Some might recognise this as the title of David Airey's book. I can't remember when I first heard this phrase but I often see it as a call to action or a quote (though it isn't really a quote...)
But I like it. It sounds right.
The most important thing for creative individuals is that we find a space and a reason to create. Above all things creating is the most important part for me, the part that provides the lasting feeling of satisfaction and the part that makes me dream and hope.
Working...yeah that's cool. Even better if your work is something you enjoy doing; but Increasingly I feel that its the creative habits and development of craft and expertise in free time that are long term indications of success. As great as it can be you don't often have the chance to develop skills or grow your creative voice in a job.
I don't mean hate your job - do not do that. But I do think the creative things you do because of or in spite of your 9-5 speak greater volumns about your values and worth as a creative.
I was reading recently an article by Cal Newport in the 99U book Maximise Your Potential and he has interesting ideas. When he states "The systematic development of skill...almost always preceeds passion" he's describing how development of craft, learning a unique skill or a skill to a unique level is a better identifier of individuals who's work will closely align with their 'passion' and working lifestyle goals.
I like that idea and it fits well with "Work for money, design for love"
A regular income is what people need to survive (whether it be freelance or 9-5) but what you do outside of that is a clear signal of your intentions and priorities.
Ways of interpreting "Work for money, design for love" (like any phrase it can mean so many things to different people).
Start a side hustle/side project - You could collaborate with other creatives or start chipping away at a bigger project that's going to bring you joy.
Making a change doesn't have to be perfect - We often worry about making a change to a perfect job, but often any change is so revitalising that waiting for things to be perfect could be wasting time wherein you stagnate. Passion projects could
New skills - A great time to develop your skills is when youre off the clock (you're fully in control and you can go to your own pace and enjoy learning). You can learn a new software, a new technique or simply a new shortcut and it feels really rewarding. .
Focus on the long term - Let yourself enjoy the comfort and support of a job, enjoy the labours in your spare time and keep your mind attuned to growth and realising a long term plan.
Depending on how you think, the phrase might always be relevant and not just until you reach a given milestone. You always need to design for love.
I just concluded my 365 day design project so at the moment I feel particularly strange. The desire to create still remains and it feels wierd not too. But equally I feel like life naturally fills in the void. But, I didn't expect not designing daily to be a monumental change as its only a small change in my overall habits.
As I'm flipping through instagram or just going abut my life I do keep getting flashes of ideas and mini projects to try; which is great. A part of me was a little worried that my creativity might try up if I stopped creating each day but I prefer to think of myself as letting it rest.
The best thing about not creating everyday is that I can make bigger and better things.
What do you guys think of "work for money, design for love"?