Friday, July 11, 2008

Being a designer: Finding your voice, your vision

I was out with some friends last week when one said something truly profound. We were talking about a singer of this cover band we were watching and he said "It's easy to copy other people's things. Finding your own voice is the hard part".


Lately I have had quite a few conversations about other "designers", major and minor. I get asked "What do you think of so and so?" or "What do you think about this blog". I've been asked so many times that I feel I should share this here.

What I have discovered is that there are two types of people..... designers and people who just make stuff. The problem is that "people who just make stuff" are walking around calling themselves designers and really don't know what they are doing. It's like singers who think they can act without an acting lessons. Some do have the natural talent but that is rare and most of them really don't.

The same thing goes with designing. I call myself a designer, and although I had absolutely no formal training until this year, I made it a point to actually study the art of fashion design. I bought textbooks and magazines and practiced for both sewing and knitting. I don't use programs to do my knitting patterns. I do them all by hand and I do all the math with a calculator. I want precision and an actual crafted and well thought out design.

I guess I am saying all of this because I want people and people that claim to be designers to respect what real designers do. Being "famous" and/or "rich" doesn't make you a real designer. Respecting your craft, knowing what's right and wrong technique, and having your own vision is what makes you good.

This leads me into what I originally came into this post to do. I wanted to give a view into the design process. They do it on "Project Runway" but I wanted to show what I did for my last project. For my next post I'm going to show the steps I went through to make this outfit.