You don’t have to be an artist to be a graphic designer. Maybe this phrase is controversial, but hear me out. When I went to university in Manila for graphic design (It was called Advertising Arts in UST waaaay back then), we had classes for design AND art. We had to use watercolour, oil, colour pastels, chalk, india ink, mixed media, ‘found art’ using objects. I once had to carry a heavy wooden artwork weighing about 15 lbs, measuring about 15 inches x 20 inches for our ‘found object’ art assignment and ride public transit – yes, inside the jeepneys of Manila!
Design is communication. Art is expression.
If you ask me which one I am, I will definitely say Designer. I like that design finds a way to accomplish a clear goal. To sell, promote, inform, educate. Either you have succeeded or failed.
When an artwork is viewed, the artist is inviting you to ‘hear’ what they have to say and interpret that through your personal beliefs and values. It is intimate. So it can be scary. I admire the courage artists have to express themselves through their art.
As for me, I draw and paint to help me grow as graphic designer. It never ends. It is both the best and worst part of this profession. I love taking art courses while studying and trying out brave new colour combinations.
Artists will use their choice of colour combinations as part of their art. Designers will use the science of colour theory to increase the probability the message is communicated.
The second reason I draw and paint is mental health. It is intimidating to start a blank page or even use a new set of paint. There are so many paths this painting/drawing session can go! But I just… well… GO! I have a gallery below of some of my work. I haven’t found a style… yet. And maybe that will not happen. And I’m ok with that.
I will suggest you try it. Gather up some materials, whatever you have. Don’t spend a lot. Don’t even plan on sharing this in Instagram. You don’t need that pressure. Find a nice spot wherever you are, get a cup of tea, pop in your ear buds and listen to a podcast or music.