“I have learnt that even when you are have found and are living your so-called passion, it is still a struggle to live the life you were meant to live and do the things you were meant to do in a world that doesn’t understand what it means to live inspired.”
The problem with being a designer, well at least for me, arises from the fact that I chose design as a path as an expression of my self. I am a creator; I spend most of my time in my headspace, a place of ideas, concepts, and possibilities, things that could be birth on our actual physical plane. When I design, like most people who create, I am drawing from a plane higher than our reality. This takes energy, it takes time, and it takes trial and error. It is usually an exhilarating and enriching experience. It’s best done when you create for yourself or at least you create as true as you can to yourself.
Creating is like living with an exposed heart or nerve. Most people can do work in things that have no connection to who they are fundamentally and successfully compartmentalize. Designers and artists don’t have that luxury. Sure there is the reward of being constantly connected with your true self and feeling like you are doing something that matters, something you are passionate about. But the problem arises when you have to create in ways that violate who you are.
You work on projects that hold no excitement for you, you work on things that are ethically questionable, you are sucked into using your skills in service of the military-industrial-socio-economic-machine and by so doing neglect to create the inspired things that would benefit mankind and move us forward. The thing you loved becomes the thing you dread.
You are forced into being hyper productive, churning out design after design after design everyday. Eventually, your quality suffers, or worse, you stagnate, rehashing the same ideas, same techniques until creating becomes one dull, life sucking process. The thing you couldn’t wait to do in the morning becomes the thing you now run away from.
It’s a perpetual struggle to strike the balance between the work you do for money and the work you do as an expression of your soul. It’s a perpetual struggle balancing the expectations of the many people who rely and demand of your skill and your expectations of your work quality and content. Even when you fight for and acquire your dream, you still have to fight to protect it against the forces that would derail it.
The problem with being a designer (or any creative profession) is the fact that we inadvertently invest of ourselves in every project. There are strands of our DNA scattered all over our work, our process, our spaces. If those are violated, so are we. If we disrespect the gift, we disrespect ourselves.