Make. Learn. Grow!
You would think, that by this point in my career that I would have realized this by now. That after 11 and 1/2 years of being a professional creative, that I would have been living with the knowledge that nothing comes easy, that everything takes practice, and that duh! the more things you create, the more you learn. But no, nope, no way. When I saw the quote above, at the entrance to "Frank Stella: A Retrospective" at the Whitney, it was like a breath of fresh air. It wasn't a complete epiphany... because in my gut, I already knew this. It was more like an "ohhh yeahhhhh, I remember now!"
I think in these days, where everything is overly-shared... where we're constantly bombarded with beautifully rendered *finalized* imagery... we all have those moments during our own creative process where we say to ourselves... "What am I doing, this looks like crap!" And in my case... sometimes I don't even get to that point. Before I even put my pencil to paper, I have that voice in my head that says "Why are you even going to try, it probably won't come out like you want it to." And so I don't draw that funny little illustration I've been dreaming about. Or I don't paint that quirky little quote I thought of.
Does this happen to you too?
You don't have to answer that, I'll answer it for you... yes, yes it does happen to you. No matter where we are in our careers... whether we're a college student in our junior level design class or someone that's been creating professionally for over a decade, we sometimes fall into that "fear of failure" hole... that hole where we procrastinate starting a new project because it's just freakin' scary. Maybe we never try that new style or experiment with a new medium because we've seen better things done a million times before, by people way more talented then us. And that way of thought is just sad and bad!
Fortunately and awesomely however, it's the easiest thing to fix! We just gotta get out our paintbrushes and paint. Get out our pen tool and illustrate. Get out our notebook and write! We just have to start somewhere and then be okay when it doesn't come out right the first, second, or even third time.
For someone like me... I know I can do this. I know I can create what I want to create. It will eventually come out of me. I just have to find the time and get past the laziness phase and just freakin' do it! What I worry about the most though... is the young ones. The young artists, designers, and writers that haven't felt that feeling of creative accomplishment yet. What is this overly saturated, beautifully stylized world doing to them? Yes, it's super inspiring... but I know it's also got to be completely paralyzing!
I can only hope that they have a teacher, professor, mentor, friend... somebody, telling them that they can create the life they want for themselves... but they have to push really, really hard to get there. It's not easy. And honestly, it shouldn't be easy. You have to LOVE the process as much as you WANT the end result.
Where am I going with this? I don't know yet. I guess I just wanted to start the discussion and share a little bit of what's been going on in my head and how I'm hoping to help other designers find love and passion in their lives and their careers!
And hey, you know what... I heard the more blog posts you write, the more you learn!