I designed the logo, website, and a social media theme TODAY in 8 hours. Now, I usually can’t pull these types of miracles for my clients, so don’t expect it! Also, fast doesn’t always mean good, so be weary if someone will actually rush through such an important process. I had a lot of time to marinate what this design would look like before I ever put mouse to pixel.
I was able to complete everything so quickly because:
- My committee was really easy to please
- Everyone’s information was easily accessible
- I had free reign on all creative work
- I was able to work uninterrupted
- I had control over what type of technology to use for each of the mediums
- There was a nanosecond approval process
- The team made decisions quickly and were flexible
So, the next time you wonder why your designer or webmaster is taking forever and a day on your project, consider the above points and see where you can trim the fat. The more you allow your hired hands to do the job for you without being micromanaged, the better the output and the higher the morale!
I woke up from one of my infamous 10-minute-dream-flash naps and per my usual routine I scrolled through my timeline to find a (somewhat) ironically poetic mini-meme started my one of my favorite music artists, @ladysov.
From the way I’ve been feeling as of late, it seemed eerily appropriate. I was once that young girl that felt so tiny and miniscule that I too befriended a pixel. Fast forward thirteen years later and that’s how I make my living. Go figure. Anyways, it resonated with me so much that I decided to comp up a small poster that completely embodied the way I felt after reading the tweet. ENJOY.
View the original tweet.
Whoever says being creative is a natural process is pretty much lying. Creativity takes lots of energy, guts, emotions, and work.
I’m one of the lucky few. I’m paid to be creative. When that happens and I don’t feel like I’m being creative enough, pandemonium ensues. (It’s all inside of my head at least. See “guilt” post for reference.)
The paychecks, although whole-heartedly welcome, doesn’t necessarily validate the creative inside of me. I see it as more of a challenge.
The more projects I book, the more I see them as hurdles I must overcome for my clients. Some questions that race through my mind are:
- What can I bring to the table that hasn’t been thought of before?
- How can I message this campaign better so that it reaches their target psychographic?
- How will I be able to package the visuals so that their constituents can relate?
Sometimes I end up going dark, a.k.a. out of reach, for my clients because I am in the creative zone. That’s more often than not. It sounds cliché but in order for me to get creative I have to feel a spark. I have to find my inspiration and that takes a little bit of effort. Sometimes I have to change my environment; sometimes I have to listen to new music; sometimes I have to do something absolutely unrelated. (I think if I were a little more upfront about this painful point in my process, my clients would be happier, so I will put that one on my to-do list for future projects.) Routine is absolutely essential for some aspects of my work, but if I let my day be run by the clock, I run myself into the ground. It’s a pretty simple equation.
For me, the creative process is never routine. Being creative is being okay with flux and constant change, waning motivation and strokes of genius. Creativity takes place between my ears before it takes place on my sketchpad and lastly on my screen. It should for you too.
Here are some crazy things I’ve done to spark creativity:
- Drank in strange, new bars with my sketchbook
- Hopped on a Greyhound to travel to another city
- Rode on the train with no intention of going anywhere
- Drove to the beach at 2am
- Sketched in an video game arcade
- Sat down at a 24-hr coffee shop and perused books
- Sunbathed on the beach
- Went to an event that I didn’t want to attend
- Called a friend to ask them for advice
- Tried a new coffee shop
- Drove to a beach a few hours away to sit at the lifeguard station during sunset
- Peruse other designers’ blogs
- Sink my teeth into another project
- Clean. Oh my have I cleaned…
- Worked in another medium (photo and illustration)
What’s your creative process like?
A mutual friend, with whom I went to design school with, posted a great article on the endeavor to reconnect with his creativity by way of strategic unplugging.
The thing about design is that the pursuit of a career in such a florid profession requires a LOT of passion. You have to love what you do, every minute that you’re doing it. You have to find the silver lining in every client complaint, every technical wrench that gets thrown in your way, and the upside to every irate vendor you work with.
I certainly believe that creativity is what sets the human race apart from other forms of life here on Earth. Our ability to adapt our physical environment to better serve our inner sanctum is fascinating. We’ve built cities, buildings, natural habitats, space stations, and our homes on ideas. To be human is to bring ideas to fruition.
Life is pretty short. Do what makes you happy. When you find that you are sacrificing a much larger chunk of yourself than you’d like, it might be time to slow down or move on.
I was recently in a discussion with a confidant about the philosophies behind the graphic design profession. What does it take to be a great designer: skill, talent or personality? In a perfect work, preferably a combination of all three!
However, when there are weighing factors, I would say that one trumps the others. Having a great personality is key to being successful in any profession. In particular, graphic designers need to be able to relate with and relay visual communications to an audience. They must also be able to liaise with other creatives, deal with copywriting, marketing, PR, and advertising folk. How can they do that with a stale or negative personality?
The thing about skill and talent is that they are complementary. You can at least build off of what you have. On the other hand, it’s really hard to retool your personality! Consider this philosophy for your next team assignment or job interview. It might take you places!