doing what I do

In a social setting somewhere random, Someone asked me what I do.
“umm I’m a designer” I mumbled- not quite sure if I should link a longer line with it to explain exactly what I design. Predictably the next question was, “So what kind of clothes do you design?”
Sigh. “Well it’s like brochures and logos and all” I try to sound excited but end up sounding irritated. I hate myself for making something I’m so passionate about sound as lame as past-time on the computer.
“I conceptualize ideas for products and campaigns- and then see the applications through” Great. Now I sound like I have no idea what I do, except use long words to sound important.

I struggle almost every time I’m asked this question not because I don’t know the answer but because I have yet to find the words which do justice to what I actually do. I look at things we all see everyday, and use them to grow as a person. Too pseudo. I actually design for agencies on a contract basis. Ugh. Too limiting. I believe that design is all not something that I can confine to the boundaries of human definitions. Aaaargh. Too philosophical. I search in vain for words which will encompass the excitement and thrill I feel in my work. Can words really ever make up for feeling?

“so what do you do?”
“jee I’m a teacher.”
“oh how nice beta. What do you teach?”
“umm design.”
“oh what kind of clothes do you design?”

siiiiiigh.

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12 thoughts on “doing what I do

  1. * “I breathe life into boring and meaningless concepts.”

    * “I make things exciting for YOU to see!”

    * “I help the world look more colorful!”

    Erm… I don’t know. I guess also that its designers like yourself who make me want to ‘earn’ more so that I can ‘spend’ more on things that look yummy – design wise. šŸ™‚

  2. words can not always explain feelings…I love accounting and I’m majoring in it..how am I supposed to tell someone what I do?!…umm i work on payrolls and taxes. whoa!..now thats boring…I dont know why but Accountants are labled as boring people…I think the best thing to do is tell them aunties to go do some research and find out for themselves…what accountants do or what kind of things designers do!!!….haha

  3. I face the same problem. My field is Data Comm Networks and their security. But when I say this I get a ” WHAT “. Then I tried and ended up saying “I fix computers” and people started wondering that after all this education he fixes computers a lowly tech.

    I still cant figure out what to say that describes my job. Anything else besides fixing computers is too hard to explain.

  4. i cant count the number of times i have gone through this- i have ahmed pervez, bashir mirza etx paintings in my house, & the minute i say i am a designer, after the “make me clothes” its “oohhh yeh paintings aap ki hain” hellooo check the artist’s sign.

  5. gosh… i think everyone has the same problem!! im into public relations.. and no one seems to understand, what exactly PR is all abt.. when i say im into PR.. they’re like.. oh advertising… then when i try explaining i notice ppl lose interest mid-way.. maybe coz theyre too dumb, maybe coz theyre ignorant.. maybe they jus don care… or maybe theyre jus plain bad listeners… but why ask “beta, what do u do” in first place! šŸ™‚

  6. Jammie, you are agraphic designer, kooolllllllllll?\!!!?!?
    I love designing too, be it clothes, cards..or anything..
    but I am nothign proefessional..I wanna start designing greetign cards, don’t know where to start from??

    any idea??

  7. OMG! Me too. I am an Editor of Corporate Communications and people always ask me ‘which magazine?’. Argh.

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