Paradox of the paid designer

I ran across this and i usually don’t like to quote posts this long but its a good one for everyone in any kind of design field. 


Sometimes I think it would be best if I didn’t get paid to design.

“Well that’s it. The guy’s mad! Consider thy bløg unsubscriblified!”

No no, I promise, this does make a lot of sense. You see, I think any form ofdesign is art (one could argue that all work someone takes passion in doing is art). I also believe that while creating art, staying on budget is not something one should have to worry about, as the result will most surely be lacking because of it.

When I design a site, I never feel as if I’m finished. There’s always more I can do, things to tweak, features to add. In short, the site could always be better. Of course, I know this for myself, that some products I’ve spewed out doesn’t reflect what I actually am capable of doing. But nobody else knows.

Imagine someone reviewing your portfolio. They see that you’ve got talent, but that you apparently don’t have an eye for those important little details. Because of that, they will value your services lower than what they are actually worth, and of course pay you accordingly. You then have to design under even more constraints, producing even less optimal results. It’s an evil circle it is!

Hence, the paradox. If you don’t watch your step, the quality of your work may degrade if you start charging for it.

“Aye, he makes sense indeed! Let me just tumble over this ledge here!”

No no, there’s a solution too. Actually more than one. The most obvious one is to limit your portfolio, and only display works that represent your true capacities. Referring to what I’ve said, this is more justifiable than showing every site you’ve ever made.

Another option is to always have side projects, like a blog, a community site, or any other site that you can keep designing for yourself, so that when time approaches infinite, the sites quality does the same (yeah, I’ve got a lot of math in school).

Either way, make sure most of the work you display as “your finest” actually is just that. If not, don’t worry! The problem will eventually solve it self, because you might not get paid to design ever again.

courtesy of Bravo, this is an excellent post.



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