Paul Stonier

Finding the Work/Life Balance in Design: Choices with Legacy in Mind

Branding, Graphic Design

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As cliché as it sounds, being a designer isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. In that, I mean, there is an incredible level of investment in our work. Long, coffee-driven hours of pouring yourself into pixels and paper is not uncommon in this profession. Even by the time we get home from our day job, we devote ourselves to organizations like AIGA and SoTA to harness our skills further. We donate time to help non-profits build their brands, not to mention all the side projects we take on to help our friends.

All these commitments makes it insanely difficult to do this well and maintain a successful relationship with a significant other, let alone build a family. You come to a point where you have to make choices. There is simply not enough time to do it all. That’s when making sure you love what you’re doing during the day becomes even more important, because when you walk in that door to someone waiting for you, your work takes a backseat.

According to Gary Vaynerchuk, if you talk to someone late in their life and ask them what they wish they did differently, the answer will almost always be to spend more time with their family. Stefan Sagmeister has said that Tibor Kalman was fascinated with legacy and ultimately, when you look at the big picture, that’s what’s going to matter. This is where the divide typically happens…where that legacy lies. Do you leave a legacy by building a family and a role model for them or do you leave your legacy in the piles and piles of design books and award shows? After some serious thought, there is no question for myself, that my focus is on my family. With a daughter on the way, I could not by more excited to take this on and run with it.

To be continued…

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