While designers can feel weighed down by jobs, dating, and life, they have the tools that can reach out and change the world.

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For any young designer, editor, illustrator, or Web designer starting out, it’s easy to feel at the mercy of the world. From finding your first job and creating a killer book that sums up who you are, to the humdrum (and often fraught) process of paying the rent, young creatives often feel tossed around by the eddies of life. Established creative directors can seem like gods, landing a first job a minor miracle, and making ends meet a challenge.
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Even with a toehold in your first job, the demands to prove yourself and absorb everything that is happening around you can be daunting. More often than not, young creatives live with their nose pushed flat against a monitor, churning out the grunt work of studios and facilities across the nation.
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In short, everything seems to have the power to change you – and you lack any kind of power to push back. Yet it needn’t be this way. New designers – from CG artists to multimedia makers – have the skills, tools, and access to media that can empower even the most hard-pressed newcomer.
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Eye-catching images, powerful copywriting, emotionally touching video footage, or the ability to tell a story or broadcast a message is something that anyone can use.
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Visual media changes everything – and more importantly, it can change the world in the most astounding and far-reaching of ways. From footage of Martin Luther King to the first images beamed back home as we stood on the moon, through to media campaigns such as Make Poverty History and photos of the number 30 bus in London, images have a power far beyond the print and pixels in which they appear.
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Admittedly, the chance of a new creative capturing a world-changing event is slim – but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. And try you should. Not only will it provide a boost to your career, but it can also give you the chance to change the world, rather than let the world change you.
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So arm yourself with a video camera or digital SLR, and go and capture the images that haunt or inspire you. Spark up your graphics tablet and art package, and interpret the world for those who aren’t blessed with the creative ability to make sense of it all. If you’re a 3D artist, stop it with the fantasy women and oversize guns – create animations that explain and educate, that draw people closer to the action.
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The creative challenge of finding a charity, or issue, that needs raising isn’t one you’ll find at your new desk in your new job. It’s something that can be done at any time, and it can be any message. If the message has resonance – if it can touch people, make them think and question the status quo – then you’ll have achieved more than simply impressing the boss. You could impress the world.
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Some of the most impressive creative output has been issues based – from campaigning against the fur trade to ending the senseless deaths of the third world poor – and it will also open doors in serious creative agencies for those that create the most thought-provoking stuff.
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Design isn’t just a paycheck and a Friday night booze up. It’s a tool that is bigger than all of us. We should use it well.
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