Many of us designers folks and gals are wondering if we should follow the path of narrow specialty or to be more like full-stacked, multidisciplinary machine ready for every task. I’m not going to tell you which option is the best, but let me tell you my story.
I’ve come from rather a small town Tarnów which locates near Kraków in Poland. I was always into art since I remember. I draw a lot and read fine art albums (there weren’t a lot of these available when I was younger). I’m still in love with the Legos. I think the Architecture is the most excellent possible connection between art and usability. Always thought I’d be an architect — so I’ve even finished the school and got the degree.
However, my professional career isn’t that much related to an Architecture. Life can be tricky, but you all know that already. But I’ve learned a lot. I’ve discovered new, I saw more and I can SEE more.
Back then, when I was around 14, I saw a fantastic software at my friend’s house. It was called Paint. Just kidding, it was Photoshop.
He was creating a banner for his forum’s profile. “Looks dope” — I thought. “I wish I could do stuff like that; there are so many possibilities (like, i.e., you can do a banner for your forum profile man!).” Exciting times. You were a kid once, were you? 😉
So I got back to my house, downloaded the trial and started to make things. Yeah, things. It was rather heavy learning by trials and errors, but somehow I’ve managed to acquire basic software knowledge. Hence I was able to do these banners. A lot of them. Senior banner designer. XD
What happened next, probably guided me on my current career path. I saw a page called Deviantart. I was stunned by the number of talented people there. Digital painters, web designers, photographers, artists. I thought to design the websites would sound like fun. And it was. Check this out.
It was a torment for front-end developers, but I didn’t draw much of an attention to stuff like that. An “artistic” side of creation was fun. It has to look RAD, colorful with tons of effects. And UX? Come again?
Fortunately, people are getting smarter while becoming older. In a few years, I’ve become a professional web-designer and earned some cash from it. My friend asked me if I can design the logo for him. I couldn’t, so I’ve learned CorelDraw. Yes, you’ve heard me right. THE Corel. I was enlarging my understanding of web design and branding field. There was always a problem with Corel files — that’s why I’ve learned Illustrator. Which bugs continuously have driven me crazy. For almost ten years now. Thanks, Adobe. Kisses.
Around three years ago I started to think there’s something more than this. Brand creation was the love of my life for a long time. But the ship of the excitement of getting new, big media customer has already sailed away. Well, it is still entertaining, but not every project.
Then I saw excellent 3D pieces. Digital arts, unlimited by a 2D borders. Pure imagination, free of any rules. “That’s it!” — I thought. That was something I need. So I’ve started to learn MODO which by the way is great, but back then there wasn’t enough of the repository to help me acquire some skills fast. However, I learn how to model which turned out great. I switched to Cinema 4D which is much more suitable for me and started to learn Houdini. I’ve found my peace — at least for now. 😉
So the big question is — do I messed up by putting my time into the 3D zone or should I stick to the branding field? Because there is always a room for improvement, right?
Maybe yes — maybe no. But I tend to say do not regret a single thing you did in your life. Your choices, better or worst, lead you to where you are right now and what person you are. I think that exploration of possibilities evolves you and the way you are looking at the world around you. Stay curious; it always brings the best. Except in horror movies. You shouldn’t go to the open doors.
I’m a happy multidisciplinary designer. I do Branding, UI and lately 3D. And it’s just the beginning!