Designing My Future

“There’s no present. There’s only the immediate future and the recent past.” – George Carlin

When you sum life up like that, it breaks things down easier. In an earlier post, I discussed my “recent past” with graphic design. In terms of my “immediate future,” it is not as black and white.

Sharpening My Competitive Edge

I was once happy and content with just designing print and web graphics. People have made a career of it and I love collaborating ideas, so I thought I could make a run with it. Unfortunately, the recession hit and suddenly design was not a career, it was only a part of your job (especially for a younger, not so established person). When I told people of my aspirations to be a designer, they also had the expectation that I utilized animation and coded websites. The bottomless pit that is learning Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign was suddenly multiplied by having to learn additional skill sets just to be taken seriously in the field.

Ain’t Got No Respect?

That grammatically incorrect statement was said by comic legend Rodney Dangerfield. Even he had to sell aluminum siding and change his name before he got his big break. I like to keep things exciting in life. No one likes being bored and I have always had a fear of boring others. I was a date one evening and things were going well as we were in the obligatory “getting to know you” phase. My date told a vivid and intricate story about her job (her profession is a long established and lucrative). Her story could have easily filled a one thousand word blog entry and then some. Then I talked a little about graphic design. After her story about working under intense pressure and triumph, suddenly talking about learning the Clone Stamp tool and coding html did not seem like an enticing counter. Instead, I shortchanged my career passion and came off as vague and mysterious (not in a cool Don Draper way, either). All this time, I thought I was smooth and now I was at a loss for words. Was design enough for me?

The Future…of Today

While interactive communications is a “newer” profession, I am kind of an old soul when it comes to work. In life, you usually need a tangible skill. I have always had admiration for carpenters, welders and jobs where you get your hands dirty. They are not glamorous, but the workers have tangible, concrete skills they bring to the job. For me, that tangible skill will always be graphic design. It is what I know and the “trade” I have put time into. I enjoy keeping life interesting and trying my hand at other skills, but design will always be a passion I can jump back to. The goal is to be an experience designer (if any of my classmates from ICM 501 are reading) and use graphics, animation, audio and video to create a complete piece of work.

Then why would I talk about design at all? It is a part of who I am and has been a catalyst for helping me grow professionally. I used to post silly, “photoshopped” pictures of my friends on Facebook for a quick laugh and next thing I knew I was making money using the same software. Whether it becomes a lucrative job or a hobby to keep my wits sharp, graphic design will always be a part of what I do.

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One Response
  1. [...] an earlier post, I alluded to a date I had with someone on the fast track to a lucrative job position. [...]

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