Thursday, 19 January 2012

Design to death

from here.

Sometimes, I am sick to death of design.  In general.  Making aesthetic and functional choices, walking the line between budgets, beauty, and g@#^ d$%^@#%^ storage/function/bizarre need of the client, every single day.

I watch HGTV and I think, HA! This isn't real - in real life, the designer never gets to just waltz in, explain to the clients what they're about to do, and then just do it...that stuff is TV only.  In real life, most clients second guess  every paint swatch, decide they've changed their colour scheme, decides they've halved their budget, decides they don't even want to share a house with the person with whom they were planning a master bedroom makeover... the list goes on.  People don't always value designers (to cover the spectrum of us), because they think it has to be easy, but they often don't see the delicate balancing act of considerations.

I love what I do.  I love having a job where those things all matter, and I love having the kind of brain that gets a kick out of making it all fit together AND telling a story aesthetically.

But it takes a toll on you to constantly weight your work on such a completely subjective scale.  It doesn't matter whether you are the most avant garde, or the most traditional - someone hates your work.  It doesn't matter how "good" you get - someone hates your work. Sometimes I wish I had just become an engineer.  Because at least then there is an answer (most of the time), and it is possible to be just plain-old right.

I've struggled for a long time to not allow what other people think to be the basis against which I judge myself, and my work.  But part of what I do is not for me:  I am not a "pure" designer, sitting up in some lofty tower designing only for the betterment of mankind.  I design for clients.  Real people.  People who need to like what I produce.  So at what point does what I personally think cease to matter?  I would like to believe that my work can have integrity, that I only produce things I am proud of.  And at the end of the line, you came to me because something about what I do worked for you.  Whether that meant the price was right, or you really liked my previous designs, you picked me.  There are millions of other people who can do what I do, literally.  And while I really really REALLY want your business, and I want you to love what I've produced for you.... that's not enough for me, as a person.

And sometimes, when you let me do what I do, you'll realize that you love the result.

1 comment:

  1. Ok - I share your pain, but I have to point out that even us engineers don't have it easy. There may be more data to make a comparison with, but for most of the work I do, there are always options to be developed so that you can compare the pluses and minuses and try and weigh the non quantifiable to make a decision.