Friday, June 26, 2009

Why I am a Graphic Artist

I came across a post a while back that really spoke to me. It was written by a designer and listed all of the reasons that person loved being a graphic designer. Even reading through lists like that, it helped me to realize just how much I too love this industry, although it's still somewhat new to me. Here are my reasons. What are yours?

1. You can learn on your own.

I'm not a doctor, and I never plan on being one. But, let's pretend I wanted to become one. Well, there is no way that I could go on the Internet, watch a bunch tutorials and be ready to perform open heart surgery. That's the beauty of computer graphics! You can go online, find tips and tricks, read, and learn just about anything you can possibly think of. On top of that, it's all FREE!

Now, don't get me wrong, school is great and I think it's very important to go to school for graphic arts. But, if you really think you can succeed, you really don't have to because in the end, your portfolio (and your personality) is all that matters. The reason we go to school is to learn from your teachers and get critiques from them and your peers.

2. Let those creative juices flow!

Not only can we learn this stuff on our own for super cheap, but we can really enjoy what we do. This is not mathematics, accounting, or any boring desk job for that matter. Every day, I can wake up with ideas from my dreams or the previous day and sketch, design, model, animate, or write about that idea. How? Because I can! Even designing a website or sketching up an illustration, you can put so much creativity and imagination into it from all aspects of art. There are no limitations to your imagination in this field!

Having a great job within graphic design doesn't mean you don't make money, you can still make a great living. Many creative professionals make really good money and love waking up to go to work. How many people can say that? To me, that alone makes money irrelevant to me. Money is no substitute for happiness.

3. Self employment, or as we call it, "freelance."

Let's go back to my doctor analogy. If I were a doctor, there is absolutely no chance that I could offer my services on the side! Yes, I could offer advice to your sick kid, but I'm not going to invite you to my house and fix your broken leg for a discounted fee. That would be funny though.

A lot of graphic artists never have to leave their house to go to work. Instead they freelance and work for themselves. Since there is so much work in this industry you can make a great living off of just freelance work, in the comfort of your home. I'm becoming even more of a believer in that considering the amount of freelance work I've been getting lately.

4. The community.

I'm going to say that this is one of my main reasons for the passion I have for computer graphics. The people you meet in this industry are wonderful, down to earth, creative, funny, and more than willing to help. What other industries can you think of where the pros generously tell you every secret they know regarding their profession? Not many I assume.

There are endless online communities for graphic artists and each has a special focus or main purpose. Many of those involve making their members better, more informed, passionate, or just networking. I can't stress how important the community is to me. But, I can say that I will pay it forward. Some of the greatest people you will ever meet are out there and you don't even know it yet. Get involved!

5. Start your own studio!

This has been my dream for a while now. We discussed the freelance world of computer graphics already. What if you could take that career one step further? You can!

If you have the right personality, connections, passion, and perseverance, you may just decide to start your own company. Why work for someone else when you can work for yourself? Although this is a lot more work, the reward has to be exponential. Once you have the right contacts and a good team of people to work with you, starting your own studio may be just the thing to fulfill your lifelong dream!

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