Never in my life did I think I would say this but... I am a tool!
In a really RAD way though. I am a Jack-of-all-know-enough-to-make-it-happen... I'll get more into that later though. At the end of the day, my trade is Graphic Design! Now we have all seen the famous designer quote. Or at least designers know the phrase by heart because it's mumbled often sadly. Below is an image, it makes me laugh because I totally understand.. while on the flip side I consider myself a pretty RAD tool!
While I see a few flaws in the above idea... I really want to write more about me!
I am a creative at heart, at 34 I still draw in my spaghetti sauce (not the only reason it's my favorite!). I grew up working with wood in the wood shop, learning to weld because a fence needed to be fixed or a part of a combine tractor needed to be re-attached. I was taught early on to work with my hands, combining that with my drive to be creative turned me into a pretty damn useful tool. Growing up with a father who kept me in the outdoors camping, fishing, crabbing, skiing, and eventually snowboarding. Hiking around in the Pacific Northwest exploring and mountain biking every corner. I became very well versed in the outdoors.
Picking up a camera at a young age, I remember being infatuated with capturing cool angles and weird stuff (bugs, crabs, my fingers... and hot rods) as I grew up my Mickey Mouse camera became my Minolta 35mm to today my Nikon D4. In high school, it was all about capturing motion from cliff jumping, wakeboarding, snowboarding, jumping into canals...and hot rods. Today with the rapid growth in social and digital advertising the need for content is in full demand. As part of my career now I take a different piece of product with me on my adventures and capture moments, specifically with the end user in mind. Creating content for different brands to push sales and drive marketing initiatives.
By taking the approach of being a tool and trying to be as useful as I can to the brands I am working with. Using my life experiences growing up and the handcraft I was taught. By diving deep into the meaning of design and going as far as to get a degree in it. Slowly creating a skill growing up by just enjoying to take photos. I feel more like I am the Leatherman of creatives. I have tackled and can use just about any medium, I have learned and am always learning new things... to me being a designer is much more than pretty graphics. When I call myself a designer I wanted it to mean DESIGNER! Like in ANY form... I have a background in traditional art and craft techniques with a growing knowledge of the digital world. I always push myself to be versatile and willing to flow with the needs of where my clients are at.
Don't let clients abuse you, take care of yourself as tools should be taken care of. You get to choose who you work for, the bad clients always weed themselves out and are not worth your time. List out all of your skills, go through that list and understand how each one of your creative skills can be an asset you can offer to your clients. Now go and be a tool!