Out Work is a collection of thoughts on graphic design and life by Sarah Joe, a Singapore-based creative.

Just typing as I think, don’t take me too seriously.


10.02.21 Designer and Artist, the encore
Tags Reflection

Daily struggles of full-time employment begets this question. I would confidently say I’m a designer a couple of months back, but the sad reality of it is that my selfishness and self-involvement (which I disguise as introspection to make myself feel better) just makes me somewhat of an artist instead.

The artist is selfish, he is self-centred and visually expressive. I would think he resides in me as someone who could give fuck all about the opinions of others ‘lower’ than himself (though I still consider that a pretty admirable trait). He creates when he feels like it and does not consider social responsibility and order. But he is authentic, has the integrity to follow his creative instinct and direction, divorced from political opinions and contexts he does not place value in. He is probably what I can define as the chaos of creativity. Following him and I will find a creative identity: the practices that I am drawn to, the styles that I resonate with.

The graphic designer is, for lack of a better word, a slave. He is my right brain, one that follows rules, considers the opinions of others, especially that of the Almighty client. He considers his capitalistic place in society, among others and sacrifices his creative opinions for peace, money and the stability of a job.

So then the real question is, how can I straddle the two? I wonder where I am between these two forms and how much is an ‘appropriate’ dose of each?