Things can be different .. they can be better!
I like what I do. It’s challenging, exciting, interesting and meaningful. I’m happy to do this for a living and feel privileged to have been gifted with an ability to see the world differently enough that I can produce helpful solutions to people’s design problems.
As a freelance designer, I daily juggle multiple responsibilities, some of which don’t have much to do with the act of designing. I know this is true for any small business owner, but maybe one key difference is my particular work isn’t just a job I do – it flows out of who I am. Designers do what they do because we are driven by a deep inner need to solve problems and make things look and work better.
Sometimes I hear designers complain about their clients – how dumb or cheap they are. I have to remind them that our field is still not well understood in spite of the fact that we live in a totally design-driven world. Creative types still make up a minority of the global workforce. We want our clients to be happy and we also want to be proud of the work we do for you too – these two goals don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
I want my clients to know that we can be friends. Because friendship affords real collaboration benefitting both parties equally, in meaningful ways.
Sometimes when a client rejects a functional solution which is unique and practical and beautiful and perfectly satisfies the given brief because they “don’t like the blue”, it can sting. Actually, it can drive us crazy! We don’t get how the client doesn’t get this amazing creation which took another sleepless night to create, just for them. But I also understand many clients don’t have a strong sense of design which is why they’re paying us to do what we do. The opposite is also true: when a client celebrates the work we do for them, it releases a particular sense of accomplishment nothing else can.
The thing I enjoy most about my work is getting to become friends with my clients. We collaborate together, learn from one another, explore new avenues and generally have a meaningful experiences which enrich us both. Few things make me happier than to arriving at a design solution which delivers more than expected, adding a fresh level of creativity and meaning to a brand or product. And witnessing their increased success is profoundly gratifying.
Yes, it’s true. Clients can become friends and partners and co-learners. Not every client, but more than some designers are willing to admit. I have a European soul, African heart and American spirit, and my Imaging Studio reflects this global miss mash. I’m proud of it because I learned early on from my European and African experiences that community should inform everything we do in life, including those we work with and for.
At ZOmedia, one of our unique strengths is friendship. Collaboration, respect, fun, productivity and success fuse together in a wholesome way to foster your success. And we want you to succeed because when you do, we do. We want what’s best for you. After all, isn’t that what friendship is all about?