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February 15, 2008

Would you do it?

I seem to be at a conflict with myself everyday. It's getting on my nerves. I don't have MPD but I just seem to be questioning everything that I do and self-evaluating myself. This is what I think the problem is.

I want to do too many things at the same time.

So, problem stated. Now what's the solution? Well, instead of running around in circles, let's talk about lecture/seminar yesterday in Professor Jasper's class. To be honest, Prof Jasper is the first, and only, prof I have ever had, who actually has an opinion about things. What I mean is, many professor provide an unbiased, untainted stance on the subject they teach, albeit the classes prior to Jasper's class are mostly studio courses with minimal discussion opportunities. I don't even think that it's the structure of the course itself. Jasper doesn't seem to be afraid of saying, "This is my work, this is what I do, and here is where I stand."

Let me back up for a sec. On the FTF 2000, I think the manifesto is quite vague, highly optimistic, plain, and most of all, elitist. I am willing to bet that a majority of the class agrees with the FTF. We, as students with this gung-ho approach to life and spontaneity, agree that we shouldn't be creating and designing things soley for consumer satisfaction. Although, the thought of the designing an object or a product that will be purchased by the mass consumer culture does appeal to us for reasons of fame an fortune. My point is that, as entry-level designers, we don't have a say to what we do.

You're saying, Yes yes! You have a choice! You can choose what you do and stand up for what you believe in! Blah blah blah. Do I really have a choice? If I'm employed at a design firm—any design firm—and I am on the team to design an entire campaign that targets workers from another country to work the crappiest jobs in the U.S. for minimum wage, would I do it? Of course not. I have my own ethical and moral values and I have a choice.

But if this project would pay for rent, insurance, food, clothing, and leisure spending money, I'd probably just do the work. Isn't that sad? Isn't that unsatisfying? Isn't that unfortunate? Isn't that just what every entry-level, just out of college adult would think? Screw morals, fuck ethics and just do it for the money? Would you rape the opportunity for the cost of morals and ethics? Would you do it?

I sense that I may lose my identity as a graphic designer/communicator in the future. And if I ever do, I am truly sorry. Sometimes, I blame that elitist manifesto written and signed by the "signatories" of well-established visual communicators of the century. They are not rebels. They have created their own rut of well-designed products and "beautiful" visual communication devices that they feel the need to drag the rest of us emerging graphic designers into their mess. They are the design-mongers, dealing and handling, writing and expressing design as if they were the creators of this profession. Who are they to say, "Stand up for what you believe in and act now!" Who are they? Who are they REALLY? And why are they telling me what to do?

I never saw it coming, but I am about the enter the most significant part of my professional life. It's fast, like the LA highway system. It's tender, like a baby's skull. It's sexy like the Victoria's Secret Winter Collection 2007. It's cool, like Pokémon cards back in the day. It's fun like a white sandy shore. It's scary, like post-modernism. It's nothing blasé! If we are only given one chance in our career-driven life, one chance to choose, to make a choice, we have to make it now. Because I have an inkling that we will never have a choice later on. Let's make our choices! We are the next generation of graphic designers, let's show them what WE are made of!