I started this blog to help me record the self-assigned task of learning to design, to be a designer. I’m doing all kinds of stuff at the moment to constitute a reference to ‘designing’, but I wouldn’t dare use the phrase “I’m a designer” at the moment. It got me thinking about this statement so I thought I better check it out, and according to Dictionary.com this is the meaning of ‘designer’:

de·sign·er [dih-zahy-ner]
a person who devises or executes designs, especially one who creates forms, structures, and patterns, as for works of art or machines.

1640–50; design + -er

So, for now, I can honestly say I do a lot of devising of designs, and there is definitely some (and plenty more to come) executing of designs. So am I a designer now?

In someone’s eyes I am. My wife and her mother look at my work and see me as the designer in the family business. When they compliment my work I’m happy, but I shrug off their praise, and start explaining to them the mistakes I made to get the work done, the time it took and how I hoped it would be done better and sooner. I wish for the day I have more skill in executing projects I haven’t even started! I have a tendency to look at what I haven’t achieved before I acknowledge what I have.

So, to start using this blog as intended, I will state now that I have devised and executed some great designs so far. I enjoyed the process and the material is being received by customer (and intended target audience) quite well. I have ideas for more material and have learnt a lot over the last few design jobs to help me with the next few. I’m researching other work and drafting designs in the believe I am improving.

However, I’m doing all this design work on the side of my life, so I see it as a hobby rather than a career. And that is probably the issue for me. Other people are designers because that is what they do for a living, whereas I am just doing it in my spare time.

So, in the quiet corners of the blogosphere I’m stating now – I’m a designer. I hope to work on future projects that will take me outside my comfort zone. I hope some of these projects will be for someone else besides my wife, and payment is in monetary terms rather than love and affection. The latter, I hope, will always be a well paying client.

The infamous phrase ‘if a tree falls…’ throws out the question of existence and observation. So, if I create a design in this huge creative forest and nobody is there to appreciate it, is it a design? Apparently not. Thankfully my wife and mother-in-law are constantly listening for falling trees. They appreciate the small trees I have felled for the family home. We all hope that someone else in the village will recognise my tree-felling skills and ask me to do the job for them. In the meantime, I think it’s time I stopped writing and go get the axe!