I have long known that my creative outcomes are heavily influenced by my values. This is primarily because when I first began designing professionally, I made a very conscious decision on the kinds of work I would not engage in and the kinds of products/services I would and would not promote. I find that my personal, political, religious and cultural views all affect my creative practice – even to the point of selecting my employers and what they choose to promote. I have not and will not ever work at an agency that promotes alcohol, tobacco, lgbt, pornography, or any kind of lewd or inappropriate imagery.
As an example, I did a short stint at a small independent music label in Atlanta. As soon as I realized that we were going to sign an artist that required the explicit language warning on the album, I submitted my resignation because I knew I couldn’t design the album cover and promote it with any level of comfort. Scary? Of course. But I feel strongly about these things.
So – do I find that values inform my creative practice? Absolutely. I wouldn’t have it any other way. To many, this may sound elitist or arrogant, but none of these decisions were made with any kind of malice in mind. These decisions were not made lightly – they reflect my values and my beliefs – so anything contrary to that would make me a hypocrite.
I do make it a point to explain this to my employers even on the first interview (never fun for anyone if I were to spring this up after the fact).