Doing Business as a Designer: Artwork for You

Posted on July 1, 2010


As designers, we are always charging by the hour or some flat rate to solve somebody’s problem. However, at the core of our design skills lies artistry. Artistry to me is like being a child; rules don’t apply. No requests to solve anyone’s problem but your own: satisfaction.

Design solves problems; artistry is untamed expression and experimentation.

Ask yourself this question: “When was the last time you actually did art for you?”

I’ll go first.

I have not done artwork for myself in more than 8 years. For those 8 years, I have always been designing for others and focusing on my businesses. My eyes and mind are always in “problem solving mode.” I like what I’m doing; business and art are my primary passions. However, I’m an artist that is art starved.

Sure I doodle here and there but it’s not enough. 😦

But compared to when I was doing artwork for myself, especially when I was 6 years old doing graffiti artwork, I almost always got lost in my artwork. Sometimes I got frustrated because I couldn’t achieve personal satisfaction and was afraid I would never capture it.


I believe that doing artwork for me, in any medium, has a direct correlation to the strength of my design skills. I’m guilty at “trend following” once in awhile and that is a consequence of owning a design business. The only way to stop following trends is to delve back into pure artistry. Now, I’m going to start scheduling pure artistry back into my life.

What about you?

Posted in: Insight