31 July 2007

[design] I Has Accomplishments!

886. In conjunction with this posting, which is a basic exploration of my skill set, herewith an exploration of my modest record of accomplishments.

When I settled on graphic design as the Thing I Wanted To Do When I Grew Up, I knew that breaking into the field would be a bit tough. I am still not at the place I want to be, however, that's not the same as saying that I've not achieved anything. 

What is that someone once said–the difference between a saint and a sinner is that the saint didn't quit trying? Something like that.

And that's as maybe. One thing that has hit home again, and again, and again is that design isn't the sort of place for people who are bashful, or hide their lights under a bushel (I, inopportunely, have a sad tendency to do this; business proceeds as usual during alterations). On the other hand, one shouldn't exaggerate, I think; you want people to trust what you say.

Perforce and herewith are a list of the things I've done, the things I'm proudest of, in no particular order. 
  1. I am a content creator. Of the sites QuarkVsInDesign and Designorati, I have supplied a great deal of stuff–news, reviews, opinions. I know not how much weight these writings carry, but I understand it may not be world changing, but it's of a degree of importance–at least as much importance as to get commenters at both places calling me an Adobe shill. I must be doing something right!
  2. Adobe, Inc has quoted and linked my reviews for InDesign CS3 and InCopy CS3. I really must be doing something right!
  3. I haven't designed the range of logos I'd like to yet, but the two I did for the old-style Designorati departments (cartography and graphic design) I am quite proud of. I'll bring those out presently; this is more of a brainstorming session.
  4. I never thought I'd get my name in any book anywhere but as it happens, I have my name in one (Illustrator CS2 @ Work, by Pariah S. Burke, ISBN 978-0672328015) and am soon to have my name in another one (Pariah's upcoming Mastering InDesign CS3 from Wiley, ISBN 978-0470114568) as Technical Editor (which is, by the way, a fascinating thing to do and something I heartily recommend. If you can do this, do this). What a TE in a book like this does is take the author's manuscript, run the exercises and make sure everything works the way it should. In the case of the Illustrator book, I was also expected to catch as many style errors as I could; in the InDesign book, there was another editor on the team to do that. I'd love to do more editing–it's one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done. And, like I said, my name's in print!
  5. I have been a member of the Adobe Creative Suite 2 and Creative Suite 3 program. This was to provide me with copies of the software so that I could run the exercises in the two books, but while I was in the process I gave as much feedback as I could. It gave me a great insight into how a company like Adobe tries to iron all the bugs out. No software is perfect, even the finished produce, but Adobe does a mad thorough job.
  6. For the past three, going on four, years, I've been laying out and designing the quarterly for the local branch of the Sierra Club (the Oregon Chapter, Columbia Group). I hesitate to say newsletter, because that's always to me been a much more informal thing. The Columbia Overlook, on the other hand, is a 4-page broadsheet that has news, opinion, and upcoming events. I've had to cöordinate with editors, submitters, and people with photographs; I've run into many things I think your average news designer has, yet, on a different level; this is assuredly one part of my experience that I'd like to kick up to that mythical next level, if only I had the chance. Some of my issues can be downloaded from this link. I think I have it pretty tight and clean looking, and I'm proud not only that I can do this, but I can do this for a group I admire and whose aims I believe in.
  7. And how can I forget that I am now a semi-professional photographer? I was actually paid for the rights to one of my own favorite photos (see the blog header for an edited version of my downtown skyline) and am still flattered that someone liked it enough to buy the rights to it. I may have another side line...
Okay, I see that I have done some interesting things, but naturally, I want more. What would be ideal at this point is to think for a few minutes (at least) and decide for myself what things I want to do next, and how I can get the experience doing them...or the experience that would enable me to do them.

More exploration here to come.

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