What’s in a Name?
I have been working on articulating my approach to creativity for years. I decided to finally begin to put my ideas out for you to see and the only way I could describe it was
Art Centered / Design Focused.
I began my career in Fine Art as a printmaker. Art gave me the tools to become expressive and take joy in the life I have. I loved the ways in which I could explore ideas, feelings, and thoughts. I loved pushing my skills with new methods and tools. After mastering my craft, I wanted to make work that created a real impact for others.
In my search for that impact, I discovered Graphic Design. It gave me the tools to become creatively engaged as a citizen. To design in any way is to care, to educate, and to help. I design to make myself a better person within a better world. The design process teaches me circumspection and empathy every new day. I use the design cycle to test my ethos as an actual working system: I face every part of my life using it to guide me.
These two disciplines fuse together and become my operating system. I use all my abilities in my professional career and personal life.
Putting It All Together
How do I meld art and design day to day? I teach, create, and do client work. But in order for an effort to be meaningful, I use them to be of service to others. Service is where I bring all I have learned to bear in the most humble way possible. It is slow, hard, and often feels unrewarding in the short term. It is work you do for the good of your community, organization, or polity that is often unpaid and uncredited. You often forge this path with a committee of others. It is infuriating, then amazing, then infuriating all over again.
Make no mistake – for these and so many other reasons, I love service.
Service work is the ultimate in creativity, people. Always do some service. It keeps your head the right size while sharpening your every skill. If you can’t find service work to do, pick up one juicy pro-bono client or volunteer project. GIVE BACK and you will give yourself so much more. It reminds you that you cannot always be in the game for money or fame.
If you can be of service to another person, you are accountable, reliable, responsible. You prove yourself to be a real resource. To develop high esteem (either from yourself or others), do esteemable acts. Work on one service project a year to build community without expecting any credit. It trains you to be a community leader far faster than anything else. To push myself to my highest level yet, I must create the type of project I need to push me there. Art Centered / Design Focused is that work.
I want to be a leader for my community and a resource for my industry. I want to help others find paths to their best lives by using what I know to teach or inspire them. I am working to find what I have learned and what is the next area I must master to continue my own growth. I am venturing forth, working to create a platform for me to serve others using art and design as I move on in my career. This is that platform, and I hope you can find some value here over the next several years.