In general, woman spend a lot more time away from work to raise children than men do, so employers can often see young woman as a risk, or not as valuable to men when it comes to long-term employment.
We know plenty of strong, dynamic, and successful woman who were able to expand their skills as employees after entering into motherhood. That in itself holds great value. In this blog we are celebrating mother’s day by looking into how these contrasting aspects of life can benefit each other!
Ways in which being a Mum can make you a better Graphic Designer
After asking our followers on Facebook what skills they felt benefited them at work after becoming a mother, most responded with; patience. Having the ability to deal with difficult people calmly and effectively is a great skill to have in any role.
As a designer, you have to deal with a variety of clients. Some may not be sure exactly what they want and everything you suggest just isn’t quite right. Similar to how your toddler just doesn’t seem to understand that ice cream and jelly isn’t a balanced meal, your client can’t seem to grasp that comic sans isn’t going to project the classy aesthetic they’re looking for.
Both scenarios require strong communication skills, understanding and patience.
Nowhere and Everywhere, Rebecca Coursey-Rugh. (2018)
Another topic our followers commented on was becoming more organised as a mum! As designers this is something we have to be hot on; regularly juggling a range of projects with multiple deadlines. Much like the school run, spending the time to organise and plan before will keep things running smoothly. Packed lunch? Done the night before! Important deadline? Completed with time to spare.
Of course, things don’t always run this smoothly, so having a backup plan is as essential in graphic design as it is in motherhood. Anticipating the needs of your client and your child allows for problems to be solved quickly and calmly.
Being able to spot and address potential problems before they arise is also a virtue when it comes to design. We are forever having to measure, align and correctly colour code our designs, attention to detail is key! So this is a mummy skill we defiantly want in our office!
Being able to understand another’s feelings gives you the ability to predict what they might want, or need. When a child is hungry or tired, their emotions are heightened and quite often result in a tantrum. A mum will do their best to avoid this; adapting quickly to notice any subtle patterns of behaviour or emotional leakage, a mum can prepare to avoid a problem prior.
A client might not be as obvious as a child but having the skills to quickly understand a person needs, and having the sensitivity to their emotions can result in excellent customer service. Perhaps it’s that mothers become more in tune with human nature, and this can advance their people skills. These skills are a vital asset to have on any design team, communication allows ideas and thoughts to be expressed freely in the studio and between clients. The clearer everyone’s ideas are, the more effectively a project will run.
It’s no secret that children are absolutely bonkers! Just look at the way they react to bubbles, dancing freely amongst the soapy circles like hippies in 1967. Children minds are untamed and energetic, they have the ability to see the world through unfiltered eyes, with a free and expressive imagination. Being surrounded by this kind of energy can do wonders for your creativity.
For Graphic Designers, our creativity is our bread and butter! So what better way to enrich it than to spend time with some bonkers kids. A healthy dose of a child’s imagination could allow a designer to become more original and free thinking with their ideas, and result in a better problem solver.
Births becomes Her, Veronika Richardson. (2018)
The Motherhood Project
The artwork below is a representation of 100 Sri Lankan mothers talking about motherhood. Some are funny, some loving, and some are even sad. The artwork reflects on the complex nature of motherhood.
Bee Johnson is an award-winning illustrator living in New York with her husband and daughter. Her artwork often appears in magazines, newspapers, mobile apps, advertisements, and children’s books. Touching on a variety of topics within motherhood, for example the below image depicts a woman using social media to cope with the loss of her dead child.
This series of photographs directed by the artists, who happens to be the subject herself, shows the variety of stages within a pregnancy. Shot in a range of natural environments the collection is soft and feminine, reflecting on the beauty of motherhood.