What was the wisest decision I made this year? It’s not even a question. The wisest decision I made this year was to take the 3D design class at SVA, rather than to take the graphic design class I had intended to take.
Here’s how it happened: I had been doing more and more graphic design in my day job, partly because I really enjoyed doing it, but also because we didn’t really have the financial resources to hire a graphic designer every time we needed a new piece. I’m not trained as a designer, although I’d taken a class years and years ago. I do think I have a pretty good instinct for design and certainly my skills have improved (as has my confidence) over the last few years because of the work I’ve been doing. However, I also felt like I wasn’t getting any credit for the work because I “wasn’t a designer.”
With that in mind, I decided I should take a continuing ed graphic design class, since it would help my work and increase my knowledge. So, one evening in May I found myself at the Graphic Design Information Session for the SVA Continuing Ed program. The description of the evening said there would be an opportunity for portfolio review, so I brought samples of flyers I’d done, along with some pictures of my pottery, since I feel like my art work informs the way I design. I felt it would be a good way to find out where I stood.
At the end of the presentation I spoke to Skip Sorvino about the graphic design program and showed him my work. He suggested that I take his intermediate class. I then went and spoke to Kevin O’Callaghan, (whose praises I’ve been singing here for a while now) because Kevin’s presentation was both compelling and entertaining. When I showed Kevin my portfolio, he commented on my pottery, saying that I clearly had a talent for 3D design and that he thought I’d really like his class. I chatted with him for a couple more minutes and went home.
I had walked into that evening KNOWING that I was going to sign up for a graphic design class. I left, unable to decide whether I should stick with the plan or take the 3D class. I kept waffling back and forth. The graphic design class would help me at work and would make my design skills stronger. It was what I’d intended to do and I should do it. On the other hand, I simply couldn’t stop thinking about the possibilities of the 3D class. Back and forth, but always arriving at the thought that I really wanted to take the 3D class. That it seemed like fun. It seemed like the right class for me.
As I’ve mentioned before, I took the 3D class. Not only was it the wisest decision of the year, it was a big turning point for me. It allowed me to create work that I’m proud of and It has helped me change the way I look at what is possible. It also reinforced for me that it’s much more important to listen to my inner voice, than to make decisions because of what other people think. My layoff has also reinforced that I did the right thing, made a decision for my personal artistic growth, not what’s best for a job which I no longer have…
Below, images from my pottery “portfolio”
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Coming soon, images of work from my 3D design class..