You’re only as good as your last project

I was told this as a young designer and although I can’t remember who said it, or the circumstances, it has stuck in my brain for a veeeerrrrry long time.

It’s only recently that I’ve started to analyse this ‘throw away’ comment. To be honest, I wish I had properly considered it before because I realise now that it is at least partially responsible for my struggles with confidence as a designer. Particularly as a parent-carer-designer who has (by necessity) had a longer-than-expected career break.

The bottom line is this. We are not all in the same boat. We don’t all have the same opportunities, time or connections, and to pretend that we do is grossly unfair.

We can’t all live in London… we don’t all want to. We don’t all get ‘the big clients’. We don’t all WANT the stress of working all the hours, and keeping up with the demands of agency life, even if we could. And the minute we have kids, we just can’t. Some of us have a family and a life outside of the office. Some of us are disabled. Some have caring responsibilities. Some have suffered discrimination, harassment and unemployment. I am reminded of this wonderful campaign by SheSays, a couple of years old now, that resonated with me.

So, all this to say that I spent A LOT of time when choosing the projects to put into my corner of the web. Some of them are recent-ish. Some of them are decades old. They are ALL ME. My work (with the usual caveat that no agency designer works alone), using my skills to meet the brief. And I’m proud of them.

None of this is a dig at my past employers. I am immensely grateful that I’ve worked with fabulous people, in agencies that really do care about their staff and families. It’s more of a ‘note to self.’ To make sure that I’m checking these negative thoughts, myths, and whatever other rubbish is occupying space in my brain. Check it and, if necessary, pop it in the bin!