I suppose it’s time I introduce myself… by now you likely know that my name is Sean Farris (aka. the guy with the Grinch hands in the video still above) and I am indeed the Art Director here at A Nerd’s World. Some of you watching this may have met/spoken with me along the way, many have not. So – hello!
More than anything, I wanted to provide a little insight into not only how I came to be where I am now, but what being or even hiring a creative entails. First and foremost, this sort of work is tough. At this point I am 15+ years into this and I’m still learning each and every day. With that said, understand that though a great deal of enjoyment can be had within the creative space, I likely work longer hours than most people I know. But hell, that’s not any different than the path my life has taken since the moment I finished high school. Whether it was touring in numerous punk rock bands or holding down two or three warehousing jobs at a time just to make ends meet, work/life balance was never something I was all that good at.
Now – young designers, perhaps those finishing up a program at (insert school here) here in Toronto, allow me talk to you for a moment. Let me first say that yes, you will likely have to do some work pro bono as you start your career and yes, clients will try to pay you far less than your worth… but don’t let that stop you from pursuing your passion. After all, you get to make stuff for a living! Know your worth and don’t be afraid to stand by your work.
Next up – clients. We as a creative team understand that you have a business to run and we respect and love that you’ve chosen us to be a part of that. But as you start this path, we beg of you to remember two things. One, logo design and branding is more than just “drawing”. Color theory, kerning, relative spacing and form are all things that come with years of experience and with that comes a certain cost. There is a reason people seek out great doctors, lawyers, etc. We love working with you, corporations and start up businesses alike – we just ask for a little understanding. Second, of course we are here to make your branding and graphic design dreams come true. However, we are not mind readers. Our greatest work is done working alongside our clients to put to paper the vision that drove them to start on this path to begin with. We are professionals, but we need your help to better understand the ins and outs of your industry. Only then can we really hit that mark we all want so damn desperately!
Look, Toronto is a great big market. To recent design graduates – congratulations! To those still in it, keep at it and follow your gut for as long as it carries you forward. There is plenty of work out there for you once you enter the ring of moderate insanity that is graphic design. But, never step into it with any level of assumption and expectation. Work hard, create, paint, make music and live the creative force that has taken you this far. To business owners looking for a creative team to execute their grand brand vision – take the time to greater understand your needs and work right alongside us to ensure that your knowledge and our expertise comes into play, creating something incredible! We’re here for you and look forward to what lies ahead.
As for me, I’ll keep walking this path as a Toronto graphic designer – always learning, growing and striving for something more. Hell, maybe I’ll even get back to that punk rock thing again soon. It’s been awhile and perhaps it’s time I set my own example.