[Wow! I’m not the only one who hates graphic design… This post is #2 on Google for “I hate graphic design”. Soo I’m curious to learn more about you folks. Tell me about yourself.. are you a student or professional? What type of art or design do you do? What drew you to graphic design in the first place and what drove you to profess your contempt for it in that sharp lil search box?]
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a lawyer. I’d previously wanted to be a rock star, painter, and astronaut, so this was a step up for me and my parents. I knew it’d be a lot of schooling, but I could make a lot of money down the road, and the court room seemed exciting. In eighth grade we had career day, and we could pick and choose who we listened to. I went to see the Physical Therapist, Artists, and Lawyer. The physical therapist was an athletic trainer, and he did a cool presentation that got us involved. The lawyer was a tax lawyer and he bored me to tears. The artists were a ceramicist and a graphic designer. This was 2002 and I’d never really considered that artists designed packaging and websites and all that bullshit, until now. I was forever changed for a few years.
I went into high school and joined the Internet Development Team. I knew a tiny bit of html and css, and I wanted to learn photoshop. I met my friend Jesse and he pushed me down the path of a graphic artist. I stayed on the path through early college. I always did well in all my graphic design classes, and yet I hated it all the while. Graphic design seemed soul-sucking, lacking something that was essentially “art”.
It’s a cute design. I kinda feel like I’m swimming in a vanilla milkshake, up to a soda bar. It’s good design, at least by mine and Thom’s judgement. Yet it kils me to produce this shit. It’s not that it’s hard, it’s just… ick.
I mean, I’m typing this with purple, silver, and gold paint on my hands. I’ve often found that I don’t like art unless I can get messy while doing it. I judge the quality and my enjoyment of my work by how messy I get (my hands were stained black for days after printmaking). You don’t get that with computers, they’re too clean.
I broke from the graphic design program just before I graduated in ’09 with an AA. Yet I still took graphic design classes, I don’t know why. The funny thing is, even after I graduated I still took classes at community college, but I was free to take whatever I wanted. I took mostly fine arts classes and produced some of my best early work during that extra year. Unfortunately, Columbia College’s Illustration program pushed me right back into graphic design, which I was pretty upset about, so I switched into Art + Design, which was more open about the classes I took.
I like digital art, not graphic design. The pieces I’m most proud of from those classes are definitely more “art” than “design”, like my Sphinx and my Dragon and my abstract Triceratops Eye. And every so often, somebody asks me for a design job and I reluctantly accept and produce something halfway decent and way too colorful. I make some good stuff but I always feel like I’m beating the program and my art into submission. Too many times has the program crashed on me, sending me into a horribly frustrated and paranoid state. What the hell art? No. Just no.
I wanna go back to the times when “artist” was synonymous with “painter”. Too often people find out I’m an artist and assume I’m a graphic designer, because that’s all anyone is anymore. I always say something along the lines of “Well I know how to do graphic design, but that’s not what I do.” Whatever, I still get stuck designing logos and flyers for people. The problem is convincing people to pay for my work. It may just me pixels on a screen, but I made those pixels damnit.
No matter. As long as I’m stubborn and keep using labels like “Fine Artist” “Punk Surrealist” and “Meta-Renaissance” people will eventually get the hint.