Last year Monterey Bay Aquarium Art Director, Jim Ales, offered up some excellent, short and sweet advice to graphic designers. You can find the original publication of his comments at the AIGA website.
I’m an in-house art director managing a small staff of graphic designers—one spoke in a big wheel. In-house designers get a bum rap, but don’t you believe it. You are a professional. The value you bring and the skills you gain are immeasurable. I like my work. I’ve been here many years and I’ve made many mistakes along the way. This is what I’ve learned:
- Listen. Sometimes your clients have better ideas.
- Focus your talent and energy on what really matters.
- There are no emergencies in graphic design.
- Forgive people. Forgive yourself.
- Be compassionate. The day you recognize everyone isn’t perfect is the day you become a valuable designer.
- Stop thinking about starting your own business and get back to work!