In order to become a graphic designer, one usually must attend a prestigious school, or simply become well equipped and prepared. This however, is what designers may least have in common. It is no surprise that the more you educate and prepare yourself, the more you are able to obtain knowledge. However, we may ask ourselves, should graphic designers have a career focused on a single skill, or should we focus on having multiple?
Why do we study graphic design?
Among all the professional careers you can pursue, design is constantly being updated as it can still be considered a relatively new profession. It started at the end of the 19th century, and its evolution has allowed artists to experiment with different techniques and design processes. This led to what we now know today as the current modern design.
The desire to stand out, to express ourselves as artists, or simply as a way of expressing our emotions through artistic expression, have all led us to decide to work in the world of design.
We went from painting rocks, to printing with stencils, to finally dedicating ourselves completely to digital work. Throughout all these years, the concept itself has been reinvented more than a dozen times, and artists and professionals may usually come back to the same dilemma that can cause them to even take a break from their professional career. This is whether or not a graphic designer should obtain knowledge on many topics in his career, or solely focus on just one.
Definite artist or an all-rounder in the profession
If you are born with a gift, whatever it may be, you should dive into the profession without any hesitation. Once you have discovered your gift, you should try to exploit it, such as by capturing your art through works that can display or sell quickly. Although this may not always be the case, considering we live in a world where we all want to stand out, and therefore there is a lot of untapped and exploited talent.
Another aspect one must consider in this field, such as in many, is overworking and exploitation from companies. Not all workspaces have to ask you to go the extra mile, put on your shirt, or work for collective productivity. So you must know how to identify when this happens and take it as a clear alarm when a change in your work environment is necessary.
During my long journey as a graphic designer, I have had the opportunity to learn and teach an infinite number of skills, from managing an app to resolving situations in real-time, as well as operating machines that allow us to deliver a job or product. Finally, being in a world that advances in favor of technology, we must evolve with it and learn more every day. We must stay at the forefront, stretch out our hands towards what we once thought was impossible, and bring on technology in peace.
Learn from innovation, don't swim against it
It is no surprise that we are constantly being flooded with more and more apps everyday. At first glance, it may be intimidating and may seem like they are going to replace humans in the long run with advances such as AI, rendering, and 3D printing. It is also no secret to anyone that artists and designers can feel threatened and even left behind by these new technologies, as these machines claim to be able to not only to do our job, but to do it even better than us.
We as professionals, empirical or street artists, are trained to innovate together with them, learn how they work, and apply it to our works; which can only lead to one thing: survival.
Red or blue pill?
Should we focus on learning and improving a single skill, or should we learn more than we should in order to offer a wide range of services and products? From my experience, the designer should make the decision, and it is only up to him. You can learn along with new technologies, expand your portfolio and experiment with new techniques, increase the level of knowledge you store on your hard drive (yes, your brain) and nobody can tell you how much information you should include in it. This is something we must take into account to work in a company, or in daily life itself. After all, you may never know when you will need that acquired knowledge you have stored in the long run.