I saw this quote on AIGA's Eye on Design weekly email and it has been my mantra for the week. With finding a job being my main focus for the rest of the school year, I decided it was time to step up my website/life to showcase my graphic design work and organize my site in a way that better shows my versatility without taking focus off my main body of work.
I consider myself to be more of a generalist, I tend to dabble in many mediums and get super invested in whatever is captivating my attention at the moment. So much so, I sometimes think I want to pursue a different career path! But with each meander down a different road, I always find my way back to graphic design. It was not until last week that I fully understood this importance of this concept.
When I participated in Day of Design, our department's annual graphic design showcase, I showed a ton of work I was passionate about but was not necessarily graphic design. While I did receive some super encouraging positive feedback, I also got a fair number of comments from my professors asking, "what of this is actually graphic design?" I was so hellbent on showing what I was particularly jazzed about at the moment that I totally missed the point of the day. I thought showing those projects would show I was versatile. Sure, maybe showing one or two in addition to many other graphic design works. But when there were only two graphic design works and all the rest were "passion projects", it was clear I had brought a motorcycle to a car show. Appreciated, but ultimately, not the same. I was totally defeated. How could they have not picked me for an award? I work so hard!
After having a lengthy, wallow-y phone call with my mom and a couple days of moping, I realized self-pity was getting me nowhere. I looked at my website and realized I was showing barely any graphic design work. I had outdated business cards that did not match my current branding and had gotten really lazy about staying invested in the graphic design community. Hellbent to make a one-week turnaround, I got to work. I took down any of my work that was not graphic design, I starting pulling out hidden gems of design work I had forgotten about, and even found a way to showcase my passion projects without pulling focus from my design work (shoutout to my good friend Will for the idea!).
So, it is now 6:00am on Friday morning, I am surprisingly not dead yet and my website is pretty much done! Wahoo! Business cards will be designed over break and I even managed to come up with my idea for thank you notes post-interview at 3 in the morning. It's been a humbling and productive couple of days! I don't know if anyone will ever read this stuff or if it will just be me spouting stuff off to an empty room, but I do have to say, what I lack in raw design talent, I surely make up for in dedication. I have to believe that is going to pay off.