An interesting article about “creativity” popped up on my blog feed yesterday- and its timing was a little uncanny. The basic premise was that a creative work that you can be happy with really only comes about after many, many failures.
It is the constant effort, refinement and practice that makes your work strong. And by work, I don’t just mean layouts and photos- really I think this can be applied to so many areas of our lives. Luck doesn’t just walk through the door,
you have to put a whole lot of effort into opening the door so that it welcomes luck.
I say that the timing of this good read is a little awesome because I am just finishing up a design that you could say is about 5 years in the making. When I first decided to give graphic designs a go- I was luckily unaware of all that needed to be done to create a design that other would actually want! I was an avid scrapper- just discovering the world of digiscrap- and the designers I loved made it all seem so effortless. Their work was amazing- and it seemed to come naturally from the pure love of creating and a free flowing talent. I loved to create- and believed myself a little blessed with talent- why shouldn’t I try this new endeavor? Like a wide eyed 18 year old- I believed I could professionally live on love alone.
So, I set to work taking a few classes in Photoshop- studied all I could about design and put stylus to pad and created my very first digital scrapbooking kit. Like someone who cuts their own bangs, I was unaware of the hot mess that was the reality of my efforts, and believe it or not, I packed it up and sent it off to one of the top digital shops at the time, hoping for a chance at a designer position. (Yeah- I know!)
Here’s where the luck comes in- the owner of the shop was an amazing person. Amazing. She did not know me- and could have easily ignored my email. But she didn’t- she took the time to actually review my sad little files full of jaggies and stray pixels and gave me a detailed letter of advice and critique and support. And her warmth and sincerity made me believe that she saw a spark there in my work. She some something- and that was all the fuel I needed! And so I picked myself up and gave it another go. I worked harder, and learned more. A few months later I joined a competition for a spot an internship at another digital shop, and met yet another talented and supportive shop owner and designer. Week after week, as the numbers whittled down, I actually let myself believe I had a shot at becoming a designer! It was going to happen! And then- ouch- I got cut. By now, I was really addicted to design- and facing the hard fact that I wasn’t good enough was a punch to the stomach and ego. But- I went back and asked for 5 things I could do to get better. It hurt hearing all my shortfalls- but I am glad I steeled myself. I worked on those skills – and kept working and submitting.
Dreams come true one decision at a time. Don’t quit, never stop learning, always get better, ask for advice, listen to advice and work no matter what. Work even if you don’t feel like it. Work if you are not inspired. The effort becomes a self winding engine and before you know it, you’ll be looking back and smiling so proudly at how far you’ve come.
I wanted to share with you a peek at my first design- which of course was inspired by most very favorite book of all time, “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak, His work has long been in my heart- and I was lucky enough to see a full exhibit of his art at a museum in the city this summer. It was like seeing a rock-star! I had eyes as wide as saucers and a permanent smile on my face for the whole afternoon. Just awesome.
|artwork by motherbear|