People will always give unlimited reasons for you to stop.
Don’t pursue the arts, it’s too difficult of a career path.
Don’t do unpaid work because you need money.
Don’t do freelance work, it’s too unstable.
And on and on.
Our job is to see these pieces of resistance, hear it, and do whatever we set out to do anyways because there’s no room for doubt when it comes to seeking out our own story.
My name is Anna Peng and this is the current story of where I am.
I work in an Asian restaurant. It’s my family’s restaurant. It’s called Great Fountain Fast Food, and I’ve been spending my days there since I completed my graduation requirements late April this year.
It’s labour work. The shifts are long, and my entire body aches from standing. I barely pass for speaking Chinese, so I learn everything along the way.
I’ve had friends and strangers tell me I should take on a design related job while my degree is still fresh. They tell me I could do better.
However, to that I think do better than what? Better than helping my family run and grow what keeps a roof over our heads?
To be clear for my own reference, my own goal isn’t to do designey things and hold a design job title at a design agency just so my paper is put to its Bachelor-of-Design-use.
Instead my own goal is to:
Make sure my family is healthyBe comfortable and confident with myself as a mild and reserved person in a speak-up-or-get-lost world
It’s going to be some sort of a journey, and if you’re reading this then thank you for allowing me to share this with you.
More importantly I want you to share your story with the people around you too, because more than ever we need more voices like yours to share more human-ness in the world.
what does it take to call ourselves a designer?
A completed degree? A know-how of the Adobe Suite? Or Canva?
5+ years of completed job experience or is 2 just fine?
Or, is being a designer a state of mind?
How can a 13 year old confidently call herself a designer when some struggle to do so after 5 years of design school?
Are we just swimming in the dip of the Dunning-Kruger chart?
Perhaps something’s missing.
Maybe we’ve been told a story of how designers are supposed to live, how they’re supposed to dress, behave, or talk. We hold a belief of how designers are supposed to be, and if we don’t fit in that belief fully, then we can’t bring ourselves to the name.
To that, we can say it doesn’t matter what the job title says so long as what we’re doing is alligned with our values.