We may often find ourselves in situations where we think the amount of work that we’re doing is not worth the reward. We might eventually get complacent because all of our clients prefer to use us as puppets rather than trust our design sense. Yes, the design sense we’ve put a considerable amount of resources into acquiring. Sometimes, we need to close our eyes to the immediate prize and open our imaginations to the bigger picture. If the question ever arises of the appropriate time for us as designers to work hard, the answer should be: always.
Many times we may find ourselves doing a lot of unnecessary work. For example, making a million changes to a logo that we designed perfectly the first time around. After the fifth time of dealing with this from five different clients the process begins to get very old. We might begin to see ourselves as nothing more than puppets so that clients may realise their ideas. It’s extremely easy to get discouraged by this point and eventually do just the basic amount of work that we need to survive and nothing more. However, we need to ask ourselves, “Why did we become designers in the first place?” We didn’t work so hard to get where we are to fall into the rut in which so many people across all careers unfortunately find themselves. We need to work hard to stay out of that rut and build a platform that elevates us to the clouds.
We are problem solvers. We are not slaves. Working hard does not mean sitting glued behind our computers all day. Working hard means doing what is necessary to achieve the success that many of our peers are not willing to see. Working hard means walking the road less travelled. Working hard means understanding and accepting that we can’t live basic lives with our minds on autopilot. In order to get to where we desire to be, we need to fulfil our call to be designers. We need to undertake the roll of true designers and participate in this profession so passionately that people envy anyone who is a designer. Doctors are often envied and engineers are often envied. Designers have the potential to attract the same amount of prestige and more.
Now by working hard, it does not mean rejecting every client who will not listen to sound advice. Of course, we need to pay bills just as everyone else. However, in our free time, we can work on projects over which we have full control. It’s possible that even maintaining our style as best as we can while working for others might even bring us some unprecedented acclamation years later. What we may see as trivial today may be what makes us successful later on in life. For the autonomous projects, let’s put our all into them, just as we should with every project we have. Eventually, we’ll get lucky and we’ll realise that our hard work brought us that luck.
For now, friends, let us continue to try our best and not lose hope. We won’t always see the larger image that life has to offer. In a 1000 piece puzzle, one piece may seem so insignificant. However, we know that the puzzle is incomplete without it. Every action that we do in our field is a part of our own puzzles. Let’s keep building until our puzzle is completely solved.