Self-Evaluation

Self evaluation is a necessary evil. I jokingly suggest that “I learned everything I need to know about life learning to be an actor.” In all seriousness, everything seems to circle back around to the finer points of acting as a discipline and a craft. As an actor you are constantly evaluating yourself and adjusting to critique in order to grow and improve. You are shown how to provide thoughtful and useful criticism (saying something is simply good or bad is not useful). You find ways to quantify and measure characteristics and emotions allowing for necessary adjustments. The book Zen in The Art of Archery (Eugen Herrigel) changed the way I looked at acting in particular, but eventually all things craft and discipline driven. It talks of the repetition and act of doing with intention until a point that you release and you no longer do, but “it does.” A bit too philosophical? Maybe, but it made perfect sense to me at the time and continues to give me great perspective on Industrial Design as a discipline and true craft.

It is through a deep level of commitment to the growth of my craft that I am able to identify very specific foundation needs.

Q: “Can You Draw?”

A: “Yes.”

Q: “Do you have a lot (a lot = butt load = bunches) to learn about DESIGN SKETCHING and ID specific drawing techniques.”

A: “Absolutely.”

Asking the right question is paramount. I thought I knew stuff about things before I started the MID program at GA TECH, and I even have pieces of paper that say just that (nice paper too, framed and everything). I have been humbled by my classmates and professors in the best way possible. It is through this humility that inspiration and motivation are born. This high level of motivation and drive is actually my biggest problem. I have (until the birth of my daughter last August) had the greatest difficulty in balancing work life and home life. I have always had the luxury of having my hobbies as a source of employment and financial gain (even if only part-time during certain stages). Even when I was working in the corporate world as a Project Manager I kept up with my Graphic Design and Video Design clients (through Ensign Studios, LLC, which I started in 2007). I love being a designer, and I am passionate about helping other people (particularly non-profit organizations), but I have learned (the hard way in some cases) that people will gladly take advantage of your kindness and generosity. My primary objective is to establish personal/professional “best-practices” to safeguard my family from my work life (as well as my work life from my family when/if necessary). I am not lacking in leadership experience, but desire nothing more than to grow into a role that allows me to give back as a mentor/educator. I learned design by doing as much as possible and working closely with designers that I admired and respected (also some that did not receive as much of the admiration, but still taught me valuable lessons).

I look forward to sharpening my skills as an Industrial Designer, while integrating my experiences in everything from acting to project management. What’s next? I guess that is a question I will look forward to answering for many years to come.

-Bradley

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