The designer and you,the equilibrium.

28 01 2009
Finding the Balance

Countless times I’ve questioned the fact that it seems like designing is all I ever do. (For the most part). It’s as if it’s consumed my life for the past three years, and thus it has. Mind you I do like the aspects of graphic design, such as typography and color theory and how visual communication is subconscious and not. Though it makes me wonder if designing is all I’ll ever do. So that being said, where do we find the middle of being a designer and just the average Joe?

Some things I tend to forget, but should remember (as many of my colleagues should as well) is that yes, we’re designers, but it isn’t who we necessarily are, it’s what we do.
I know many of you will probably throw a book at me, or threaten me with an xacto, but let’s face it, it is what we do. I mean there was a time when we weren’t graphic designers. Do you remember that time? Graphic design is only a part of us that we share with other people. Many of us started out as traditional artists who used mediums such as graphite, paint, etc. We were artists first, designers second. Though the two of them mesh together in what makes our styles unique.

Graphic Design is a job and a passion all in one.
For one, yes it does pay the bills and two somehow we get to incorporate our artistic abilities. I find that designing for myself is way easier than designing for a client, but a good challenge. I’m sure many of you feel the same way, and no matter how most of you want to deny it, I know that deep down inside you really hate how a client will use word to store their clip art as well as try and design a logo in photoshop with the bells and whistles of emboss and drop shadow. That and how we all love to complain and wonder how on earth people survive with using papyrus – It all comes along with the territory. Ironically we know how bittersweet we love it. Damn love/hate relationships.

It’s okay to take a break.
No, really it is. I find myself more likely to design things when I’m not under the pressure of designing. Ironic how that works out, but it does. That and it helps me remember what I like doing besides designing, such as making lists and cleaning plus reading (even if my library is filled with mostly design books).

If you’re not having fun, then what’s the point?
Honestly? There’s a difference between having a good time doing what you love to do and doing what you love to do because you need money. If you asked me if I was in this game for the money I would have to tell you that even though money is nice and all, I’m in it because I love it. I wouldn’t have a job that I hated just because it paid well. Needless to say some graphic design jobs do pay real well, but my heart’s in it because it’s still fun. When it stops being fun then it’s time to reevaluate why I’m still doing it.

Balancing the designer and you
You know what makes you happy and if designing for long periods of time is stressing you out, for godsakes go and pick up a book you enjoy reading and/or do something you know makes you happy. To be truthfully honest I can’t sit at my computer for long periods of time or else I start getting ADD and not getting my work done, so usually I spend a great deal cleaning/making lists, making lunch, and/or making books. I realize (even when I forget) that yes I am a designer, but it’s my job not who I am completely. There are other things that make up who I am and other things I enjoy. Sometimes I lose sight of those things, but they always come back around. Never lose what you enjoy completely or eventually you’ll become miserable.

Here’s to remembering who you are before you became the designer.

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