I love my profession.
I love that every day I go to work and someone pays me to do something that I love.
I love the fact that what I do matters. Design matters. There are products that do not exist yet, but in the next few months the design team at Degree 53 will have created them. There is something beautiful about that, but there is also a responsibility that goes with it. We need to care. We need to think long and hard about what we’re putting into the world and what we want to achieve.
Thankfully, I don’t just love my profession, but I love the team that I get to work with every day. They get it. They get what it means to care about our users and our clients. They care about design just about as much as they care about anything else. It’s a profession, a calling, and a responsibility.
So where am I going with this? Well, I’m really proud to say that this year I’m hosting the Manchester Behance Portfolio Review. I received an email from Behance a couple of weeks ago asking me to consider being a host and my gut reaction was a resounding “hell no!” The Behance Portfolio Review week is 3-10 November. That’s just not enough time to put together the event that I’d want to host. As much as I’d love to do it, I just don’t have the time or the resources.
That brings us back nicely to me loving my job and my team. I spoke to Andy our M.D. and Jade our Head of Design; I told them what I would want to do and why it wasn’t possible. Their response: you should do it, and we’ve got your back.
Look, we’re a business and we need to make money. We need to keep the lights on and pay staff. We need to get clients, make them happy, make their users happy and then get more clients. However, as a company we also care about our profession. Manchester has a thriving design community and this Behance Portfolio Review is our opportunity to give something back and to serve that community. We wanted a great speaker, a great venue and, crucially, for it all to be completely free. We wanted it to be for students as well as professionals and, thanks to Degree 53 agreeing to sponsor the event, all of this is now possible.
So, on Monday 3 November at 6:30pm the Manchester design community will descend on The Sharp Project for the Behance Portfolio Review. My design hero, the magnificent Brendan Dawes, is coming to speak. He’s doing this for free (remember - the design community is awesome). I’m still geeking out over the fact he’s actually coming. It’s going to be great.
After Brendan’s talk we’re going to get into groups and industry professionals are going to review the attendee’s portfolios. It’ll be fun, it’ll be friendly and quite frankly it’ll be awesome. I’d love for you to join us. You can get your (free) tickets here.
You see, I love my profession. On Monday 3 November I’m going to love it a little bit more. I’m going to meet designers, students and design enthusiasts from my local community that I might never have met before. I’m going to meet a hero of mine. Then on the next day I’m going to go back to work at Degree 53 and make something beautiful.