Have you got what it takes?

by MJ Page

What does it take to be a good Graphic Designer in the digital era? Actually, a few things come to mind. With the new media, a grasp of the technology is a given. Artistic talent simply isn't enough anymore. You've got to have some innate technical ability or you'll always be fighting an uphill battle. But if your right and left brain are in sync and you happen to have an aptitude for both the technological and creative applications, you're obviously a good candidate for a design career.

However, the ultimate test of your capabilities, of whether your work will have an impact in the industry depends greatly on your mindset. It's the designers who've learned to make the technology adapt to their needs (instead of simply responding to what a computer can do), that transcend the medium, who set the standard in the business. (These, by the way, are also the designers who are steadily employed even in times of downsizing and crashes.)

As a Creative Director, I've had the privilege of working with some talented designers over the years and like most "Creatives," they've all been highly unusual personalities. From the bizarre to the truly nuts, I've seen some amazing personality quirks under the guise of creativity. (One Art Director I knew practiced yoga meditation on the floor of his office before every meeting, but that's another story.) With skills and talent being equal, the most gifted individuals I've worked with have been those that know how to balance both images and words. They understand the dynamic relationship between visual objects, but first and foremost they're good communicators.

And finally, the one thing I believe that can be said about good designers is this: they all constantly challenge themselves to change and evolve. The word "static" is not in their vocabulary. They never ride the status quo. They're absolutely driven. Not by traditional measurements of success, but by their own internal levels of perfection. Somehow it sets them apart; it's what gives their work lasting value. And whether they find their niche in print or on the Internet, it's what makes their work marketable.

MJ Page
E-Commerce Creative Manager
JCPenney Direct Marketing Services

Article posted with permission from:
Art Space Design