My decision to pursue a career in the arts may be ascribed to four key factors: affinity, ability, passion, and philosophy. Ultimately I believe that God directed me to where I am and what I do, but these four factors are what I see as the primary instruments He used in doing so. Combined, they led me to study graphic design, photography, and, my current profession, web design. I could expound in much greater detail upon what follows, but will try to keep it brief.
The first factor, affinity, is what draws most people into the arts. Without a natural liking, sympathy, or attraction to the arts, one would scarcely venture to practice them or pursue them professionally. For as long as I can remember I have loved all the arts, from music to painting. I doodled incessantly, danced to any music I heard, and had an insatiable fascination for the world of technology.
My parents enrolled me in extracurricular art classes when I was five years old, and I continued to study under many remarkable teachers in various parts of the country and world for the remainder of my schooling. Those teachers developed my affinity into ability. They gradually guided me in acquiring the tools, knowledge, and experience necessary to achieve the aspirations of my imagination.
As my parents encouraged the development of my ability, the combined inclination and skill incubated passion. Passion is what made me want to live, breathe, drink, and be art and technology. Passion is what made me want to learn more, push my boundaries, and explore possibilities. Passion drove my conversations, my focus, my goals and my dreams. Passion is the fire that, when fueled, provides fulfillment from whatever your mind and body find to do. At some point in high school I happily realized that my passion corresponded well with an entire growing industry, to which I could direct my focus when continuing my education into college.
The final element is a very personal one, and the most crucial. For you see, without a fundamental purpose to fuel the flames of passion, there is a grave inevitability of them flickering out. Any good artist will tell you that artwork without purpose is empty, soulless. Philosophy, or worldview, is what shapes each person’s perception of themselves and the world they live in. It is ultimately the reason for what they believe, say, and do. Mine includes theological beliefs which shape my perception of purpose. I believe that all concepts of truth, goodness, and beauty originate from the very nature of God, and our pursuits of them result in reflections of His nature. Whether it be math, technology, history, science, or art we are ultimately seeking to reveal, learn from, or showcase elements of His design. As every design reflects its designer, the entire world reflects the nature of God. This perspective gives me an acute appreciation and fascination for any scholarly and/or artistic pursuit. Given where my greatest passion lies, I find in my philosophy a purpose to pursue that passion. My ultimate purpose is to glorify God, and in the scope of my profession, to seek, reveal, and reflect the inherent beauty of God. I believe this is accomplished, in however a small way, wherever beauty is born.
On this topic I have written and discussed elsewhere in much length, but this will have to suffice for now. I will leave you with a quote from the late, renowned designer Massimo Vignelli, from the film Helvetica: “The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the ugliness. Just like a doctor fights against disease. For us, the visual disease is what we have around, and what we try to do is cure it somehow with design.”