I never intended to be a graphic designer. I never intended to design websites. All I knew was that I wanted to do something different, something epic. Whatever path I would take, I was convinced that it wasn’t going to be some 9-to-5 job sitting behind a desk I didn’t own, in a place I didn’t like, doing work I hated, for a person who could fire me at any moment. I had this feeling in my soul, this unction, this desire to jump in and see where my passions would take me. Where I am today is a result of that single decision to jump. Though design wasn’t my first life’s pursuit, it has definitely become a passion that screams loud from within.
I think we’re all searching for a place to belong. A place where people can identify with us and affirm us. Some of us are only one environment away from being in our “sweet spot” to live the life and do the work we dream of. Interestingly enough, I stumbled into my environment. An environment where I belong. A place where my creative instincts have been given the most room to run wild. That environment was… design.
For the first few years, I would tell myself that I wasn’t a designer. It just didn’t settle with me. It still doesn’t at times. Not knowing I was in the right kind of environment to foster my own creativity, I would meet other college students who were pursuing degrees in the creative profession at design schools. I would label them as designers, but I avoided wearing the title for myself. Since I’ve never taken any academic classes in this field, I embraced this ridiculous story that designing wasn’t for me. Yet, I’d continue to design.
As silly as it sounds, people would hire me to design and sometimes I’d tell them that I wasn’t a designer. For some reason, that never seemed to bother them. I guess it was my issue to resolve. As long as I could create meaningful work, people were satisfied – designer or not. It’s been 5 years, and I haven’t seemed to shake this design-bug. Honestly, I think we’re meant for each other. Within the span of 5 years, I’ve worked with more clients than I can count, and assisted countless friends and family members in launching their ideas and brands.
What I’ve grown to love most about design is the creative process one goes through to make a brand or idea happen. It’s the aha! moments one experiences when they realize they’ve made a masterpiece. It’s the emotions and energy one feels when they see a beautiful product design or piece of architecture. Design is more than just mere pixels or paint strokes on a canvas. It’s creative expression. It’s controlled chaos. It’s visual thinking. It’s Design Thinking.
You are what you think and whatever you create is a personification , a dimensionalization of your thoughts. The artist who passionately believes in himself possesses the greatest talent of all. He is already successful. -Joey Reiman
Over the past few years, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I share a desire with many designers to create art that captivates both the heart and mind. To create art that tells a story. Art that champions an idea. Art that unifies in the same way that music does. I belong to this community. A community made up of all types of creatives – designers, architects, painters, artists, photographers, producers, thinkers.
I once thought that I stumbled into design by coincidence, but I’ve learned that each of us can be guided to where we fit most in the world. If we don’t fight it, our passions along with God’s help can guide us to the path we were most destined to take. There’s a reason why amazing athletes like Michael Jordan, entertainers like Michael Jackson, and orators like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were able to find their path. For many of them, it may have seemed like a coincidence at first, but over time it became clear that their contribution was meant to be.
So here I am, this young kid who has a desire to inspire a generation of creatives to do epic work in the world and an ambition to help next-generation leaders develop their ideas. I believe this is part of my contribution to the world. Sometimes I sit and reflect on the adventure thus far. There’s no feeling like knowing that you’re right in the midst of being guided to the path you were most destined to take. That your life isn’t insignificant. That your little spec of existence matters. Now if only I can awaken possibility in others to feel and experience the same thing. Though I never “intended” to be a designer, design has somehow chosen me. It is with this new found awakening that I embrace my own path of possibilities.
My lesson for today is simple:
Embrace your own adventure, and let it guide you to the path you were most destined to take.