The tools and supplies are not enough

A thought occurred to me as I was enduring my cold shower this morning. In a developed country, we expect services to be provided to us; if our water, gas, electricity, internet or mobile supply is disrupted, it’s a big problem and rightly so. We rely on these to function on a day to day basis and they are what enable us to be a community that leads the way in various areas.

The problem I encountered this morning was the connection that brought two of these – gas and water – together. Our oven works and our tap runs freely but the boiler is slowly dying and unable to make enough hot water. We can’t get the gas supplier to fix the gas or the water supplier to mend the water, we need to call Jim, our handyman who comes over, looks at the problem and comes back a week later with the right part.

This is essentially how being a designer works. There are colours, shapes and words, there are also some very expensive pieces of software to put them together, but unless the boiler, sorry designer, is any good it’s going to come out cold. You wouldn’t believe the number of people that get hold of a copy of Photoshop, throw in some colours and proclaim themselves a designer. The same applies for cameras and photographers, musicians and guitars, engineers and hammers – having the tools and supplies doesn’t mean you can do something.

Fortunately there are people that can. I’ve met some fantastically talented and dedicated people who can make something amazing out of the same or less as anyone else. There are people who can write and mix beautiful music, who can shoot and edit stunning photos and hopefully a man who will come round and fix my shower.