26 May 2012

A Financial Lesson for a Graphic Designer

Haiti Airport
Empty Haitian Airport. After everyone ran to catch their flights.
“Money, whether earned yesterday or tomorrow, is something we trade our life energy for.” 
The situation felt like scrambled eggs—we missed our flight. I forgot my credit card. A friend’s flight was cancelled as the other friend sat waiting for us in the plane. My lovely friends hurrying to buy last minute tickets from the other airline. “Are you buying the tickets?” she asked. I looked at my friend and the airline’s logo like a tempting 5000-calorie [per bite] dessert dipped in dark chocolate with marshmallows and cherries on top. I could already taste it while the wad of Benjamin Franklins tug in my pocket. I resisted and said, “No. Ladies, enjoy The Dominican Republic...”
In the last entry, How Much Does a Graphic Designer Cost? you would see how life, time and money are closely related especially for us Graphic Designers because we not only trade our time for money but also our unique expression, sometimes we even suppress it to satisfy our client's needs. For everything you buy, you trade life energy and/or time that you could’ve spent having fun, or being with friends and loved ones or doing something else. I know we all took Fine Arts and hate math but let me illustrate this point in numbers. For our example, let’s use a typical middleweight Graphic Designer who has ad agency experience and love drinking a gallon of coffee every afternoon. He or she earns, say, $25/hour and he or she wants to buy a $380 plane ticket. 380 divided by 25. So that translates to working for 15.2 hours to make $380. I’m not in the position to tell anyone how to spend his or her money but for me a $380 plane ticket is not worth it, especially if you have other options.
As Graphic Designers we enjoy what we do, we’re born to create great designs, but we also have our fair share of clients from hell and sacrifices in the workplace. The important concept to remember or the moral lesson of the story is: we trade our time for money and each penny we spent is as unique as the minute we traded it for.
Barahona, Dominican Republic Road
Road to a weekend of fun. Dominican Republic. I thought I was dreaming but there were really little yellow butterflies fluttering along the road.
Haitian-Dominican Border
Haitian-Dominican Border.
…I ended up going to the Dominican Republic by car with another group of friends after spending 48 hours in P├ętion Ville's nicest places, having fun with a buddy and going to a salsa evening. So I guess, that means rebooking the missed flight for some other time plus pocket money for another vacation.
Infinity Pool, Casa Bonita, Dominican Republic
Casa Bonita, Infinity Pool.
Los Patos, Dominican Republic
Monster waves at Los Patos.
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