Whenever I mention to someone (new to me) that I’m a Graphic Designer*, there is a 50% chance that they will have another Graphic Designer in their family whom they will want me to “talk to”.
I have no idea why.
It’s VERY strange.
This is how the conversation goes:
A: I work in the marketing department of XYZ Co. What about you?
Me: Nice! I’m a Graphic Designer, I license my designs.
A: Ohhh, my sister/ cousin/ best friend/ <insert relative type person> is also a Graphic Designer! You should talk to her! She just did XYZ project in New York/ London / <insert foreign city>. She’s also totally into Graphic Design, please talk!!
A: She just did some exhibition at (OR completed her degree at ABC) and is really doing excellent work!
Me: *in mind, to self* well… good for her?
A: Talk to her!!
Me: Er… actually I’m quite busy with my projects, my schedule is very packed… blah blah blah… (and I don’t exactly want to seek out and talk to the million Graphic Designers that are out there!!!)
This never happened to me when I was a lawyer. Back then, people made reasonable connects.
For example, if they knew someone from my college, they would bring it up. That made sense, because there is there a specific connect between the person they know and me (although no one ever asked me to TALK to those people).
Why are people under the impression that us Graphic Designers / creative professionals want to talk to every other creative professional out there?
I know most people in traditional jobs find it very hipster to be a creative professional and therefore might think that we are part of a tiny, exclusive club, but sorry to burst your bubble, it’s not that uncommon.
There are many, MANY creative professionals out there.
And said creative professionals span wholly unrelated industries, who have NOTHING in common with each other, and don’t want to talk to other strangers who happen to also be a creative professional.**
* My job description also depends on the audience. If I start telling them what I actually do, most people here wouldn’t understand it. So I use the broad label of “Graphic Designer” but my peers in the industry will understand that’s not really “it”. I used to say “Illustrator” some times, but that led to more puzzled looks, so I just stick to Graphic Design. Oh well.
** Please note, I am not a grinch. No… just thought I should clarify 😉 Thing is, I love connecting with other people ORGANICALLY when we have something in common. I find people who are solopreneurs have more in common with me than someone like a Graphic Designer working at an agency or an artist who creates work for the art gallery industry. Also, I hate “networking”, and thankfully, I don’t need to for my work, so I don’t do it. I talk to people when it’s fun to do so, and when it happens organically. Thank you very much.