Having a Better Gr-Attitude


With the quickly approaching holiday season, our Spire team discussed that this month’s theme should encompass a posture of gratitude. During our past weekly Monday meeting, we decided to pause and consider the things that we are most grateful for in regards to each of our journeys in graphic design. We proceeded to have raw conversation about general things like friendships and family as well as specific moments like learning from losing our files.

Rather than posting a polished theme piece this month, our team decided that it would be more fitting to openly share the things that we are most grateful for. In turn, we also challenge you to pause before the holiday chaos and dwell on the things that you are grateful for!

“Sing to the Lord with grateful praise” Psalm 147:7, NIV

One of the very first things that was a common consensus between the Spire team was an appreciation for friendship with other designers. Through our relationships with other designers and design students, each of us has experienced honest critique, encouragement, new perspectives, gained techniques, and worthy friendships. What other major or profession can you talk about your craft with as much enthusiasm and genuine interest?

Not only have classmates and other designers been able to provide in each of our lives, but we are also grateful for the feeling of being able to, in return, be a resource to them. Whether outsourcing work to friends or being able to provide connections and job opportunities – the feeling is very fulfilling.

Among the many ways that humans experience happiness in life, one of the greatest is the feeling of being a part of something bigger than yourself. Each of us has experienced this in one form or another, and we challenge you to build and nurture those connections, friendships, and classmate or colleague camaraderie as well!

Another general consensus between the Spire team is having gratitude for an industry that pays for our hobby! Let’s be honest for a hot second, being able to design for a living is a blessing in itself. We get paid to draw, imagine, and create – something that we tend to do in our spare time anyway!

Since our industry is always changing and developing, we must always be learning. It is a category of work that will never be stagnant – which is exciting! We are all grateful that it is a line of work that you can seemingly never get bored of.

We are especially grateful that we believe God can call us to be designers. In the beginning, God created us, which means that He is a Creator. In turn, when we create, it is a reflection of God’s character. As a professor once told me, “God is in control and you are free to use the talent you have been given”. Not only are we free to develop our talent, but we are free to go out into the world and use that talent. In her book Walking on Water, Madeleine L’Engle states that, “there is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation” (pg 50).

We have the privilege to use our talent out in the world trusting that God has a purpose for it, for the connections that you will make, and for the light that you can bring. For that, we are most deeply grateful.

As we continued to reflect, we each shared the moment when we came to recognize that each of us were leaders in our craft among our peers. Moments of not having to have someone hold your hand through the design process, moments of problem solving and generating solid concepts, moments of beginning to have open hearts and minds towards professors and peers. As a professor, Nate Lu shared how he is incredibly grateful for teachers that set an example for what it means to care for students and currently how he is grateful for the hearts of students who see value in curriculum.

Ethan shared how he is thankful for the time his professor didn’t know how to show a fellow student how to do something in InDesign and was able to step in and show both of them. It gave him both the confidence that he knows what he is doing and he began to feel comfortable to reach out and lend a helping hand in the classroom setting.

As you enter this holiday season, take a moment to pause with some friends and reflect on what you are grateful for, moments that have come full circle, and pivotal moments in your design journey. There is MUCH to be thankful for so long as you stop and recognize it.