I want to belive that in most situations where designers come together to work as a team everyone can be amicable, encouraging and willing to participate in communicating positive criticism; Especially in small group settings where everyone works together intimately.
I say all this as this is my first position working in the design field and it has been a very humbling experience. I for one LOVE IT and am so blessed for the opportunity and two a tad disappointed that working with or more so around other designers is nothing like school. Don’t get me wrong the same drama can occur at school, especially with photography students, but in a work place its mind-blowing when your interactions with co workers can be diluted in an egotistical competition on who knows more, is the better designer, or who’s degree is more prominent.
So I’ve compiled a list of the types of Designers / Photographers / Artist you will meet as you embrace your journey but more importantly how to deal with these types of people so that you aren’t distracted by their possible inadequacies.
Types of Designers:
THESE ARE THE WORST! omg… Perhaps I’m jealous because they know every fucking vocabulary term and how to speak fluent tech jargon. But more often than not I think there cynical attitudes are cloaked in the fact that they really aren’t that talented. Look I’m not trying to be a bitch but it’s the damn truth. These are the people who can take a photo with a histogram that levels out perfectly and can explain to you which camera you should buy but honestly their work is dull and boring. As much as they know the lingo they envy the fact that they have no talent and refuse to admit it because, well, all their settings were spot on.
How to deal with them: Though their judgement can be quite annoying and will cause you to gag as they bitch and moan, they are an encyclopedia of information and are more than willing to help you and share their knowledge as they love being the know-it-all. Be friendly and cordial, nod yes in an understanding way and keep to yourself. But who needs the negative energy, only approach if you need dyer information and are ok with them talking behind your back about how stupid you are as soon as they finish helping you. Never let their negative talk discourage you, IGNORE IT.
The Ego Driven:
These people aren’t so bad. They are the ones that stand behind their degree rather than their work. Honestly I think most of them are talented and if the shoe fits then hey. But on the off-chance that their work is still shitty after paying 100k on an education. Then let them gloat about their degree and which college they attended. Just stay focused on your path. Never let someone who went to a fancy school demean your alternative learning choices; Be it, learning from online courses, through trial and error or just attending community college.
This is where I fall. I’m probably not what you call naturally talented as in I can pick up a pencil and boom. I’m an undu, erasing, starting over ten thousand times, type. It’s like diggin into clay and trying to find the bones while wishing to the Creative Gods that something comes forth. You never give up, you’ll draw hands a hundred and one times if you must. These are also the people who are willing to do whatever it takes to learn their craft. They have passion and believe anything is possible. Befriend this person. They are willing to give and take criticism and will never give up as they are eager to learn. They enjoy working and are more concerned with the art itself rather than the technical and can probably show you better than they can tell you.
Befriend this one too. They are knowledgable and talented. They know their shit but they don’t feel the need to talk about how someone else doesn’t or how they are inferior to someone else. They are willing to break the rules, try new things and give criticism in a respectful way. Be this person. They often become our teachers and mentors.
So yea… I know this is probably laced in judgement but let’s be real you will come across these types. I’m sure I’ve skipped a few, like the Van Gough Ridden or the Extremely Talented, but the point is that you don’t let someone else’s character discourage you.
Hopefully if hired on a team, you meet everyone in the hiring process. I think it’s important that if you are new to the team, everyone has had a chance to see your work and are aware of your abilities. That way there is no misunderstanding. But even then if you are hired on and they are upset because you got hired over their friend or they are just convinced your work sucks, WELL THEN, who gives a fuck. You are there for yourself and your opportunity to grow and embrace your passions.