Working with a writer on my personal brand, I was asked the other day, “what makes you tick?” This question totally stumped me as I there’s just so much I love about what I do that I just don’t know where to start. Truth is, my first reaction is, “I don’t know”. Which seems like weird as the response should have been completely different.
Lately, I have been learning a lot more about what I don’t like to be doing. Just the other day I wrote an article which stated clearly, I am not a UX designer. I explained fairly poorly how I am not a UX designer as I mostly don’t like doing what they do, although I totally buy into what they do. I’ve used to have this same problem back in the day when it came to development. I could certainly code, some might say better than most developers out there, but I wouldn’t want to do development as my job, it’s something I did to ensure my designs came out the way I wanted them to.
In everyday life, I practice not focussing on negativity, so I thought I’d start doing the same with my work. Stop focussing on what I don’t do, and start looking at what I do and work my way into figuring out this question once and for all. Needless to say, I don’t expect to answer this immediately, and quite openly I will work on this, as part of the very transparent approach I have decided to take while I journal my journey of self-employment again.
With digital being such a broad term, I have started to gravitate towards the things within the industry I do like and that I feel others are overlooking. Like websites. I love websites, they offer a whole set of new challenges and despite the decline in builds of late, I still see the potential and I look forward to sharing my new offering in this field. Interaction design is another thing I love. The thing that I loved when building Flash sites, was the movement, the personality and the slickness I could do, beyond the pure prettiness of my designs. Every interaction was scrutinised and I simply obsessed over the tiniest of details, every pixel, animation, and reaction to a click. I love making sure that user has a good experience at every touch point, I can’t help myself as I go through life, wondering how I can improve shopping experiences or digitising services etc.
There is just so much I enjoy about the above-mentioned things and truthfully I can find so many opportunities beyond those things I love doing, but I have to be practical in my articulation of this question, what makes me tick. I don’t want to get caught out. I am pretty good at what I do, according to the feedback I have received over my career, so I don’t like to half-ass anything. I can design logos, which commonly do as an extension to building sites etc, but am I a logo designer, not nearly at the level others are. Do I have an opinion, absolutely! I have a great eye, I know what people need, hence me being one of the more recognised Creative Directors locally. But being self-employed only affords me so much opportunity to direct, I have to be practical and sometimes I actually have to do.
Now I’m not sure this is exactly what this question was intended to focus on, but for me, what makes me tick, is more than what I like, it’s what I like to do and what I do really-really well.