Never ever doubt that you might be inferior to the other designers out there. I once doubted and ended up wasting 13 years on the jobs that, at the end of the day, didn’t make me happy. Even if you achieve a certain comfortable professional status and income – never give up on your dreams.
I doubted twice and paid for it by ending up in a graphic design school with most of my classmates being younger than me except for a few, who are, like me, trying to change their professional fates and are willing to give up the comfortable status they’ve achieved doing something else in order to continue the rest of the professional years being creative.
When I was 17, I enrolled in the Graphic Design major at the Oregon State University. I loved everything about my classes – I’d go to bed and get up in the morning being inspired by creativity. But the fact that I was not an American – and knew little about the mobility and industry available in USA that offer creative jobs – and the fact that one of our most advanced professors, who was also an acting professional at a Portland ad agency, kept telling us that we should be prepared to be unemployed for a long time, scared me.
Scared me because I could not afford not to work – not, when I only had my father to work full time, and not, when even with the scholarship, we paid for the college with the money we didn’t really have. So, I quit. I quit the Graphic Design major and transferred to the Business school. And I wish…
If only this professor could tell us – the graphic design freshman students – that there are so many possibilities to apply graphic design professionally, I doubt I would have left that major.
The second time I doubt was in 2005 when I happened to be in the graphic design classes with a lot of Japanese students, who, as you know, think so differently and uniquely from the rest of us that it sometimes puts you in a disadvantage professionally. Their designs were so original and peculiar that I couldn’t stomach the idea to compete with so many talents at the age I was back then. Plus, I was living in NYC, and we all know that one cannot afford a comfortable lifestyle in the city with so many temptations.
Now, I’m laughing, because if I felt ‘older’ back then, I’m even older now and, again, I’m starting it all over again. Am I scared of the future? You betcha! Am I hopeful for the future? You betcha! Only this time I will NOT doubt.