What If… I Didn’t Become A Graphic Artist?

Episode 173 – Monday, July 31st, 2017 (7517)

what if my job

I have been out of work for almost five months, but I still don’t understand why I can’t find a right company that is suitable for me to work as a graphic artist/designer. I have already shown my impressive interviews, exam performance, and even my portfolios, but sadly I’m still not qualified to be one of the newest employees of the company. I don’t know their reasons, but I guess because of my background (I was studying in a deaf school) or of having some speech problems (although I now have a clear speech). And I think they might be impressed on my portfolios that fill with my artworks, but I don’t know why.

Being graphic artist/designer might be the one of the simplest but complicated jobs that I’ve ever done in my working career. When I was young, I loved creating drawings on my old notebooks. But I never learned a lot about graphics and multimedia when I was in college although I got some lessons from the Information Technology (I.T.) course that I took. Most of the lessons that I learned and studied from college were programming and creating a software system. But I never pursued these after college graduation. Instead, I went other field to become a graphic artist because that was one of my instincts when I was young as I loved drawings. When I had my first ever job, I immediately learned the techniques in graphic designing and software such as Adobe Creative Suites. And after years of work, I have lots of experiences about this field.

Well, I guess it has been my passion in the past almost 7 years of my working career. However, I’m thinking… what if… I didn’t become a graphic artist or designer as my job? What if I had other professions rather than an artist in graphics? Hmmm… I think so.

what if my job timeline

During my childhood and teenage years, I had other ambitions that might have become when I finished my college. My other dreams that might have followed my career path are architect and teacher in a deaf institution. And if ever I followed my other dreams rather than graphic artist, I might now practice my working career as an architect or a teacher. Well, let’s discuss in my alternate timeline.


The Skyscapers (Nov. 2006)
One of my beautiful artworks that I made in 2006.

Besides of my drawings, I also drawn some amazing buildings and skyscrapers that I made when I was young. Yeah, I made several buildings based on my imagination. I didn’t copy or take from the real existing cities around the world, but I created these from my own. Most of these were made from my ballpen (black and blue colors) and drawn on my old school notebooks and stretch pads. One of my favorite building designs that I ever drew was made when I was in first year college (shown on above).

Because of my talent, some told me that I could become an architect someday because I could design a modern building as what I drew on my stretch pad. However, after high school, I couldn’t find a right course that fitted my talent. There were some schools offered the course that has architectural studies, but it might not be affordable for my family’s budget because the tuition of these schools were so expensive (about more than 10,000 pesos per semester). So, I just ended up taking I.T. course in a public (city-sponsored) college which was Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Santa Rosa Campus where the tuition was so affordable (less than 1,000 pesos per semester), and it was because there’s no other courses available that fitted my architectural studies back then.


SPED Teacher

In 2010, during our school’s retreat, one of my I.T. professors asked me about my background, and I told her that I was from a deaf institution (which was Philippine School for the Deaf or PSD). She was surprised and wondering why I could speak and hear but studied in a deaf school for a long time. I deeply explained her about my experiences from being a “deaf” student. Suddenly, because during the time when I and my college classmates were about to finish our college studies, she suggested me to become a special education (SPED) teacher since I had a background in deaf culture such as communicating sign language. Hmmm… why not?


I could have becoming a teacher in my profession, but I rather like to be a SPED teacher teaching deaf students. Becoming a SPED teacher didn’t come into my mind when I was young. But I didn’t recall from my memory that there were some instances that I made some quizzes and writing on a small board. In fact, if I still remember, My Tent Office, which was so small back then when it was on the top of double deck bed of my elder brother, was once converted into a mini “classroom” as one of my playground when I was a kid. But there were no any students or even playmates surrounding me, so that I just did it alone. That’s weird, wasn’t it?

Although it might be hard for me to teach stubborn and playful students, I might mentor them mostly are deaf students probably in secondary education (high school) in a special school. Also, I have two advantages that I should become a SPED teacher. First, I have a background in deaf community. Yeah, I studied deaf institutions such as PSD where I was a “deaf” student for 10 long years and Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) in the United States when I was an exchange student in 2004-2005. In the past 11 years as a “deaf” student, I met and learned several things that encountered deaf culture such as deaf friends, using sign language, and the educational system in the special school. That’s why my life was focused in deaf world during pre-2005 era. And second, I can teach deaf students the lessons that are suitable on what I have learned particularly in computers. Since I studied I.T. lessons where I learned some programming (but ended up to learn multimedia such as graphic designing), I might bring my knowledge to them. I can teach basic computer systems, basic Microsoft Office lessons (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and some graphics and multimedia such as Adobe products (particularly Photoshop).

Being SPED teacher might also have pressure and stress because of playful and stubborn (deaf) students like in the normal (non-deaf) schools, and I have some fear to appear many people (but it’s okay for me if I stand and teach in front of only 10-15 people/students). But I think it might be perfect for me and my working career. Unlike working as graphic artist/designer where there’s shift schedule, quota, strict quality control, rush deadlines, etc., I can work what I can do for my (deaf) students. I would make a lesson plan for them, timeframe of a topic, basic tutorials, creating quizzes and test exams (with a twist), and evaluation of the students such as grades. I might be comfortable as a SPED teacher because of fixed schedule – always daytime, Monday to Friday, and within 10 months of school period. Of course, how come that a school offers a graveyard shift for the students who might sleep on their class in nighttime?


However, I might have wondered why I didn’t become a teacher teaching students who are deaf just like me before when I was young. If ever I didn’t take I.T. or Engineering or Architectural course while entering college, I might have decided to take education for my course to become a teacher after four years. But I didn’t think about it during the time when I was about to finish high school. I might regret, but well that’s okay.

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If ever, in my alternate timeline, I became an architect or a SPED teacher as my profession, it might not be the same as what I have faced right now. I would have not encountered several bad things in the workplace such as working in a confusing schedule (night shift, weekends, and holidays) and plenty of overtimes, rush deadlines, hitting quota, relying to the clients, strict and snobbish managers, helpless and unfriendly workers, and bullying that caused me into resignation because of these freaking officemates. And I would have not been jobless, looking for a job position as a graphic artist/designer, and having hard time to find a right, better company. But these already happened in my reality, in the past almost 7 years of my working career.

Becoming an architect builds houses and buildings in the city. Becoming a SPED teacher teaches deaf students to become knowledgeable mostly in computer. But in the end, I chose to become a worker in graphics – whether they call me as graphic artist, graphic designer, layout artist, multimedia artist, etc. designing and conceptualizing the artwork for the client. At least, it’s already my profession for more than five years since college graduation and my job experience in resumes and portfolios.

I’m still hoping to have a new and nice job before the 2017 ends. Please pray for me to pass all the challenges for my working career.


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