Thematically, I’m trending on the topic of invisibility with my posts as of late. I am embarrassed to admit that after getting a degree at an accredited private art school and practicing my craft for over a decade, that I didn’t bother to sign my name when I put my work out into the world. As a graphic designer, I figured that I had no business signing my work on commercial projects because at the end of the day, the client owned the rights to what I had made for them. Even if that was all fine and good, I had an entirely different reason for not signing my artwork. It had to do with the following bundle of insecurities:
When I was working towards my degree in Graphic Design in Savannah Georgia, I had a design professor make it very clear that for most of our careers, people would not know or understand what graphic designers did. He joked that his mother still wasn’t clear about her son’s vocation, even though he was teaching in his own field at an accredited private art school.
I’m not sure why his words didn’t worry me at the time, but the viability of a career in the graphic arts balances in the wings of dispelling those very words. Can you imagine anyone hiring you when there’s even a hint of uncertainty as to what you do? I mean we don’t hire plumbers to fix our cars or gardeners to launder our clothes, so why all the confusion around the design world?
I think it’s because every day people rarely end up working with designers. Marketing teams do and in-house designers work with various divisions of their company, but there’s rarely a circumstance when an average family...
Inevitably at some point leading up to the weekend, a friend will ask me what I’m up to. I usually rattle off a few things and then I mention that I have art day. Then comes the inquiry. “What’s art day?” Well, art day was borne out of a few friends getting together for a weekend afternoon to work on art projects. It originally served as a supportive gathering for one of the members of the group that was dealing with cancer at the time. I wasn’t there for the early days of art day, but now it’s a part of my weekend activities.
It’s interesting how the practice of anything coupled with repetition and support can feel so great. While I get to design for my clients during the week, the making of art, which is more personal is extremely rewarding. It reignites aspects of my creativity that otherwise reside in a state of dormancy. It also reminds me of the younger me that used to make things all the time, because it felt more natural than anything.Read More
When you’re out on your own in the freelance world, there will be a time or two or three when you bypass your better judgment to take on projects because you’re feeling worried about your cashflow. While that’s a huge consideration, it’s exactly those circumstances that should have you questioning whether the project and client are the right fit for you. Deciding who to work with and for applies to existing and new clients. Then who are the clients that aren’t the right ones? If you’re not sure, here are some red flags to alert your radar:
The client that engages in crossing boundaries of respect.
I’m not sure this happens to men as often as it does to women (I might be mistaken) but some clients are human messes in transit. They hire you for your talent and then assume that their ulterior motives are somehow part of the creative brief. “Absolutely not!” While you might be thinking, ‘I really need the work,’ consider that these...
I used to come into my office and figured that if I put in enough working hours during the day, that I could go home feeling pretty happy with my efforts. It didn’t occur to me that how the day got parsed out played so heavily on my level of productivity. I would spend the first part of the day addressing the non-creative and more administrative side of things—returning emails, bookkeeping and returning phone calls. After reading a book called, Manage Your Day-to-Day, published by the wonderful people at Behance, I realized I had it all wrong.
Turns out I was using my most creative and concentrated time doing things that didn’t require the best my brain had to offer for the day. According to the book, I was engaging in what was referred to as “reactionary...