Around this time of year, I take the time to examine myself. Look in the mirror and ask the hard questions. I originally did this for the first time just over a year ago, and the exercise led me to the position I am in now.

Essentially I take a look at what I’ve done and where I’ve come in a year’s time. I search for a renewed understanding of why I do what I do and look for the essence of why I am a designer. This investigation begets a force that powers and charges my personal and professional life. Additionally, I take the time redesign and rebuild my personal website. For me, this exercise of understanding is best represented in a public declaration (ie. this space). I understand that the sum of who I am is not represented here. And I know full well, that this space does a poor job showing my weaknesses, personal issues, etc. What it can show is the work that I have made, and how I made it. That makes for good reflection, even if it’s not the full picture.

The findings of my search are simple, I am a designer of many disciplines. I believe that anything that enables me to make ideas a reality is deserving to be called design. It’s in the means to that end that I find a child-like excitement that drives me. It brings me to reflect on this quote from Saul Bass.

“Design is thinking made visual.” -Saul Bass

I’ve noticed that there is an unsettling feeling within a designer, with regard to the things they create. I notice this within myself too. It’s this liminal space between the excitement of making and the discontent of what it lacks. The reason being is that as the creator, we have this broad perspective that the artifact we made, could have been better, or easier to use, or even more beautiful. These thoughts could drive us to despair, or emptiness if we allowed it to. For me, it’s a driving force. A choice to push forward. It can stoke the flame, and create passion, teaching us to learn from our mistakes and failures. Both the obvious, and the invisible ones; those flaws that only we can see (the could have been’s).

Everything we create starts with a thought in our mind. Designing is our conduit for making those thoughts a reality. I, as well as many other designers I know, understand that the only way we can express ourselves is to create and create well. Sometimes we make things and put it out in the world, but deep down we know that it’s not exactly the image we had in our minds. So we press on, eager to create better what we see behind our eyes.

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