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I have a confession.

November 18, 2014 Alumni News & Events, General 0 Comments

I have a confession. I’m writing this wearing yoga pants. But in my own defense, I just got back from a yoga class. Where I go sans fancy clothes or makeup. It’s a chance to disconnect and recharge for me. Because the rest of the day, it’s busy. And that’s when things shift. Like the clothes I wear. Because the rest of the day, I put on a different look. One that says professional. Confident. Creative.

Those of us in the creative field are pretty lucky. To a certain extent, we can get away with being a little more funky than most. It’s almost a little expected. You probably won’t ever see us in khaki pants and a button down shirt. And that’s ok.

I remember working at a design studio early in my career. Our account manager wanted to take a senior designer to a client meeting. Keep in mind, our account manager was all sales. Well dressed. Fancy car. Elegance personified. He needed to land those clients, sell them on our abilities, and than step away while we did the work. When it was time to present he wanted the creative lead to walk the client through the process. Only, the creative that day dressed in jeans, a baseball hat, and t shirt. I’ll never forget it when he said, “I can’t bring a designer to a meeting when he looks like he should be sitting at a baseball game.”

And that’s when it clicked for me. That just like the work that we do, we as creatives express ourselves in other ways that convey something about us to the outside world. Whether it’s the color of our hair, the shoes we wear, or the clothes we put on, it all says something about us, intentional or not.

As we go through our days, and our countless interactions, we express without words through the work we do, the way we put ideas together, as well as the way we put ourselves out there.

As my professional career moved from senior designer, to associate creative director, to owner of my own studio, I’ve come to realize more and more how we are judged, sometimes unfairly, by how we look. As I meet with current clients, and go about my day interacting with potential clients, I realize that you never know who your next project is going to come from. Anyone at anytime can be a possibility. From someone standing in line getting coffee, to the graduate students you ride the elevator with and meet at the print center, the way we present ourselves should always be representing the best we can be. And those yoga pants… I save those for yoga. Out in the world, you won’t find me in flip flops or pjs. Those are saved for the beach and bed.

Susan Fireside
Graduate Student
shoe lover, dog person, minimalist
owner, winter and construction design llc

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