I’m saying goodbye to design.
This is a story about my personal growth and how I learned to open myself up to things I really love. If you asked my family and friends what I do for a living they’d probably say just about everything you can think of which includes…
Design, coding, user experience, conversion rate optimization, video production, YouTube videos, search optimization, paid advertising, social media, website architecture, photography … and …
…it doesn’t stop there. If your head isn’t spinning by now, cheers mate.
When I graduated from Skyview High School in 2001 I had a hard time figuring out who I wanted to be when I grew up. There was no mistaking my love for filmmaking. The idea that you can create something from the ground up and share it with the world inspired me.
When it came time for college, I knew I wanted to attend film school, but it wasn’t feasible and our culture didn’t appreciate art as much as it does now.
Based on some tests, it was determined by the state that I wasn’t very smart, but I felt like a genius. No university would take me. My math skills were bad and my ability to get words down on a page wasn’t good enough for most English teachers. I really struggled. I flunked math over and over. It was after failing calculus for the third time that I realized I needed to do something else. So, I started learning about about website design and development.
For the next 6 years I worked towards, and earned, two degrees from Clark College (Graphics Communications and Web Design and Development). I enjoyed the creative process, designing from the ground up and building something that had never existed before. I knew it would be a good fit, and it was.
My first job was at a small local web design and SEO agency. I did some reciprocal linking for close to a year before I started working design and development. Not long after that my career dived right into project management and that’s where I’ve been for most of the last 10 years. I’ve worked for Chet Holmes, Tony Robbins, Crock Pot, various universities, Peace Health and so much more.
Over the last decade I’ve designed, built and marketed hundreds of concepts. Not least of which, was a really loaded YouTube channel. There’s some good stuff, and most of it is pretty ridiculous.
Sadly, what I’ve discovered about life is that you can’t really do everything you want to do. In theory you could, but you can’t be great at everything. Reflecting on who I am now and who I want to be in the future really brought a lot of things to light that I had been avoiding or neglecting all together.
What I learned about myself is/was heart breaking. I’ve been trying my entire life to impress other people. I wanted to show everyone around me that I’m some kind of special snowflake and that I’m not a dumb and unskilled person an SAT test determined. I was living in some kind of fantastical reality where I’d be looked up to and be above everyone around me.
…and that’s where I went very, very wrong.
A close friend asked me one day, “what’s healthy and what do you enjoy doing?” It wasn’t a horribly complex question, but for some reason it hit me hard. I really love design, but I love filmmaking more. I don’t really know what that means for me, but I know that I can’t be great at everything all the time. It won’t give me the critical freedom to grow important skills.
My friends comment brought other feelings to the forefront about life in general and the challenges I’ve faced during my journey. When working with a designer it was said I was “out of touch” and they questioned the creative “authority” I had. That was many years ago at this point, but those comments still bring out really painful feelings.
I realize now that it’s not so much what was said, as it was the truth hidden between the lines. The idea that I loved something so much, wanted to be an expert but was never given the chance to be that person.
So with that, I give you my love letter to design.
I’ll dabble in design every now and then, but there are younger and more talented people out there these days. Studying the art of filmmaking and marketing/advertising is where I should live and that’s where you’ll find me. I have an amazing and beautiful privileged life and while I have the time, I’m gonna give total focus to what I love and hopefully by sharing that with others, I will change the world.
I’ve worked on music videos (Imagine Dragons), created fan films and pop culture shorts, wrote and produced an independent film and so much more. I share my influence and knowledge with others and I executive produce short films for other growing artists.
Creativity flows through my veins and as long I’m breathing, I’ll share that with the world through the mediums I choose.
Farewell to design and thank you for all the wonderful memories. If it wasn’t for you, I would have never been able to accomplish some of what I have already. So, that’s it I guess.
Thank you for reading, and here’s to the amazing future that lies ahead…