When it comes to design, not many people understand what it’s like to create something completely unique then present it to a group of strangers for their unfiltered opinion.
Recently, I became the proud father of a beautiful baby girl. She has perfect eyes, the perfect nose, and the perfect little dimple in her chin. She’s mine. When this little miracle came to life, I started also thinking about the visions I am employed to create on a daily basis.
Other than designers or other creative-based occupations, not too many people are so exposed to subjective critique of their work. When you are passionate about your work, it becomes a source of pride and something you look forward to sharing with the world. Much like my first-born child, it is hard not to see perfection in the work I do.
But, the world of advertising is rarely perfect.
Presenting design work feels very much like bringing your newborn to a party of strangers. First of all, making something from nothing is miraculous. There is a sparkle in the designer’s eye and then the creative process begins and it grows and changes. There are long nights, exhaustion and drama. The hormones are raging and after a long period of work you’re finally ready to show the world the most wonderful creation! The process was brutal, yet the end result is amazing.
After hours of intensive labor, you just can’t wait to show everyone around you the amazing work you did. You can’t wait to point out her perfect eyes, her perfect little nose and the little dimple on her chin. So you dress her up and bring her to the meeting and hold her up in the air declaring the brilliance that is your child!
But, instead of words of praise and giggles of glee and excitement you are met with unexpected reactions. You are presented with blank stares and puzzled looks. Statements like “Those eyes would look better in green” and “Can we make her nose bigger?” Each revision becomes more and more personal. Your paternal instincts kick in. How could someone say these things about your child? Before you know it, your once perfect child is not so perfect anymore and the changes made have left you with something you hardly recognize.
So when you see a designer present their work for the first time, remember it’s not much different than them putting their newborn up for you to critique. It may not appeal to everyone, but it is an art form that takes skill, time and effort to produce. It may not always be the loveliest baby, but a father’s child is always beautiful.