Building a Creative Legacy One Pixel At a Time

creating custom visuals for social media

Building a Creative Legacy One Pixel At a Time

Over the years I’ve received emails and messages asking me “how I did it”. As if to imply that I’ve reached some kind of invisible peak. I usually respond by saying “work hard and keep trying.” In my 15th year of agency life, I’ve learned I can do it all. Some things are better than others, sure, but I’m a multi-talented individual who loves to create all kinds of things.

Even more, I enjoy training and developing others who have a real desire and passion to do creative work. There’s no secret, no shortcut. Doing beautiful work and creating a long-lasting legacy takes more than busting out your iPad and doodling. It takes a lifetime of proving people wrong.

Creative knowledge is a complex thing. It’s more than moving pixels. It’s understanding businesses, goals and people.

Early in my career, I thought being a designer was all about creating pretty things…and that’s true, but you’re usually creating pretty things for other people. People who have business goals, deadlines, budgets, and bosses. Being an effective creative professional means being able to communicate with others well, present ideas clearly and of course, put together incredible pieces of art…that you aren’t super emotionally attached to…more on that later.

Taking risks is part of being a designer and creative professional.

If you want to grow and expand your role, it takes risks. Risk is a part of the game. Every time we create something, it’s a risk. The risk revolves around whether or not our peers think it’s trash 😀 … creatives are loaded with a lot of negative self-talk. That’s because our hearts go into our work. And, when we’ve invested too much, we have a hard time sending that email asking a client for review. 

But, you gotta hit “send’. Nobody grows without ever falling down. In fact, I often tell team members that I look forward to falling because the journey leads to growth and untapped potential.

Working with businesses to create wonderful design work. 

At the end of the day it’s our duty to create things that inspire others, but most importantly reach the goals of the users and business. Pretty work can only take you so far. Effective work changes the future of a business. 

And that’s where your legacy comes in.

Whether we understand this out of the gate or not, what you create for the world has a profound impact that goes far beyond what you would think. For example, working on a new brand package and website design is a “task” to you, but hundreds, thousands, or millions will interact with it. 

Those users become potential buyers of a product. The business grows as a result which leads to hiring, community development, and more benefits for employees of that business.

You have the ability to change lives through your art.

No pressure 🙂 

Strive to do your best.

Always put your best foot forward and do the best that you can do. The work you do and how you treat people every day is a part of your legacy. Keep moving forward, even when you feel like you’re losing. 

When you get knocked down, don’t stay down for long because there are thousands more projects ahead. A couple of losses along the way are minimal in the grand scheme of things. 

Interested in learning more? DM me on Twitter and let’s hash it out. As always, thank you for reading and I’ll see you again next time!