I’ve talked about education before, but yesterday I was blown away (again) by someone who decided to forgo school (for the most part) and forge on with a self-taught design career. The first person I met that did this I worked alongside for a few years (at our first and only jobs) and was always blown away by his natural talent. I suppose I can “lump” myself in the self-taught category, but I did go to college, just not for design. I didn’t self-teach however, I borrowed, stole, and pillaged from a very talented design team.
More and more I think the response to boredom from many kids in school (from 8th-12th grade) is to gravitate towards computers and the self-taught realm. I first started playing with Photoshop (at 17), not because I was introduced in a school, but because I was excited about pirating something so expensive. How many designers started in a similar way?
I don’t mean to discredit those with big piles of debt, I’m with you. But I can’t help but be in awe of those who just do it and become self-taught rockstar designers without all the fat. Thumbs up.
More and more the internet provides all kinds of free training – for those that seek it. I compare k12 education to my experiences in learning to play the guitar (albeit a little older). While Django and Robert Johnson are fantastic guitar players, if not the best – I want to “play The Fucking Clash,” – three power chords, I’m good. A well-rounded education is important, but you also have to serve them up what they want. Especially when competing with the internet, video games, and broken families.
The web gives us power – those who are willing to sweat and just do – don’t need a college education and they certainly don’t need a resume.
I can’t say I regret college – I had a great time and learned a lot of life skills, but for what I do, I probably would have been better off diving right in. Now I am a 27-year-old designer watching the big 30 creep closer and closer – at what point am I dated? Scary stuff! Thank goodness for We The Media and it’s ever expanding talent pool – I will forever be connected to the talent of youth.
Yesterday was inspiring if anything – thank you to those who I met and spoke with.