There is a similarity between design and art in the aim for intentionality. During an art critique, an artist must defend each visual or medium decision to her viewers. If she can’t defend a decision, then she must at least be aware of a passive decision or intuitive process. Critics ask, “how does x strengthen your y message?” Art making is based on a desire for self-expression, and often asks as many questions as it answers.
In the design world, being a successful and convincing designer hinges upon showing intent and reason behind each design choice. Defending these intentions increases the power and legitimacy of a designer’s work, and hearing from critics about what she’s overlooked only strengthens her understanding of the problem. Critics ask, “how does x solve the problems of y constituency?” Design decisions, unlike those in art making, are based on the needs and desires of many, and aim to provide concrete solutions.
I find fulfillment in personal creative expression through drawing and comics storytelling, and will always have several projects going. However, I also need the collaborative, social nature of design and its wide-ranging, world-betterment applications. I am realizing that pursuing these two fields in tandem will bring me professional fulfillment that each alone could not.