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May 2, 2010

Share five facts about your work.

We took a look at all our member profiles and you're a pretty eclectic bunch. For this inwords discussion share with the community what you do, why you do it and maybe even a thing or two about your work that would surprise fellow members. Heck, your family and friends might read it and finally understand what keeps you busy all day long.

Sharing your perspective is one of the many perks of membership. We hope you'll encourage others to sign up and help shape the dialogue.

04.18.10 / 8:38 PM
Leg two of the journey to find meaningful connections through thought-provoking conversations. Can't wait to see what you're willing to share. Always with heart, for the love.
04.19.10 / 11:32 AM
In no particular order:
1) I help our clients celebrate their evolution. example > help clients stay excited about what they do... help them believe in themselves
2) I help the public really access things they care about (whether they know it at the time, or not)
3) I start fires. example > I challenge my everyone to think bigger, deeper and more ethically about what they do, how they do it—and equally as important... if not more so—with whom they do it.
4) I bust inertia. example > remind people that "the public" is a lot smarter than they are given credit for.
5) I mine for insights all day long ( because I think design without context is just cuteness ).

wait... I've got one more...
04.19.10 / 4:04 PM
In order-of-entry:

01 > I get up early and go to the gym to exercise because designers typically don't have a very "physical" occupation. While there, I listen to music that motivates me to push myself. I tend to silently watch ESPN and take mental notes of ads I view as well the motley crowd of t-shirts that pass me by.

02 > At two hours are spent commuting in my car pondering the following; "Is it too late to learn how to wield a sword?", "What needs to be accomplished today/tomorrow?", "I have to get my 'expletive' writing together" and, for the sake of time, lastly "I really wish I had a good voice".

03 > When I'm in "the :lab" my day as a Samurai truly begins. I strive to follow my Bushidō & ultimately perfect my process so that I may move fearlessly and strike instinctively with my aforementioned sword {my mind}.

04 > I learn. Throughout the day and the night I am learning. Whether I'm awake or asleep, focused or self-admittedly detached. With regards to learning, I am voracious.

05 > I have the opportunity to erase what I've done and begin again. For this, I am often thanklessly grateful.
04.19.10 / 10:53 PM
1 > First and foremost I am a graphic designer. Other than my family, it is the thing I am most passionate about. In 8th grade I learned that there was a job where you could be creative that involved a certain amount of business knowledge and there was a chance that your ideas would be produced and released for public consumption. From that point forward I did all that I could to learn more about design by reading and volunteering to create various materials for family and friends including badly designed flyers, crude logos and even tried my hand at illustration with an unrefined cassette packaging project. Boy do I wish I still had some of that stuff.

2 > Most days I spend more time communicating with clients and managing our workflow than the time spent designing. Funny thing is, I don't mind the shift in the requirements of my job. I think it makes me appreciate the time I have to design and play. It also forces me to be more efficient with my "creative" time.

3 > I find the writing aspect of design completely fascinating but it scares the bejesus out of me every time I have to put words to an idea. I believe wordsmithing is a defining characteristic for most of the designers I consider great...still trying to get there.

4 > Good design makes people think our job is easy. We spend our days thinking, creating, shaping and shifting perspectives in hopes that our ideas connect in a meaningful way with the audience. Everyday I try to be diligent in my search to define the ever-fluctuating line between too smart and just clever / unique enough that people relate to the concept.

5 > A (significant) portion of my day is spent trying to build a stronger creative community. I volunteer for the Connecticut Art Directors Club to foster growth in a tight group of talented people by sharing my deeply rooted faith in doing great things together. Design is Love takes up the rest of my free time, in hopes that we can spread a message of positivity and genuine thoughtfulness amongst those that we have an opportunity to connect with on a personal and professional level.
04.20.10 / 9:01 AM
1 . Wake up. Drive, with NPR in the background but mostly not listening because the mind is going 100 mph with new ideas and to do lists. Think: wouldn't it be great to have one of those tiny tape recorders so that I didn't have to try to sketch/take notes while driving? And those little tapes are still awesome.

2 . Get into work, which means: focus all that accrued energy towards whatever tasks that await. Make more to do lists. An after-work-to-do-list is inevitable.

3 . Slow down. Step back. Think. This is not about me. It is never about me.

4 . On the most enjoyable days, spend time sketching and questioning those sketches, starting over, going back to that last idea, getting a new one, getting a huge piece of advice that shifts my thinking to a really good place, more drawing. Not much erasing until the final stretch. On the less enjoyable but equally rewarding days, try to figure out coding languages and make things move on screen. At any point in this section, enter self doubt.

5. Throughout the day, realize of how fortunate I am to have a job that I love, where I'm constantly challenged and inspired by the people I work with. Reflect on my place in the world, in relation to others. Realize that as designers we get to assist people in the fulfillment of their dreams. Smile. Breathe. Be proud. Always learn.
04.20.10 / 12:59 PM
I chose design because I firmly believe in making art accessible and useful to the masses. I chose design because I wanted to work with art, to help people communicate, and help people understand communications. I can't think of any other industry that does this.

We are writers, we are artists, we are production monkeys. At best we are all of these things and more. We are not pigeonhole-able, and that is incredibly appealing to me.

Some days I work with my hands, some days I'm on the computer, some days I'm nothing more than a brick layer, but the greater good is being served, and I'm a damn passionate brick layer.

I continue to do what I do, because I see value in that work, and because I support my family. If I could make more money doing something less fulfilling -I wouldn't.

Design gives me the unique ability to feel good about the work I produce, and the ability to provide for my family. This is crucial. Design is crucial.
04.20.10 / 1:05 PM
But that's the reason. 5 things I do?

1) wake up late, get my son ready for the day.
2) sprint to the train station and try not to get hit by a car
3) sort through insane amounts of emails, and try to make sense on how to move forward creatively with them.
4) eat entirely way too much
5) come home, play with my son, and fall asleep with him in my arms, before getting up, to do late night freelance.
04.20.10 / 2:55 PM
1/ Read books, watch movies, play video games, read magazines or newspapers, listen to music, watch sports, play with bunnies, ride scooters, watch people, eat food, listen to the city.

2/ Cook all that down to the essence. This is what I as a designer want to offer.

3/ Apply the essence to projects. If it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit—save it for next time. When it does work out, it's awesome. If it works out a couple of times, then more projects that fit will turn up. It's cool like that.

4/ Chill and stare blankly. Absorb nothing. The mind needs breaks.

5/ Repeat.
04.20.10 / 5:11 PM
@jhlepak : man... I have envy over #4. Wish I could do that.
@anthony : how does the freelance work differ from the 9-5 work...
04.21.10 / 10:31 AM
nice topic guys. the "you're in computers, right?" graphic is amazing. i've definitely gotten that a few times before

the tasks that i perform as a technology director changes every day, but from a high level i would bucket them into these 5 categories (in no real order)

1)i play a consulting role for our clients. this can be in a number of different forms. sometimes its providing interactive strategy, or sometimes its talking to IT departments to make sure that everything we're building will integrate properly with their systems. sometimes its talking to vendors that provide a service we can leverage. essentially, hear a challenge, see what's out there, and provide a solution.

2)i review code and documentation to make sure that it is as buttoned up as possible. this is fun for me as i'm really a coder at heart.

3)i research what is going on in the world of interactive. this helps us stay as far ahead of the curve as possible. while its difficult to be an expert in every new technology, i try my best to at least understand what is out there and have my team learn the technologies that interest them.

4)a large part of my day is spent collaborating with other teams. this is really fun for me, and i'm lucky to work with such a talented group of people. generally this will entail reviewing anything from a strategic concept, wireframes, or full blown creative and elaborating on ideas that work, poking holes in ideas that don't work, or coming up with brand new ideas.

5)the rest of my time is mainly operational. making sure that the folks on my team are learning and growing, making sure that the right frameworks are in place for the company to be efficient, and making sure that all programs are running smoothly.

fun stuff :-)
04.21.10 / 11:41 AM
f i v e _ t h i n g s :

1 _ designer. here it is: i draw pictures all day. this is how i tell my nieces and nephew [ and many adults, too ] what i do. sometimes, it gets hard to articulate to folks who really don't have a grasp of what graphic design is or what graphic designers do, so at times, you've got to dumb it down. that's the one part of what i do that totally sucks.

2 _ collector. i've got lots of stuff, because i collect nearly everything. mostly old stuff, specifically signs, tools, postcards, toys, matchbooks, etc ... basically anything i can get my mitts on. i frequent estate sales, picking up odd things that strike my fancy, and in time, repurpose them. some of the oddest things i have are: an old copper church sign that was made into a shelf, a small hand rake that looks like a leaf and a wooden ammunition crate used as a magazine holder.

3 _ photographer. amateur / aspiring, but passionate and engaged nonetheless. i find abundant beauty in the world around me, and that inspires me to create. my latest [ ongoing ] project has been photographing plants and flowers after they have died. for some reason, i am strangely attracted to this.

4 _ artist. this feeds my obsession to collect / photograph / design / learn / create. it's a vicious circle. in a good way, of course.

5 _ student [ for life ]. live. learn. then learn some more so you can truly live.

together, these are the roles that i use to create and inform my point of view, and ultimately, my work. from where i stand, the world needs positive change now more than ever. if, through any of these roles, i can be part of that change, i'm in.
04.21.10 / 11:41 AM
@thom : man... I wish my days could be so clearly defined. I'm envious.
04.21.10 / 3:10 PM
@ solak... very nice brother man. i feel like i don't get out of my pattern enough. i get so focused... no, obsessed, that i feel like i don't have enough balance.

i get a serene balance from you. and i am totally green with envy for that.
04.22.10 / 1:23 AM
@ solak : Hey man... can you send a photo of that leaf-looking rake contraption?
sounds lovely...
04.22.10 / 6:06 AM
Just read everything on the page again.
I knew there would be one more...

At the root of all 5 thing I wrote about, I would modify the statements to remove the words "client" + "public".
1) I'd like to think I encourage everyone to celebrate their evolution, not just clients...
2) I'd like to challenge everyone to think of the person on the other side of the table as smart and competent and on their side of the table as well...the client's customers and our clients also...

I'd like to apply my 1-5 to see the last 3 words of constanz_a's #4 eradicated. tmonroe's #2 shift in balance. and to see bgrabell achieve his #2.

Right now... more than any other aspect: that's my job.
To be helpful to anyone engaged in this business in whatever capacity.

But secretly, I want to make personal videos that play well in the business environment. I want also to be the voice-over in all of them. But only the ones I write.



We'll post the topic to start the conversation. Where it goes is up to you.

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