Day at Work: Graphic Designer

My name is Maurice Woods and I am a graphic
designer. Design for me accumulates from a lot of different
places. Design is really about a process of thinking creatively and critically about how
to solve something in a way that not only makes sense to people but produces a solution
to a problem. I was born in Richmond, California, that’s
where I am from and I was always tall and that was you know a one of the things in my
neighborhood that everyone was doing was sports and music.
Once I got into basketball, you know, I started growing a lot more and I was a lot taller
than everybody else so it became sort of a more of a viable career option for me.
It allowed me to get a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Washington.
And, through that scholarship at the University of Washington, that’s how I got exposed to
design. I had a experienced two years playing basketball
that I came to the realization that I was probably not going to make it to the NBA.
Me and my mother we were sitting down and I was telling her about how I didn’t know
what I wanted to do and we’re searching through different majors and she said, “What about
graphic design? You used to like to draw when you were a kid.”
And I did used to like to draw. So I ended up going back to graduate school and that’s
really how I transitioned from basketball to graphic design.
I generally work in both mediums. Both uh.. uh.. handwritten stuff – drawing and then also software
like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign. All those different programs often times,
specially when I’m working in print I try to get away from the computer and I end up
doing a lot of sketching. Sketching is really the best way to develop ideas. They think
that the computer can enhance their creativity and it’s faster and it’s more efficient. I
just find that the best ideas come when you’re able to sit down and you’re able to sketch
and sketch a lot of different things. And you get ideas on the table and the computer
is really a tool for manifesting those ideas. The Inneract Project specifically is a program
that, um, I started in 2004. The premise behind the program is simply put to educate young
people in the community about careers in design. What we try to do, uh, with this program very
hard is to give young people a sense of what it means to be a designer and how designers
can use their skills in this world. “How long did it take you to do that?”
“A long time. We were just doodling that’s all.”
“Not very long…” “And you too?”
“Let me see yours!” “No”
Also let them see and feel like what it feels like to be on a college campus which is really
important, specially for middle school kids that are all sort of from underpriviledged
areas. One of the skills that helped me from basketball
that I took in design was teamwork. I’m used to being able to be on teams that where there
is a lot of compromise that needs to be made and on teams where you’re working on designs
together we are all submitting certain things and we’re getting feedback.
You need to be flexible. I want to be remembered for giving back to
the community. Giving back to young people… and being able to use the skills that I have
to develop a young person to be better. I get more joy out of that than anything project
I work on.

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72 thoughts on “Day at Work: Graphic Designer

  1. there is life beyond basketball… i like the lakers and i'm an artist who loves text, photography, video but old school and need graphic art lessons. thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Wow!! Im in my second semester at my local community college and I have absolutely no idea what I want to do as my major. But so far I am really leaning towards something with graphic or web design. This was a great video and really informative!!

  3. As a fellow designer, I am really glad you did this video. 12 years ago when I was looking into becoming a graphic designer there was very limited information out there, and very few mentors I could relate to.

    My younger brother is at the Art Institute of Charlotte now starting his journey into our world and I'm glad to know he has mentors beyond myself like you he can look to in addition to his teachers.

    It's important as designers that we share our craft and our knowledge with the younger generation, and encourage them to do great things and be creative.


  5. A Graphic Designer Saves You a Lot of Time

    Learning everything by yourself is truly a time-consuming process. Once you’re done, your business is as well. But by hiring a graphic designer for your website, you get to save a lot of time. There are credible outsourcing companies who have teams of graphic designers. These teams are well-trained to create appealing websites where customers can’t resist the temptation. Graphic designers can turn your imaginations into a reality and give you a website that is more than you have ever expected.

  6. @Askia Collins Thanks for taking the time to comment. Our whole series is called "Day in the Life" and the "about" section for this one says, "Maurice Woods is a graphic designer and founder of the Inneract Project, which provides free design classes for inner-city youth. As part of ConnectEd's "Day in the Life" series, Maurice talks about his transition from basketball to graphic design."

    Feel free to check out our other Day in the Life videos for profiles of various industry professionals talking about how they got their start and what they do.

  7. In my country, graphic designer is not what you think. we do not design because we are only a TOOL for clients to make their "creative" idea. nevertheless, employer stopped allow us to design since they don't want to upset their clients.

  8. Wow, this goes to show that you will eventually end up pursuing the passion that you are meant to pursue, where you are meant to excel in.  Inspiring life story.

  9. This video makes want this career even more its really like this? Wow I sure hope so my perfect career right here.

  10. i started graphic design at age 12 and im 13 now and i have learned so much from 3D modeling to website designs.

  11. I thought that was game design don't you need graphic designing skills to do this I'm confused so what is this called

  12. I really wan't good grapichs to my Video games,i really wonder how you make good grapchics instead of 8-16 bit pixels.

  13. i loved drawning things when i was young but i was not the best in drawning ;( but when i started in ps i were getting better and better and now is it my hobby and i really really love it!

  14. I'm taking gcse art over art graphics however I still want to be a graphic designer, would an A level in art help me get there ?

  15. Im a sophmore in college and i decided that i want to major in graphic design! I'm also learning web development on the side…..could anyone tell me how i could use both of these or how they could work off of each other? I've seen somewhere tht some places see a degree in graphic design as a plus for developers….

  16. Really great series!
    Great information and insight in the different professions. Your work is very, very much appreciated!
    Greetings and all the best!

  17. Sadly in my experience in Mexico, Graphic Design here is one of the worse jobs, anyone with access to a pirated version of Photoshop call themselves graphic designers. Anyone that hires you, think that you should do what they want you to do and not what solution you gave to the communication problem they hired you for in the first place, in the end you end up making crap graphic design for the sake of the payment. Else expect to not get paid.

    I also have experience in an advertising agency, been there for a year, most clients will look at your design and ask for 3, 4, 5 or even reject the design completely, just because they think they know what works and what doesn't work.

    That's my experience with this career, I currently work as web developer (thankfully coding was never that difficult to me), I get paid more doing web developing that our main graphic designer in the agency I'm working right now. Yes, I'm moving soon hopefully into google.

  18. Much respect to you, however, as you being a brother, I was disappointed to see so few young black children. Not quite sure what inner city areas you all are recruiting from.

  19. I think computers are tools as much as they are creative machines. I believe one must experiment without much planning to figure out what is possible with software. Much of that may require inspiration and tutorials/classes but experiments are necessary. Therefore you can plan for design decisions that will require similar outcomes in the future.

  20. How great my life would be if i get to work with someone as great as you guys! Its suck in here, i just got rejected from Graphic designer school just because im not smart in math, psysic, english etc. And they dont want to accept my digital portofolio. I also got rejected from many companies since it required a fresh-graduated student or with a high diploma. I think im gonna try a little bit more so that one day i could work with awesome people like you guys.

  21. hi this is very inspiring..
    i want to be a graphic designer but i didn't take any art classes or any degree related to this field. m simply graduate how can u help me? @ConnectEd

  22. which is best option for career in between graphics and web designs…..actually m a graphic designer…

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