27 Apr Leanne Bowers: Suspended in Transition IDD 2022
The theme of the International Council of Design’s International Design Day 2022 is “Suspended in Transition” – the odd place we find ourselves, caught between crises and the hope for a new normal.
We asked Graphic Artist Guild Members what role designers and illustrators play in effecting change for a better world, and how they, as a working professionals, are meeting the challenges of this new world.
How have you adjusted to the large-scale changes in how we work and interact with our clients and our communities?
Honestly, I’m still adjusting quite a bit. I’ve been an in-house graphic designer most of my career and to suddenly find myself working from home has been quite a large change. At first it felt isolating and frightening but eventually I figured out the benefits. I was distracted less, able to be more productive during down-time and spending so much less time on office culture. Currently I work for an entirely remote company and the freedom is great, I’m trusted to accomplish the work I need to and not supervised constantly. I’m still figuring out some things for myself, like the desire for interaction or how sometimes working from home can still feel isolating. But it’s all a process.
Has your perception of the role you play as a designer or illustrator changed in response to the various crises we’ve been experiencing? Has it affected how you work, what projects you want to work on, or how you want to engage?
It certainly has had me question the point of my design and really desire to find my why. For the most part I know my favorite thing about design is problem-solving. And I enjoy designing for companies with some sort of purpose. Especially when I think about the bigger problems of pollution, fast-fashion, the consumption culture we live in, it makes me wonder if I can create in ways that will not feed those problems.
How do you believe designers and illustrators are positioned to help imagine and create a better future?
We certainly can help people visualize the possibilities. If not for some past illustrators and writers of sci-fi so many technological advances would never have happened. Designers during the industrial revolution created art nouveau as a way to push artistic boundaries with great craftsmanship in a new beautiful style. I also think many of the children’s books I’ve seen or animated movies that have come out, all have wonderful messages to them and the artists involved help to show the better future which can drive people to make it happen.