Take the Long Way
by Joy Burke
Local designer and illustrator, Mike McQuade, shared with all of us at today’s Creative Mornings the beauty that comes from pouring all you’ve got into work you love.
Every month, I volunteer to help my buddy Mig Reyes a little with Creative Mornings Chicago, a monthly breakfast lecture series. And every month I leave feeling more driven and inspired to keep doing this work that I love and to work really hard at it. This month’s source of inspiration came from Mike McQuade’s presentation hosted in the incredible workspace of Gensler, a global design, architecture and planning firm, while Artisan made sure our bellies were happily full of delicious coffee and morning treats.
“Work hard. Stay humble. And get your work out there, because you never know who’s watching.”
Those are the awesome words Mike left us with for the day, and he is living proof that if you want to be successful doing what you love, that’s the way to do it. Mike’s work has been featured in tons of publications including Communication Arts, Gestalten Publications, HOW, Print, We Love Typography, GQ Style Blog, Design Taxi, Smashing Magazine, The One Show, Chicago Creative Club and Cannes. He is also a recipient of the Young Guns 9 Award.
Mike humbly told us in the beginning of his presentation that he has no talent, he’s just gotten where he is today from working really hard and not taking on projects if he’s not able to put 100% effort into the design. “Good work gets you great work,” as he put it. Mike also pointed out something I love to try and remember and stay focused on, that we as designers make things that shape our culture, and that is a huge responsibility. He talked on the point that you should be working on projects that you can stand behind because working on something you believe in results in working harder to make sure it rocks.
Don’t take short cuts. Take the long way, like Mike does, so when all is said and done, you can say you put 100% of your tender love and care into that project. Illustrating my “Do What You Can” poster was something I did to raise enough money in a very short amount of time so I could make it onto Climate Ride California this past October. Looking back on that project, after thinking about what Mike talked about this morning, I can see that I poured a ton of time and energy into making those posters because I loved the reason I was making them, and it resulted in me raising something like 150% of my goal for the ride, and I have posters to share now because of it! Hard work really does pay off.