Why the name "Make It Pretty?"
"I have a job. I need you to make it pretty." "We did the work, but now we need you just to make it pretty." "Our meeting is tomorrow. Can we give this to you to make it pretty." One phrase has followed me through every step of my career, regardless of title or experience. It's the one every creative cringe at because it minimalizes our profession. The profession we've all had to get degrees for and practice. That phrase is "Make it pretty." FINDING CONTEXT No one means it as an insult to what a creative person does. It took me a while to learn that as a younger designer, all puffed up from studying in college and ready to change the world one design at a time. But I believe it now. Most people are not negating experience, knowledge, or intent. They have a hard time putting into words what a designer does. Some designers I know have a hard time putting into words what a designer does. It's a broad field and, therefore, hard to describe. What people do know is that they can bring a designer a stack of papers with scribbles on it, and a good designer will hand them back a well-thought-out work-of-art—something that's both functional, and yep, pretty. WHY CHOOSE THIS ANNOYING PHRASE When I wanted to start writing a blog and needed a name, I decided to embrace "Make It Pretty." Because the easiest way to disarm a negative thought is to quit feeding it negative energy, I am going to wear this little misnomer as a badge of honor. And, I hope my fellow creative professionals will follow suit. Why? Because of THE WHY. MY WHY and YOUR WHY too. THE WHY that started it all. We wanted to make cool stuff, thought-provoking stuff, exciting stuff, groundbreaking stuff, one might say, pretty stuff – and get paid for it. We do that. We, as creatives, have one of the coolest jobs in the world, and you know what? What is so bad about anyone thinking that our job, our gift to the world, is to make it pretty?
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Photo Credit: Photo taken inside The Arts Factory in the Arts District of Las Vegas, Nevada