Monday 30 January 2012

Confessions of a designer

The other day I came across this quote on D├ęcor 8. It’s such a simple quote, but for me, I think quite profound. It got me doing some self introspection and I thought I would pen down some of my thoughts.

Let me start by confessing that one of my biggest weaknesses is my aversion to change. I know there are some people who embrace change and all things new- I am not one of those people. New technology frightens me-my mobile phone is 6 years old and I will replace it when it stops working. New, unfamiliar situations like taking on a somewhat challenging project that’s outside my comfort zone makes me feel like I’m no longer in control.

I know it’s a bit contradictory for me, a designer, to have such a dislike for change when change and innovation is what we as designers do. But it’s something I have to constantly work through. And it’s not easy.

Do you ever get this awful shrinking, queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have to start out on a new endeavor? I do. It’s usually before I take on a new project. Don’t get me wrong, there’s excitement too, but that sense of apprehension, dread and self doubt is always there clawing away. Apprehension over how I will manage and orchestrate the entire project, dread over all the issues that I know will pop up and self doubt over whether I’m good enough. The task ahead seems like a huge, insurmountable mountain that’s taking immense pleasure from my squirming discomfort. I think that’s why I took a liking to this quote, because the funny thing is, once I actually get started on the task, the mountain seems to gradually shrink and I realize that in spite of all the challenges, I got things done and I laugh about why I felt so intimidated by it in the first place.

And so I strut around with a an air of cockiness until the phone rings and there is a new project in the works that’s more complicated and challenging than the last and the entire cycle begins once again. Only this time I’m slightly less frightened and a little more confident of the whole ‘anything that can go wrong will go wrong’ that’s part of every project.

I have now saved this quote as my wallpaper, so the next time I ‘do battle’ with the mountain I’ll remember to have a quick glance at the quote, breathe and embrace the task at hand.

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