July 5, 2012

The Creative Life

I remember each jury I’ve ever had in design school. My sweaty palms, trying to make myself smile and seem confident, my friends’ faces peering back at me from the crowd as I talked about my work, hoping that the jury panel didn’t hate it. Hoping that the questions they’d ask would be something I could handle. I mostly could, but I do recall a lot of explanation-giving. 
Cut to many years later, today, with me working as a designer. I have a great work environment, very democratic (too democratic if you ask me), apolitical and indulgent of people’s time and space. However, everyone has an opinion on design. Whether they even care about colour or form or typography is immaterial, everybody has an opinion on art and design and how things should look. 
That is the very beauty of aesthetics surely, that great unifier of minds and people, but it's also the great misery of the creative soul who spent 5 years being trained in colour and form and typography and visual communication (and must have a more developed eye), but is reduced to producing work that will appeal to the 'masses' that basically, pardon my French, have no taste. It doesn't matter if we think it looks good, the masses need to like it. Bite your tongue, designers. You chose to 'create and inspire' in others and for others, now deal with it. But unless I produce incredible work, how will the masses know any better? They have no idea what I can do. The extent of my creativity. Oh well. My loss. 
So while no one questions a doctor or a lawyer when they roll out their verdicts, a designer or artist or architect is subject to a life of question, doubt and better-ways-to-do-it. 
The college juries prepared us. I guess they knew what they were doing at design school after all.


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