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How do you strike the balance between exuberant young artist
with vision, supporting cast member, ever-ready helper, and
“You have to pay your dues.”
It's a mantra heard often by students and young designers. But
it can mean many different things to many different people. And its
usually stated in the third person. So, for clarification, I've
asked over a dozen successful designers for personal stories about
how they paid their dues.
Most describe it as a period time during which they had to give
and follow patiently, even when they wanted desperately to be
allowed to break loose. They gave up something to receive something
they did not have, something that they desired: credibility,
professional skills, experience-the answer is different for
But when do we go too far? When do we go from paying dues to
selling out? Is it OK to “rent out” your soul once in a while? How
many times is too often? When is it a temporary necessity as
opposed to an intolerable state?
The stories told vary in situation and circumstance, but there
are common themes of hope and reflection. They illustrate the power
of pursuing our individual vision and doing whatever it takes to
make it real. Just thinking about it is not enough!
Creative Director, Vrontikis Design Office
Senior Faculty Member, Art Center College of Design
In an expansive global design economy, diversity is not a social cause but a business imperative.
Section: About AIGA -
AIGA Insight, cross-cultural design, diversity
Miriello has discovered that it’s the human stories that create effective brands.
Section: Inspiration -
branding, graphic design, personal essay, mentoring
This essay is part of "Centennial Voices," a series initiated as part
of AIGA's Centennial celebrations to spark conversations about the
past, present and future of design within the design community and
Section: Inspiration -
critique, craft, culture, technology, criticism
Photography creates a visual metaphor: a universal language that does not require a copious amount of text to be understood
Section: Tools and Resources
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