Sunday, January 21, 2007
My Life as a Graphic Designer
This cartoon which I found on one of my favorite blog haunts, pretty much sums up my life as a graphic designer, and what I have to deal with on a daily basis.
But don't get me wrong, I love my work. I love everything about it -- the meetings with clients, presentations, conceptualizations, the actual design process, watching how your idea becomes an actual tangible object, and the ego boost you get when the clients absolutely love what you did for them. It is a surprise to me that I actually lasted this long in the work that I do, that alone being a true indicator of my love for my profession. There are moments when I get an absolute high from the daily grind especially when I love working with the client, or when I love the project and I know the hard work will definitely be worth it in terms of beefing up the company portfolio, profit, and investment in the relationship with the client. But of course, like any job, there are "those" days where nothing seems to be exciting or interesting enough to make me want to jump out of bed, nothing seems to be leaping out of my monitor despite hours of sitting in front of it, or nothing that my client says or do is worth the money they're paying us.
For all those who have no idea how the business of advertising and graphic design works (and I speak to all my friends who have known for quite a LONG time and still don't understand what I do and what I have to deal with, thus causing me so much stress), the cartoon on top should explain why my job is not always as fun as it seems. I think every single designer in the world will agree that they have come across each of the examples depicted in the illustrations. THE WAFFLER and THE WET BLANKET alone are enough reasons for me to just throw in the towel and close shop. This plus of course the long, unpredictable work hours, the stress of meeting impossible deadlines, the worry of whether we are actually meeting the client's expectations, and the nightmare of running after overdue receivables. Every single white hair sprouting from my scalp and every tiny wrinkle found at the corners of my eyes are attributed to the 5 years I have spent in front of my computer preparing a brochure, a print ad or a glossy magazine for a client. I have eye bags down to my chin and dark circles that can rival a panda's. Is it all worth it, you ask? Probably not for most people. But for me, it's what I do. It's what I love. It's what I see myself doing until I get sick of it. It may not have brought me clearer skin and healthier hair, but it's given me a clearer, sharper mind and a healthier understanding of running a creative business. It may not have brought me wealth and prestige, but it has allowed me to have treasured moments with my family -- something I never had a lot of when I was a manager in a top corporation. It may not have taken me up the corporate ladder, but it has allowed me to reach greater heights in my skills and my talents which I never felt confident exploring on my own before. I've known quite a few people in my life who've criticized me, not for my work, but for my choice of work and for the career path I chose. But God chose this path for me. He has blessed the works of my hand with a flourishing business which has allowed me to meet amazing people in different fields of work, the opportunity to work 24/7 with my husband for the past 5 years, a chance to spend time all hours of the day with my 2 kids, and the means to earn good money to provide for our family's needs and wants, as well as being able to provide work for people around us. Through my work as a graphic designer, I have seen more of Him in the people I interact with. I have seen the beauty of His works and the miracles that faith and trust can bring to every impossible situation. And most importantly, I know that I am able to bring glory to His kingdom by being the best I can be in the work that I love.
Do I think it's all worth it? Mmmmm, yes, i guess it all is.