The hack’s life is fairly easy. Your work just has to be good enough. You don’t have to put your soul into it and aim for perfection. You know how to do the job, you hand it in and they pay you. I know a film director who made commercials. Occasionally, he talked to film executives about making a movie, but he said he’d only do it if they gave him total creative control. Of course, they never did. So he kept making commercials, got rich, grew old and never found out whether he could make a good movie. He even posed as an artist who refused to sell out to Hollywood. It’s a good life. Art is harder.
JAMES VICTORE: In the design business, the crappy day job is slow death. The things you do on the side to make yourself happy are the things you should get paid for. Why leave it in the closet? If you are just working for a paycheck, or just to make a boss or client happy, then you should aim higher. Why put out junk food for the public and hoard the good stuff? We have the opportunity—and I think the mandate— to change people’s lives with our work.