We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.
“You should consider pursuing this, you really have a natural talent”, said one of my college professors when I turned in a graphic design project my sophomore year. Me, the film student? Graphic design? But I wanted to be a filmmaker! An actress! I had it all planned out! I had no idea, in that moment, how much graphic & web design would change my life. And it has been a hard, exhausting, rewarding road. I’ve learned a lot about myself, about other people, and about this job. I wake up everyday realizing how much I still have to learn. Did I intend for this to be my career? No. But let me tell you, I love it. Graphic design happened to me, and it’s where I’m supposed to be in life right now, and I love it. I love it a lot. Not everyone is made to be a designer, and there have been times where I’ve doubted myself… but I know I’m good at it. Do I know everything there is to know? Not even close. But when I found myself in college designing things as a means of escape, I realized, “hey… this could be something special.”
It is hard work. Long days. Long nights. Lots of time spent in front of my computer screen. Collaborating with developers and listening to client’s stories, dreams, and goals. Lots of learning and making mistakes and trying again tomorrow. It requires of a lot of focus and determination, and sometimes… you fail. But you get back up and you keep going. You try until you succeed. It’s more than just splicing images together in photoshop and writing on them with a writing tablet. We use our art, our gift, our craft… to tell a story. Designers are storytellers. And that’s a special community to be a part of. It’s inspiring and I admire fellow designers so, so, so much. They are all heart and a lot of talent.
So it hurts me deeply when people, who aren’t designers, try to devalue our work. Guys! Everyone can be a designer if you just do this and this! All you need is Photoshop! So easy! They try to devalue our talents, and what we work so hard for… and package it in a way that makes it look so simple and so effortless to the rest of the world.
They tell the world that design isn’t worth very much, because everyone can do it!
But design doesn’t happen at the touch of a button.
This is what I do for a living. And it is not easy. I work hard for every penny I make… just like all of you. I would never ever devalue someone’s job just because it might look easy on the outside. You have your talents, you have something that you’re good at. And it takes a lot of work, determination, love, energy, time, and passion. But you love it, right? It’s in your blood, it’s your heart, your gift. And that matters. That’s special.
This is really just me rambling a bunch of words in a moment of anger, and I’ll probably be over it by tomorrow, and you might be sitting there going, “you need to calm yourself, girl.” But when someone makes me feel like my career isn’t worth anything? When they make my job look like a joke? I get really damn angry. And I get protective. Of myself. Of fellow designers (and developers). Of the design world as a whole. I think about all of the hours that designers & developers put into projects… and when someone tries to put it in a neat, little box proclaiming you can learn all this and more in just a day! I get pissed, guys. Super pissed. And super hurt.
Just know… that whatever your career is, or future career is, or whatever it is you do that makes you happy & proud of yourself… it matters. It matters so much. And it’s worth a lot. YOU are worth a lot. And anyone telling you otherwise? They’re lying. Keep your head held high. Move forward. Know you are great.