I have been working on playing more and not worrying about making a mess. This is a really hard step for me. I feel like because I am in a creative field and have a B.F.A. and an M.F.A. under my belt, people expect to see better work. The bar is higher and I freeze and make nothing. This year I made a goal to see if I can get over some of that and just make somethings even if it is a mess, even if I am not confident in that medium. I realized I will never be confident if I never practice.
So since I think that you should have accountability and I know that tons of other designers and illustrator struggle with the same things I am struggling with I recorded this week’s Design Recharge about it. This Rapid Recharge goes into how I am learning to play again. I am making messes, overworking pieces, and all the while desperately trying to silence the inner critic, because I will never get better if I don’t keep practicing. And if I listen to the voice in my head I will never start. So let me show you some of my messes and talk about the process of overcoming the blank page. We will talk about what has helped me and how I am using the power of social media and the oh so great internet to inspire and motivate me. Join me on camera if you want and talk about your struggles with the inner critic and discuss how social media can be helpful but also a killer for confidence in new creative endeavors.
See below for some explorations that have been happening since November:
And then just because I think my dog is amazing, here is an update on what Jakson is sporting these days in the chilly gulf coast. Yes I love my dog more than normal, but that is ok. He is a beautiful reminder of God’s love for me everyday. Do you love your pet?
Ok, ok, I digress.
What about my other goals? Connecting with more with more designers and illustrators above and beyond the Design Recharge Show interviews and tests is one of my goals for the year. Last week I met with Matt Dawson who is starting his own conference called CROP located in Baton Rouge LA. And the amazing Mike Jones will be one of the speakers!!! Matt runs his own studio while working full-time as a creative director for an in-house firm in Atlanta.
This week I had “lunch” with Mitch Shepherd of Humbly Made clothing and other goods. I love his stuff and this year he is doing a designer series, 12 artists, one each month. This month my new friend Doc Reed is featured with this Makers Gonna Make shirt. I need a reminder to keep my hands getting dirty.
Ashleigh, my right hand in Design Recharge and my good friend told me about a book a few months ago called Ish and I re-read it again today. It left me in tears. I am Ramon except I haven’t gotten past the wadding up the papers yet. This book is a great reminder that we get better, we are not stuck with the same skills we start with. We are able to grow, try new things. It also serves as a reminder to me that sometimes things look better with a little time to process and look at them with fresh eyes and that everything doesn’t have to be photographic quality, that is where the magic happens.
About four years ago there was a student who had an amazing illustrative style but her confidence was low, she was self-conscious of her style of illustrating. But she was encouraged by me and her other professors, she continued to work and improve that style. I love the freshness and the freedom she has when she is creating these characters. By seeing her growth and her confidence in her style of work, I have been inspired. Check her out Amy Wilkins.
It also reminds me that we all need a safe place to play and explore, but we also need a community to teach, share, offer support, and encourage us to keep up the work. So thank you for being my community, thank you for watching and supporting me in my new goals. I hope to make you proud.