Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone.

We've been running around a lot this month, weekends have been spent helping my parents move and when that was over, it was time to get ready for the holidays. Busy busy!

I'm still on the hunt for work, which is fine as it's an odd time of year for this. I had one friend tell me that she got her job over the holidays, but the general thought is that not a lot of people will be hiring now. More likely they will be trimming a bit of the holiday fat this year to keep in the black.

So anyway, I've been thinking that I should try to maybe do some personal artwork. And then I had the thought that I could perhaps market and sell these things. I like creating rare and unique pieces and giving them to people, so maybe an Etsy or something like that. This seems pretty obvious, but it's also very similar to freelance: the interest (from clients) is going to wax and wane like crazy. So I'm compelled t keep looking for work and maybe entertaining this on the side, like so many other projects...

But for those that read this, let me pose a question: If you had the chance, for any special occasion, to have a geeky and nerdy card or some kind of similar craft, would you be interested? How many times have you gone to Hallmark or Carlton Cards and just not found that right card because they just don't exist?

Just some holiday, possibly life-changing, food for thought. Happy holidays and thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Creative Side Project - Toronto Cheat Codes

Decided to throw this here for anyone that doesn't read my Facebook. Created for my cousin-in-law Corey as an idea for a Tumblr he wants to do.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Musings On A Hat Rack...

Sorry I haven't posted in a bit, a nasty cold has knocked me out for the last week or so.

So today's topic is that of hats. The metaphorical hats that we all have to wear that is. For some of us, the hats we wear are simple, and don't overly represent who we are and what we do (I suppose in a way that's a hat entirely unto itself), but for some of us, the hat we wear is tailored, fit, conditioned and sized in a very specific way to best exemplify who we are.

Case in point: I am a graphic designer. To me, that's less of the hat I wear and more of a general statement of my profession and interests. I like many aspects of graphic design, particularly corporate identity on one end and totally original design concepts and ideas on the other. I suppose to say that these are some of my hats.

Currently, I'm looking for work. I spent a number of years at a single company and became decent at print production, corporate identity and point of sale and marketing materials. While I was there, those were the hats I wore. I never really took off the other hats I mentioned before, but situationally those hats wore better. Now that I'm out and looking to fill roles again, I find that that specific hat I wore all those years is really good only in those situations. I find myself wondering now which and how many hats I should wear?

I'm wrapping up part time courses at Conestoga College for Digital Imaging, meaning now I've specifically training in more web related graphic design. I went out and bought this hat because I found when I was first looking, a lot of the trends required this. Makes sense. So now I'm a graphic designer with a lot of POP and marketing experience and some web experience.

But should it end there? I mean, the exact definition of a graphic designer is hard to nail down. I think it's someone who gets across a message or an idea in a graphical way. That's fairly broad! I don't consider myself a fine artist really, but can I honestly say that it's not also an aspect of graphic design? Do I need to go out and buy another hat...?

How many hats SHOULD one wear? Obviously, I'd want to keep myself at the highest marketability, so I'd want to dabble in a bit of everything, but the real world doesn't often look for dabblers. They want people with straight-up full experience in something. Is my new Digital Imaging hat "fashionable" enough to be employable? I remember a time not too long ago when you would hire someone to do your graphic design, and you would hire someone to manage your website. They would collaborate, naturally, but they were distinct people. Now with a struggling economy and trying to save money, it seems a company would like to have someone that can do both.

But is that fair? I accept that I am technically less employable than the designer who can do both, but does that mean that s/he is less employable than the designer that can video edit too? Or the person that writes copy in their spare time? I don't think my head is big enough to wear all these hats, but it seems like I need to squeeze them on just to stay relevant.

Maybe I'm a little biased because I haven't been able to find work. I know that I'm not perfect for every position, and that I just won't apply to the video editing or copy writer jobs out there because those aren't my hats. One has to admit though that it is a tricky job making sure that your hat, no matter how well you wear it, distinguishes itself out from all the other ones out there. Like the adage says, "nobody's good at everything, but everyone's good at something".

But I have to ask again: how many hats SHOULD one wear?

Thanks for reading.