I was supposed to post this last night but my internet connection was being so slow, nothing would work.
Do you ever get that feeling… when you feel so alone, despite being surrounded by people? Nothing seems to matter when the only thing that matters hurts the most. Sometimes, I feel like my only real, long term friend, is Photoshop. It gets better with age, it rarely disappoints me, it doesn’t tell me that I suck and it’s always there when I need it to be. Too bad it’s just software. Anyway, get ready for another sob story. What?! Cooome on… ADMIT IT, I’m pretty good at them. Huh, huh?
When I was younger, as some of you may recall from previous explanations, I was a ‘loser’. I was gross, nobody liked me, I was the school joke, I had no friends, blah blah blah, you get the picture. Eventually, when I did have some ‘friends’, well, I later realised they weren’t very good friends. I never got invited to any cool parties and my social network was tiny. So, my weekends consisted of working on my website, practicing html and experimenting on a little program called Paint Shop Pro 6. Eventually, I felt confident enough to start creating my own brushes, textures etc. Eventually, I offered them on my old blog, so people could download and use them. I must say, it was kind of cool seeing other people utilise a brush or texture I’d made to create something of their own. When I felt like I had done all I could with PSP I updated to the famous Photoshop.
I had heard of this mysterious program on many forums, and finally decided to step out of my PSP box and discover it for myself. At the beginning, I was slightly frustrated, with so many new tools to learn, I felt a little limited. However, once I got the hang of it, Photoshop and I became inseparable! While other sixteen year olds were out hooking up with guys, which is FINE, (I was actually quite jealous at the time) I was at home hooking up with Photoshop. No, I was not kissing my computer!! Gross. I’m not that weird, geez!
At around the age of 16/17 I realised that I really enjoyed creating graphics, I thought that I could possibly pursuit it as a career. I hadn’t really considered a creative job seriously before this. I mean, I was a total nerd, I wasn’t cool. I was awkward, hyper, monotoned, paranoid, miserable… a dork (I still basically am all those things) I was the opposite of cool. ’Arty’ people were cool. I decided to ignore my lack of cool characteristics and become a graphic designer anyway! Once I was in University, studying towards this qualification, an old friend more interested in the fine arts, decided it was her duty to inform me, that in comparison to the fine arts, graphic design was nothing, stupid even. I felt a little annoyed, she basically told me that the subject I had chosen to study was completely irrelevant and of no value.
My dad also disagreed with my course choice. He really wanted me to focus on something like accounting, economics or business instead. I can’t exactly blame him, I admit, I can see his concern now. Entry level graphic design pays TERRIBLY. But of course, not everything in life can be about money. These opinions, that I had to listen to, from people I respected made me feel quite discouraged. Being told your course is pointless isn’t a good feeling. I already felt like a failure and I had barely even begun my journey.
One of my teachers in my first semester also failed my first University project and from that moment on, I’m absolutely certain that he despised me. He made my life hell for the duration of that semester and was always a lot harder on me than the other students in the class. He made me feel like my work was, well, just shit. Throughout Uni, I always felt a little out of place. Most of the work my class mates produced was clean, sleek, minimal, simple. My work, ha, it was and still is, the complete opposite. Messy, complex, busy and detailed. It’s almost like my work is a reflection of my brain, always full of hundreds of thoughts, constantly changing and occasionally driving me insane. My life has, generally, been quite depressing and dull, so I guess I expressed all my hopes and dreams in my design work. Maybe that’s why it’s always so colourful.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is: Nobody has ever really appreciated my work, I’m finding it difficult to find any graphic design jobs that suit me and I’m starting to lose hope to be honest. Even my boyfriend advised that I should refine my folio and add some more simple work. Which was a little devastating. Sure, I can do simple, corporate work, but it’s not true to my style. Throughout Uni, I never felt like my work was very appreciated or liked. Sure, a few lecturers thought it was ‘beautiful’, which I was extremely grateful for, but in general, I felt so discouraged and pressured to be trendy. To fit into this minimal, simple, popular… mould.
So the other day, when I found out that something I designed was actually going to be produced, it didn’t just mean that I had won a competition. It meant that nine years of silent, hard, work, finally amounted to something. Somebody finally noticed something I MADE. It gave me hope, it was a sign that I shouldn’t give up yet. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, click this.
To all of you who ever compliment me on my ‘edits’ and the work I do on Dark Vice, thank you. Thank you so much, to a stressed out, hopeful, designer, it truly means a lot. It gives me motivation to keep working towards a target, that hopefully actually exists.