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If I could make a comfortable living working from home making nonsensical animated gifs everyday, I would be happy. Hopefully red wine and comfy chairs would be involved as well.
“I need some advice on a few things, do you want to have lunch?” my friend asked me.
My friend, who I will call Tim, was in a rut. He just graduated NYU and had trouble finding a job. Not only that, his major was something he took on to make his parents happy, he really wants to do design.
We talked for at least an hour and a half, at which point I began to notice a pattern. Nearly 80% of his problems were other people’s successes.
“My friend is making so much money doing some really bad photography for people.” he would say. “This other guy is totally ripping off my ideas for this clothing line.”
At that point, I had to tell him.
“The fastest way to crash your car is to keep staring at how the driver next to you is holding his wheel.”
I’m of the belief that most designers go through what I call a quarter-life crisis. It’s the harsh realization that comes after a few years of working in the industry. They realize that there is a discord of experiences. It is the realization of the differences between the utmost value of design that students’ mentors and instructors have proclaimed in school, and the reality of the ambivalence (or, at worst, stark undervaluing) of many clients once they leave university’s heralded doors. It is the confusion and heartache caused by leaving an environment where everyone cares if something is beautiful, useful, and of the highest craft, to a place where you’re the crazy one because you’re the only one who cares about that sort of stuff. It’s moving from one universe where mediocrity is the devil to one where average is, well, common-place.
Frank articulated everything I’ve been feeling about my career in the past year better than I ever could. Read the rest here.
At 25, I really thought I’d have most of my life figured out by now. Turns out I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. I am starting to have doubts about whether or not I even have what it takes to continue pursuing a creative career. Some days I feel like a fraud, like everything I’ve manage to accomplish up to this point has been a result of luck and circumstance, not talent. I feel like I’m good at a lot of different things, but not GREAT. I want to believe I could be great someday and inspire others, but right now I’m having a really hard time getting into that mindset. I’m at a major crossroads in my life. Moving out here has helped me clear my head and has given me a lot of time to reflect on my life. Now I need to take advantage of this downtime to work on building my confidence and figuring out my next move. I’m not posting this publicly to fish for compliments, but any advice would be much appreciated. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way…….