It’s all Perception…I Think

Sometimes you just have to let go of what you think is right and do what you can. Today I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish in my five hour work day. Before I could even tackle the second task, my printer went down. I spent about an hour total trying to get it working again and talking to our IT guy. Needless to say this put quite a damper on my ‘To Do’ list. I improvised on a couple of things and in the end I made sure everything was done that needed to be. For some reason the universe felt the need to alter my plans according to its will. That’s just how it is sometimes and all we can do is accept it and move on. I find that when I am struggling to make things go my way according to what my ego thinks is ‘right’ is when I am the least creative. It is only when I am going with the flow that things feel right and my creativity blossoms.

I was thinking the other day about how I criticize my work. No matter how ‘good’ I think my work is I can always find room for improvement. What makes design and art ‘good’ depends on the opinion of the viewer and opinions are based on an enumerable number of variables. With this in mind can any design or work of art ever be complete or perfect? Would there not always be something that could be altered to make it better in someone else’s view? I think the only perfect design is found in nature, that is, all of nature. Why else would we struggle to mirror its beauty in our creations? This reminds me of a quote by Ambrose Bierce, “There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don’t know.” I have come to realize from this line of thought that it is not the design that is important, but the intention behind it. Just because someone has ‘bad’ intentions that they want to manifest through their design work, does not mean that they cannot create wonderful design. However, I would rather create hideous design with the best of intentions that to have it any other way.

Questions for the Budding Designer

“If you want to be famous, design for your critics, If you want to be wealthy, design for your customers, If you want to be happy, design for yourself.”

– Unknown

What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses with your current design skills?

I feel that the strengths of my current design skills are my use of hierarchy and color. I use these two elements to draw the eye to important content in my designs. I also design with the golden rectangle (or ratio) in mind to create more visually pleasing designs.

A weakness of my current design skills is that I tend to let myself become stuck in an idea instead of starting from scratch and trying something completely new. Sometimes all a design needs is for me to walk away from it for a little while and then it will come together just fine. Other times I end up creating something totally different, but it’s these times that it takes me a while to realize it and I lose valuable time in the process.

Do you think you will ever be completely finished with your portfolio? Why or why not?

I think that the only way my portfolio will ever be completely finished is if and when I retire. As a designer you’re always creating something new and your style may change, or you’ll work for a different company or client. Hopefully your work improves and evolves over time as well. You want to reflect these things in your portfolio. The business is always changing, especially with the web, so it is important to show that you are abreast of current trends and techniques.