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So, I recently became a father.  Which has inspired me to look closely at my life, and start asking a lot of questions.  I’m finding that many of those questions have parallels that relate to work as a graphic designer – a job that requires both “careful planning” and “going with one’s gut”.

True – some of this self-examination started with a sense of panic. 

I mean – good God – what was I thinking to help bring this tiny, innocent, beautiful being into the world? Its not like I don’t know what it can be like out here.

But mostly – it is because I know that one day in the very near future, that little boy is going to start looking around and asking a lot of questions himself.

One question that I keep coming back to was simply this: “Why did I decide to be a graphic designer?”

Previously in life – my answers to that question have generally been trite, or overly simple. Like to reference the first time I really noticed and paid attention to the film titles of Saul Bass. Or to point out that I was in college taking art classes, and realized that I would like to keep eating after graduation.

But then one day, while I was reading a book about parenting theories – something triggered a memory – and there it was. The sirens call that reached into my heart and soul and said “this is it.” Design is balance.

It is a balance between passion and practicality.

Between art and utility.

Between civilization and chaos.

And while most people in their work end up serving one side or the other – working in design you get to do both. You get to make functional things that are also beautiful. You get to work on beautiful things that also serve a purpose and touch many people.

Going beyond this – I started looking at what my day to day work experience is like, and I’m just finding more and more parallels to things I want to share with or teach to my son.

Often in this field we are faced with questions of how do you take a fun or enjoyable concept and make it a realistic, doable thing. Something that can realistically happen with the budget and time you have, without losing the soul or concept that made the idea special in the first place.

Because at the end of the day – don’t those questions apply to pretty much everything?