The other day the co-workers and I decided to hit the bar for some drinks + convos and I simply cannot say "No" to Margaritas + Good Company. So, as I'm sitting there, gulping my first drink. (What can I say I was thirsty) We get to talking about why we are back in school, what our plans are, and basically the burning question we ask ourselves every night after leaving work, what do you want to do with the rest of your life?
So as I sat there explaining how my first class is a "real art class" equipped with nothing but stools and large easels. I tell them I cannot "draw for shit." Perplexed, they ask "So if you don't like to draw? What do you do as graphic artist then?"
Ah.. the common misconception that all "Graphic Designers" were born with a picasso gift or a love for sketching three dimensional fruits in a basket. As I stumbled over my words (working on drink number 2) I say things like, "Well the problem with design, is that it's so simple, it's complicated". Oh now I'm quoting things I've heard along the way of this journey. But as I sat there trying to defend my inadequacy of being able to sketch a naked person in great detail, besides the stick figure I could promise in return. I realize most people, sans fellow graphic designers, simply don't get it. Much like I will never understand what electrical engineers find fascinating about their career field, (You do you..). It's quite difficult to explain, what I am so passionate about.
So he continues to say "So you alter things you've seen.. like you copy things?"
Mind you, I'm on drink Number two plus a shot of I'm not sure what it was on an empty stomach because our Fully Loaded Nachos were short of being loaded with anything... I barely answered his question with justification. But here I am, two days later, hydrated, well rested, with all the aspirin I took to get me to function through my weekend of working.
So this is here is what I do aside from sitting in front of the computer with all my Adobe Applications open...
I am a problem solver.
Say you started a new company. You need branding, marketing, all the visual guides to get you out there. You want to be so recognizable like IBM logo, or the FEDEX sign. Your identity needs to be visually strong that it's almost subtle. My mind works like a camera with a hard drive that has no limits. I am constantly snapping images that you may not notice. Like the way a diagonal line slashes through the letter, or the way a bold stroke from a typeface makes it stand out, I notice it all. I will take every detail around me and formulate ideas for you. You see there is a rhyme and reason for every design. There is a reason why the letters are closer or further spaced, why some are bold and some are thin, why we use graphics and why we don't. There is some sort of math in design, to make a design "feel" right, you have to understand all the elements involved. And lastly, as designers, we have that "inner voice" the one we've learned to trust over the years.
I am a researcher.
As designers, our learning never ends. We are constantly learning, reading, researching because every client, every assignment is different and they all come from somewhere, someone's idea, someone's distinctive style or taste. We need to learn to adapt our sense of style to what they love and the only way to do this is to research. One day I did a project on Mikhail Gorbachev, and I literally ate, slept, and breathe Gorbachev.
I am an inventor.
I take your ideas and evolve it into something tangible that the world around us can decipher. How does the world decipher these ideas? Familiarity. Even Picasso said:
Everything we see has already been created. So we are constantly (if you want to say) copying.
People relate to good design because they are familiar with it, they don't have to think to hard to translate it. Good design makes you look it twice and say, "Oh that is so clever and simple, why didn't I think of that?" Good design is so simple, it's difficult.
So there you go my Maragarita Friend... That is what I do. I was never meant to be an illustrator, but simply the courier between someone's ideas and fruition.
(Some work I did last semester for Typography 2 and Design Comp 1)
The thing I love more than the final outcome of designing, is the process.. That's when you know, you love what you do.