Thursday, August 6, 2009

Buy Tissue Paper from Poor People

It took us a long time to have patrons in art. People who are willing to sponsor art events, art exhibitions, commissioned artworks or simply just buying artworks.

How about design? Design is often seen as a service, first and foremost. So putting aside design exhibitions or events, whenever we as designers are required to go pitch for a job, we are expected already to put in a proposal, visuals and great concepts. And the client will usually tell us how big their company is, how much they have accomplished, how big they see themselves in 5 years 10 years, and how great it would be if you are associated with them if you design their stuff. And then you give them a decent quotation and they either disappeared, say they will do it in-house, or go to some big firms where they feel assured they can secure a funding from the government to "re-brand" themselves. What went wrong? - The clients' perception of small design firms or the government's message on funding design? 

How are we ever going to generate jobs for the new players who are possibly talented in the design industry if all the MNCs are eyeing the funding from the government who needs the optimistic bank statements, company profile, long job lists, blah blah blah? 

How are designers supposed to make money if nobody is willing to pay for "good design"? People settle for so-so design because they have a low ceiling for design fees. Irony is, they pay for the stars if you are a so-called world-class designer. Local designers should start from where?

After having started my design publishing outfit when was 27, sold it, worked for 8 years under a corporate environment and finally coming out on my own again, I am content with small jobs and when i feel good, i will go pro bono for jobs i believe will benefit the people who deserved it. I believe design can change the world, and i will do design for free for anyone who truly can't afford it, and make this world a more beautiful place to live in. It comes down to my daily philosophy of buying tissue paper fr any old aunty or uncle or handicapped people on the streets whenever i come across one. If i have 10 dollars in my pocket, it is so easy to share just one dollar with someone who needs it. It is not a lot but it is what i can comfortably do. And this money that i earn from design assignments, is the 1st step to using design to change the world, in whatever ways, buying tissue paper from the needy included. 

Times are hard, let's help the poor if you can.