I can't draw.

Years ago I discovered that with the help of sophisticated computer programs loaded with precision tools, I could actually create some rudimentary graphics. So in an attempt to satisfy my instincts for creative expression I spent free time learning how to "master" ( I use the term loosely) Adobe Illustrator instead of playing video games. Over time, a lot of time, I developed some design "talent" (I use the term loosely). I then got a lucky break, thanks to my Son-in-Law, that allowed me to practice on real live clients.

Over time my confidence has increased and my skill level is now "adequate" (I use the term loosely). I also discovered that people are hungry for good design. Sometimes a client will like your work and ask you if you can design a website, package or other challenging project. My answer is usually "Sure, I can do that". I always like when they ask if I've ever done something like that before and I'll usually reply "No, but I'm sure I can do it".

This requires some courage, because after all, I don't really like looking like an idiot. Not that I don't have plenty of practice doing so. But I discovered that overcoming fear not only forces us to grow, it often exposes new levels of "talent" (I use the term loosely). Trying to achieve new, unknown challenges, often opens unexpected doors of opportunity that are exciting and rewarding. Sometimes facing unknown challenges makes you look like an idiot too.

I recently saw this insightful graphic (that some unknown artist designed, not me) and I finally realized that my lifelong passion for creative expression was not actually rooted in altruism but something much more powerful and honest. But now I feel like an idiot because I didn't think of doing it first.

2 comments:

David said...

Good post. Glad to see you're back in the blogging saddle.

Miss H said...

I really liked your post dad! But stopping using terms so loosely...you are a lot more talented than you gave credit for.