I was looking through some old books at an antique store this weekend— I admired their design and simplicity and the beauty of it that has remained constant even some 40 years later. I was holding this particular book and I got to thinking about my job…
I don’t talk about my job very often, and I have my reasons (both personal and practical.) But every once in a while I do get the urge to explain What I Do (and lately people in the Tumblrverse have been asking) so I’ll attempt to explain. I say “attempt to explain” not because my job is overly complicated or interesting. The actual job itself is not— but what I try to do with it is.
Mostly, I’m a designer. Things I draw and create and design get made into tangible things: T-shirts. Brochures. Packaging. Websites. Posters. Etc. I am a Proliferator of Stuff, a Designer of SWAG, a Curator of Typography and Color Schemes and Kerning and Tracking and Leading and Balance. Sounds fancy. And it is, sorta.
Honestly, I don’t care too much about it. That sounds bad, I know. But don’t misunderstand— I LOVE design. But the job is just a job like every other job. By itself, it’s simply not anything to get all worked up about, though I do enjoy it and I’m good at it. It’s just not the Actual Job that I love or even Design itself… but it’s the process of trying to do something greater with it.
Art is a gift from God. It’s part of God’s universal grace given not just to believers but to all humanity. It allows us to express the inexpressible, the truths that we see only dimly in this life, the concepts whose shadows we grasp at. Like the Creator, we take ideas and mold them into being, whether through visual arts, writing, music or dance. —Josh Jackson of Paste Magazine
Design is great because it illustrates perfectly that there is a created order to things… a way things are supposed to be. Imagine that there are two t-shirts in front of you. You are allowed to take one, and both are free. One is poorly-designed and the other is well-designed. I would bet anything you’d chose the well-designed one. Even people who don’t understand a thing about the intricacies of design will choose the well-designed one because it seems, well… Right. It’s beautiful. It makes sense. There’s order amongst the chaos.
There’s a way this world was created to be, yet it is far from that. As humans, we feel this inadequacy. We understand that the world is broken and not as it should be. So much of Art tries to capture this feeling and give it meaning and speak to the universal human condition. We try to make sense of the chaos we live in through books and paintings and photographs and plays and films and sculptures. We either try to find God or disprove Him or wallow in the despair of our messy existence.
It’s why we blog. It’s why we journal. It’s why we try to find jobs that are meaningful and it’s why we like beautiful things. It’s what we’re created to do. We can experience and preach the Gospel through art… even through something as simple as a well-designed shirt.
So… that’s what I do.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as it is for the Lord, and not for men. —Colossians 3:23