Why the name "Make It Pretty?"
"I have a job. I need you to just make it pretty."
"We did the work but now we need you to just make it pretty."
"Our meeting is tomorrow. Can we give this to you to just 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 cringes at because it minimalizes our profession. The profession we've all had to get degrees for and practice at. That phrase is "Make it pretty."
No one means it as an insult to what a creative person does or is capable of. 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 simply 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.
This is why.
It's 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, interesting stuff, groundbreaking stuff, one might say, pretty stuff – and get paid for it.
We do that. We, as creatives, have one of the greatest jobs in the world and you know what? At the end of the day, what is really 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 Distrct of Las Vegas, Nevada