What exactly do I do?

I’ve encountered the usual stumbling block when asked to put together a portfolio of my work. You know, the typical, “what do I do?” The blank stare at the screen that is just itching to display your written word and images. The fact is, that I am a web designer. This hasn’t changed in some years, even if it did take many years for me to consider that my “profession.” That is what I am. That is what I do.

That doesn’t compile a portfolio, however. It also doesn’t really encompass everything. What exactly does being a web designer involve? That’s the million dollar question. This week, we’re going to try and uncover the million dollar answer.

I’ll be honest with you, web design is not all that I do. That’s probably why I struggle so much. I mean, I have web sites that “I” have designed to my name. I have logos that “I” have designed to my name. I have Flash projects that “I” have put together to my name. I even have some digital scrapbooking stuff that “I” designed to my name. This is all very much a part of what I do. How do you classify it all? How do you break it down? Obviously, there are the expected categories – web design, logo design, flash design, etc. Just how do you categorize digital scrapbook creations? Should I also throw in “print” design as well? I have done fliers and other things both volunteer-wise and classroom work wise. It isn’t that I can’t do it, simply that I don’t have any paid jobs for them. Should they be included? The list of questions go on and on.

Just how much do you tell people about each project? Sometimes, there just isn’t anything to tell.

I suppose the largest stumbling block is simply that I do all these things because that’s what I do. They are just what I do.

So here I sat for several days with thoughts and ideas swimming through my head. Just what do I say about myself that truly encompasses everything that I do as a web and graphic designer? How do I best portray what I can do with my miserly portfolio? Miserly is how it feels at least. Ben kept asking if I had worked on it. The truth is that I “had” worked on it, I just didn’t have anything to show for that work. I was having a hard time getting it out of my head and onto the screen in front of me.

Today, I managed to get something together. I think I am on the 10th revision…where I have simply just started over because it was easiest to scrap everything. I started simple. I went complex. I wanted artsy fartsy. I ended up with nothing like what I had imagined I’d create to represent myself. Instead, I’ve created something simple. Something elegant. Something that hopefully illustrates “me” as a designer – web designer, graphic designer, digital designer, etc. It is still very much a work in progress, but there is now a twinkling of hope that by week end, I’ll be ready to say “Yes, I have a portfolio of my work” and feel confident that it is representative of “me.”

It is Wednesday after all

Wednesday means that it is “Wednesday Folder” time at the elementary school, where their work comes home for the week. I confess that this isn’t always something that I look forward to. I just don’t. With Kyle, I have come to loath the very thought of a Wednesday folder. Why? Mostly because it means that I’ll most likely be grounding Kyle, again, for yet another F. The past 3 weeks have been much much better. Each week has gotten progressively better.

I can honestly say today that I am IMPRESSED with Kyle’s performance in the classroom this week. His lowest grade was a B. GO KYLE! I made sure to let him know that this was a much better week and tell him “good job!” I just wish that every week was like this. I don’t ask for straight A’s but it sure would be nice to see A’s and B’s. I know he is fully capable of doing it, he just doesn’t. Weeks like this week verify that I am not smoking something when I say that I “know” he is “capable.” He is.

So today, I end my day feeling very proud of Kyle and hoping that next week will yield the same results.

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