What Kind of Designer are You?

Is There A  “Kind” Of Designer?

“Over the years I have had people ask me some innocent questions, that when I reflect on them, contain interesting, unintentional insights into how others others see us. Our perception and understanding of how the creative mind works is obvious to us, and that is a special and refined skill, that takes a lifetime to perfect.  I want to mention the outside observers unintentional limiting of the creative industry and creative pursuits in general.

Many times I’ve been asked “Are you a website designer?”, “Are you a media artist” “Are you an animator?”  The other most common question is “Do you work for insurance companies, medical, real estate, car dealerships, film companies,, etc. ” The answers to all those questions is “Yes” and “No”  

I would never want to constrict my work by saying “I’m this” or “I’m that” kind of  artist or designer.  If I create a procedural system, designed for managing a design firm’s digital assets, that’s applied imagination to solve a problem, as much as  drawing on experience and training to render on how light would fall on someone’s face at 3PM on a summer day.  I might use that same imagination to create a storyboard showing what will happen in a film when a figure rolls into a scene, and need to define the exact number of seconds/frames.  When I learn a new creative skill or tool, I want to use it in my work, not feel I need to review and see if I’m allowed to learn it since I create only certain things.

leonardos planeBreak out of thinking in a limiting way, the visual communicator has to believe in themselves and realize these definitions of what skills they should and shouldn’t spend time can only be limiting to you!  You can do any creative work you enjoy, you don’t have to be a “graphic designer ” who does work for the be “Medical Device Industry.”  Would Leonardo and Michelangelo have created all the different type of work they did, if they believed they could only do this or that kind of work.  I realize under the Italian Medici Family and the Catholic Church of that time they didn’t have much of choice as we enjoy, but the renaissance artists expressed their creativity in so many ways with often one person as the source!   These creative ancestors of ours used whatever media they wished and worked in a way they choose.  They expressed their creative vision sometimes by inventing something they needed to execute an idea.  To be able to map out realistic depth in painting,  simulating 3D space for greater realism required someone invent linear and atmospheric perspective. To create realistic drawing, blending of tones was discovered and refined until it was a specific drawing skill called Chiaroscuro.

michelangelos-david-florence02The renaissance artists show one should have confidence in our abilities, we should be the opposite of specialized and never limit our ideas or belief in ourselves.  Keep drawing birds with floppy wings and feathers instead of “M” shapes and be your own modernized version of a Renaissance artist!


Michael L. Casey
Owner/Creative Director of Casey Design 2.0