Be flexible

by / Sunday, 27 July 2014 / Published in Philosophy

I’ve had a range of titles throughout my career, from studio artist, to graphic designer, art director, senior this, and associate that. Titles generally just feed people’s egos, but I suppose they also let people know who to talk to, about what and when. Titles aside, I’ve discovered it’s more important to define what I’m good at, rather than what people should call me. The benefit to that approach, is that I get to call the shots, and most importantly, I get to be flexible.

I used to work on print design, primarily. That’s what the industry focused on, beside broadcast, for many years. Now, however, the doors are wide open for new creative endeavours. The apps and tools are not necessarily easier to learn or use, but there are so many resources now for training online, there’s no reason not to apply your creative trade to a wide range of media.

Who says a graphic designer can’t edit video, or an art director can’t write code? In addition to getting the chance to play around in other media, being flexible also increases your creative awareness and ultimately opens the door to more types of projects. I love being able to move between mediums – it keeps things changing, and it’s always fresh.

I’ve stopped calling myself by title. I now refer to myself, when asked, as a “creative pro”. That has allowed me to talk to clients about any type of project without confusing them. I encourage you to do the same. But, it requires you to dig in and get to work sharpening some other skills. That can be scary – I know creative people who can’t (or won’t) do it. They’re comfortable keeping the same job for years and staying in their comfort zone. Times are changing too fast for that, in my opinion. You only grow by challenging yourself. There’s a lot of opportunity for it, so roll up your virtual sleeves and get to it.

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