Service Philosophy

About, Service, Writing

Service (work you do for the good of your community, organization, or polity that is unpaid and often uncredited) is where I put the entirety of my work and life experience into practice. It is where I have to bring all I have learned to bear in the most humble way possible. It is slow, hard, and often feels unrewarding in the short term. It is usually done from within a committee, with people who have other methods, agendas, and motivations. It is infuriating, then amazing, then infuriating all over again.

Make no mistake – for these and so many other reasons, I absolutely love service.

Service work is the ultimate in design, people. Do service. Always do some service. It keeps your head the right size while sharpening your every skill. If you can’t find service work to do, pick up one juicy pro-bono client. GIVE BACK and you will give yourself so much more. It reminds you that you cannot always be in the game for money or fame. If you can be of service to another person, you can be accountable, reliable, responsible: you can be a cherished resource, in essence. To develop high esteem (either from yourself or others), do esteemable acts. Be a community builder without expecting any credit. Honestly, it will train you to be a community leader far faster than anything else.

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Libby Clarke is an artist, designer, and educator living in Maplewood, NJ. She received her BFA in Printmaking from James Madison University and her MFA in 2D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Professionally, Libby has worked as an interaction art director for over 15 years for such companies as Agency.com and Scholastic.com. She was an Assistant Professor at the New York College of Technology in Brooklyn, New York. She also served as the Director of the Studio School of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. As an artist, Libby has produced a series of multi-media conceptual products under the name Monstress Productions since 1996. She gives workshops and lectures across the United States on the intersection of art, activism, and technology, and her pieces are exhibited and collected internationally.