The madness inside

There is this thing about always being the weird kid.
It seems to be a burden all your teenage years, and suddenly, as you reach the rise of adulthood, people start to define it in other, positive ways.

By being as weird as you’d like to, you give your kids the opportunity to be even weirder and crazier than you – with pride.
Here is for a world of opportunies.

 

 

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Impermanence, changes, and life with a kid.

When we moved to the UK, about 4 months ago, the plan was to try it out for 3 months before fully committing to this new life abroad. The plan also involved freelancing for a while. The plan sounded all good and safe.

Plans, as a matter of fact, never turned out the way we expected them to in the past years. We should have known better. 
In less than a month, we felt there was no going back to France. In less than a month, I had a new, unexpected permanent role at Amazon. The safe plan is turning into a life changing experience.

Time has never passed so quickly before. Probably because making the move with a toddler creates a time vortex in itself. Day-to-day life is made of zillions of milestones –  new words, new teeth, new everything that aggregate with the already incredible amount of novelty moving abroad and starting a new job bring.

Strangely enough, this doesn’t even feel insecure. The sense of impermanence that surrounds us makes things easier. Plans are getting crazier and crazier. Possible destinations are getting farther and farther. In the hope of building a legacy for our daughter, we’re finally getting to do everything we ever wanted to.

That was the most unexpected part of the house/kid/cats/car plan.

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A week left.

3 years ago, we bought a home.

2 years ago, I started freelancing, and my dose of daily work became such, that whenever I have free time felt like a celebration.

Last year, I was only a few days away from meeting the kid that would ruin my sleep yet make me damn proud and happy.

 

So yeah. Beat that life. This year, we decided to get a bit wilder. We’re going to go and live in London. In like, seven days. With a 1 year old.

As my partner in crime has found a great opportunity, I will finally get to work full-time contract based. The madness has just begun.

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Graphic and UI/UX design cultural implications, French view.

Studying the design job title paradigm in french.

If there’s a paradigm that’d always let me astonished, I’d go with the designers job titles. Web, graphic, visual, motion, flash, industrial, interaction, UI, UX designers… English offers a proficiency of titles to describe the jobs we’re doing, and I guess it does it well. Representing the variety of possibilities, yet remaining with the idea of design as a “conception” term, it really encompasses every aspects of the industry.

Yet French is pretty poor on that matter, and it somehow shows up the poverty of the industry over here.
Tell someone you’re a designer, they’ll think of you as an industrial designer, or as an interior designer.
Tell someone you’re an art director, they’ll think you work in the cinema or theatre industry. Sometimes, you’ll end up being a graphic designer, with no differences between the two jobs.
Tell them you’re a webdesigner, you’ll be a webmaster.
Tell them you’re a UI or worst, UX designer, they’ll have no fucking idea of what you’re doing.

This lack of lexical variety really shows up a big flow in the French design industry.
Over here, designers are brainless, pixel-pushing creatures, only adding the aesthetics touch on a wireframe.
Splitting tasks in little spare parts, the designer always ends up at the end of the queue, awaiting his orders from a project manager, the marketing team, or a so called-usability engineer – people with no design sense, creating 3 headed monsters of an interface
There’s no design thinking. No design strategy.

People get surprised when you justify your design and aesthetic choices.
They almost can’t believe it when you offer usability advices. And sometimes, if you do so, you’ll end up being considered as a non-creative element. Sounds like you can’t do pretty things AND have a brain.

Designing is a continuous process, going from the marketing strategy to actual functional prototyping. The more I think about it, the less I understand how we intend to create usable and useful products without getting a design team from start to end.
I feel that’s a pretty cultural matter. France has always been a place where art can’t meet science or expertise. You can’t major in biology and art. If you wanna study design, public schools won’t teach you about marketing, management or even creative process documents. We talk about Toulouse Lautrec’s painting but not about toulouse Lautrec’s posters. I remember being told, during my first year in fine art school, that studying graphic design was a waste of time, because I could do “so much better than that” (i.e study academical art). Design is dirty and brainless.

Sometimes, when I push pixels around, I do wonder if there is any hope out there for us, poor brainless creatures?

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