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The Ego is Blogging

Welcome to the all singing, all dancing, testament to my self-worth.

I know that this is far from an original trip that I am embarking on in creating a blog but I could not enter into this without taking the time to stop and look what goes into making a blog dedicated to nothing but my opinion.

I will start by admitting that this isn’t the first time I have tried something like this. My current site houses a section called ‘Rants’ which was a collection of all kinds of thoughts about a variety of subjects but in the end, it was too long form and too much work to keep up with so this blog was born.

I think that artists and designers are especially drawn to creating this kind of space since we feel that we can’t just settle for having our work and opinions represented as a part of the agency shell that houses our talent. We want to make a name for ourselves and try to get some of the validation we don’t always find for our designs at work.

We need something to feed our ego, and try to find some sense of permanent and lasting life in our work and opinions. We are asked to take a blank piece of paper or screen and imbue it with a piece of ourselves. After all, of this many of our designs will only last until the next website version upgrade, catalog reprint or ad campaign re-design. The days of careers and lasting works like Monet and Picasso are over. Does anyone believe that MOMA will have an exhibit of the greatest web designs in 50 years?.

For me, my website and this blog have been a long struggle to come to grips with my career, my work, my future, and some way to put it all on display. It always seems to be that way. We are our own worst clients. I would have burned any budget ten times over by now if I had gone about this like all the other projects I work on. Somehow I keep trying to find the layout or typeface that represents me, that will amaze all who see it, and make some future agency run to the phone to hire me. I think that may be asking a lot of a typeface in the end.

Maybe it took so much time with so many versions because I have seen too many sites copied straight out of the last Communication Arts that do nothing but talk about how original they are. Maybe it took so long because now my work is on display with my name attached to it, and the protection of an agency is stripped away and I have lost the comfort of being able to disappear into a larger group. Maybe, in the end, I am struggling with the brief nature of this industry, and how to feel like my life and work made a difference.

I know that a website or a blog can never sum up who I am. It can never be anything more than a collection of screenshots and rants that if you squint hard enough may blur together to make a self-portrait of the person behind the work.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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Copyright © 2015 Stephen Gates