If your work isn't for sale in a store, in a museum, or on a website, it doesn’t exist.

Visibility is everything in design.


April 29, 2024


Steve Berry

If your work isn't for sale in a store, in a museum, or on a website, it doesn’t exist.

In an era dominated by digital landscapes and fleeting online presences, the adage "out of sight, out of mind" has never been more pertinent, especially for creatives. The sentiment, inspired by the thought-provoking insights from "10 Things Art School Didn't Teach Me," underscores a crucial, often overlooked aspect of creative work: visibility.

Existence Beyond Creation

Imagine crafting a masterpiece, a design so intricate and innovative that it could redefine standards. Now, imagine it tucked away in a folder on your desktop, unseen by the world. According to the idea from the mentioned text, if your work isn't for sale in a store, displayed in a museum, or featured on a website, it's as if it doesn't exist.

This notion isn't just about commercializing art or design; it's about acknowledgment and interaction. It's a call to arms for designers, artists, and creatives to bring their work to light.

The Forcing Mechanism

The digital era has given us a double-edged sword. At the same time, it's easier than ever to create and store our work, the same convenience can lead to our creations being locked away, hidden from potential admirers, critics, and collaborators. The concept of visibility as a "forcing mechanism" isn't just philosophical—it's practical. It compels us to share, to publish, to exhibit. It's a push toward vulnerability, the possibility of critique, and, most importantly, growth.

Portfolio Paralysis

Many of us have been there—scrolling through folders of unfinished or "not ready" designs, telling ourselves they're not fit for the public eye. This hesitancy, often dubbed 'portfolio paralysis,' stems from a fear of judgment or pursuit of perfection. But here's the kicker: perfection is an illusion, an unattainable goal that hinders more than it helps.

The Spectrum of Creation

Not everything you create will be groundbreaking. Not every design will redefine the norms, and that's okay. The essence of creativity lies in the spectrum of what we produce—the experimental doodles, the polished projects, the "failed" attempts. It's about building a palette of experiences and expressions. Over time, quality surfaces and a diverse portfolio often speak more to a designer's skill and potential than a carefully curated selection of 'perfect' works.

Embrace Visibility

We encourage our fellow creatives to break free from the confines of their digital storage and embrace the public sphere. Share your work, no matter how insignificant it might seem. Let it live, let it breathe, and let it interact with the world.

The unseen art is unfulfilled potential.

Steve Berry
Principal, Thought Merchants

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