big love.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

So it started with dessert.

I wanted to try out a dessert place in a sort of cute area in Calgary called Inglewood and I wanted to know what other businesses were around it to see if there was anything else interesting to see. When in Calgary, if I leave my parent's home in the suburbs, I want to cram as much stuff into one day as possible, the house is far from things, and it takes a lot more motivation and effort to get out and do something (the suburbs make you insanely lazy or insanely busy). There are a couple of graphic design firms in Inglewood, Foundry Creative and Fulcrum Communications. I looked through Foundry Creative's website, and I thought the work was pretty good, especially for Calgary and I also liked the fact that it was founded by 3 women. Then I got curious about other graphic design studios in Calgary and there are a good handful. Most of the work is definitely good and I started entertaining the idea that Calgary might be an okay place to come back to to continue my career in graphic design, because it seemed almost as good, comparable to the work found in Vancouver, and then it hit me. It kind of looked the same. I don't mean this in a bad way. Then I realized, if I am going to produce work in Calgary that is comparable to that found in Vancouver, why should I stay in Calgary? Why not aim for the best place possible, like New York, San Francisco, somewhere awesome in Europe. What I am trying to remind myself here is that I don't have to settle for a place like Calgary. Although it has its interesting points, places, people, events, and it is on the brink of huge development in just about everything, it is not a place I feel totally compelled to stay in, it only makes me dream of ways to get better and to get out to better places, and I think that's how it'll be for a long time.

Then again, maybe I should actually experience working in Calgary before I start making all these assumptions. But it kind of feels like it might be a slight waste of time, that I should just go ahead and go to the big places while I am still new, inexperienced, and curious. And one time Jane and I had talked to a creative director at Hangar 18, Sean Carter, and he was saying that it is preferable to hire young designers fresh out of University because they are easier to mentor and mold into a designer that will work well for their firm. It made me realize that I have to get a pretty good idea of what kind of designer I want to be and how to get there, and that means choosing good places to work. I know that is obvious, but I could feel myself making some compromises in my head as to where I should work because of my fears and whatnot.

With graduation approaching, I am starting to process what kind of city I want to work and live in. One that I feel like I belong to, that I understand, and that I can be happy in. And Calgary could definitely do that for me because it has my family, my friends, spaces that hold strong memories, many of my first experiences and failures, and big hope. But I remember one time, when I was 16, that my family and I went to San Francisco, only for a week, but the instant I was there, it felt completely right, I felt completely free, and it helped me define what I wanted from life and how I could do it and the hope and will to do it.

And I want that.

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