On Monday, I had my first professional practice class and had read an article by designer extraordinaire, Frank Chimero. The article was “What Advice Would You Give To A Graphic Design Student?” It was an interesting read, and I definitely recommend any fellow design students out there to check it out.
Sure. As designers/design students, we work with clients on a daily basis. Grinding out that design work for a business or individual to use. But that’s what we all do. We’re all designers in that sense. This is (perhaps) to say that we shouldn’t let our client work define us as a designer. The ones who really influence the industry, the ones who really push the boundaries, the ones who really let design take over their body, using it as a vessel through which to channel this creativity, are the ones that design for themselves. The ones who design for the people. The ones who don’t pick up the pencil or open the apps just because a dollar bill is dangling upon completion piece. And we all have that in us, never let the excuse of “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired” be your reason for not continuing to design for yourself. I mean, aren’t we all our worst critics? Did we not step in the world of art and design as a selfish decision to be happy and enjoy our work?
The great thing about it was the fact that Chimero addresses some of the silent questions/thoughts that I’m sure we’ve all had during our design career. He talks about the usage of the color purple, what’s true and what’s false, how to work past the belief that “I can’t do it because I don’t have X and that other guy does”. He talks about how we should strive to learn, to push ourselves as designers, to develop our identities, to form an opinion, to remember to live and have fun.
The article urges you to avoid what’s “cool”, acknowledging but not following the mainstream of trends. Chimero reminds us that our opinion may not always be the right one, there’s not always a black or white to the story, that the negative space must breathe, and that we shouldn’t be asking others for answers so much that we don’t discover it on our own.
And at the end of it all, the message reads: