Get that label off me!

2413515872_a9e3d1c02aI am
an MBA
a design student
but not a designer (or am I?)
a brand strategist
a project manager
a lady geek
a blogger
a writer
an ex tech-consultant
an ex management consultant
an alumna

And that’s without even going into the personal labels I stick to myself (or get stuck on me). Labels make it easy to talk to people. "I’m an MBA from LBS" seems to open some doors or at least explain in a concise way what I am. "I’m a postgrad at Central St Martin’s" usually opens other doors (weird how you say MBA from LBS but not MA from CSM). And sometimes even mentioning you’re a blogger works magic! But at the same time, these labels make me feel uneasy sometimes, especially when others refer to them (or when I do) in a way that excludes another one. I feel like that a lot when it comes to business suits versus designers/creatives. Somehow there’s this perception that that’s an either/or situation. Either you’re a suit, and bureacratic and a management-speak spouting, tailored suit wearing MBA, or you’re a woolly creative, dressed in all black and sporting blackrimmed glasses, talking about negative space. I’m a bit lost I think. Where do I fit in? I haven’t worn a suit in years, and gave up glasses about 8 years ago. Is being both a suit and a designer a compromise that is the lowest common denominator of both and thus a bad thing. Or does it mean I can do both, and both reasonably well I hope, and that’s a good thing?

Interesting to see that this labelling happens on all sides of the fence. MBAs think designers are as weird as designers think MBAs are aliens. So maybe that’s what I am. Weird AND and alien!

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4 thoughts on “Get that label off me!

  1. Hi,
    Just found your blog by accident, while I was trying desperately to find out if the documentary series “Of Beauty and Consolation” was available anywhere in DVD. I bumped into a post of yours that has a lovely link to the VPRO site. First of all, thank you, I’ve been looking around for some time and never managed to find helpful information..
    The second thing, well, I’m currently attending a MA in Animation in Bristol, and in this area what you get is mostly some sort of high art/low art discussions, especially when involving people from other artistic backgrounds. I’m actually also from other artistic background (set design), so a bit of an alien in the animation world (got there through work).
    Some times it can be a bit tiring to go around and repeating incessantly “there is more to animation than cartoons”. I gave up on that some time ago, it seemed like an absurd justification of the type “deep down inside I am an artist”, and even if I eventually agreed with the fact that I’m working to become an artist, I don’t think that posting that as a flag in front of my face all the time can actually help me along the way.
    Ah well, I’m a bit lucky in the clothing/uniform department, animators and animation directors are usually a bit geekish but not really engaging with the very “professional” sort of look. Well, at least where I come from, which is to say, Portugal.
    So sorry about posting all of this, I got into my talkative mood.
    I’m curious to know if you actually got the DVD. And if you did, I remember that most of the interviews were in English (at least the ones I remember), but if not, do the DVDs have subtitles in english too? I can manage portuguese and english, but everything else is a bit out of my possibilities…
    Thanks again
    rita

  2. Thanks Councilof1!
    @Rita: I’m not sure if there is a DVD, if there is, I would definitely consider buying it. Dutch TV subtitles everything, so if the interviews were in English, you would have no problems! Check out this page, scroll to the bottom, and there’s 5 episodes of Van De Schoonheid en de Troost (On Beauty and Consolation) right there: http://www.hollanddoc.nl/dossiers/39221631/

  3. On the one hand you have the opportunity to be an interpreter between the people of two different planets. But what happens if the two people don’t want to communicate? I guess then you become an alien in both planets. At least that’s how this year felt for me at times.

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