20 March 2018
Happiness is quintessential, especially in everyday life. As a student in the graphic arts, I chose this route. It was the path that I knew would make me happy and give me a sense of fulfillment. I try to prioritize what makes me happy, whether it is my work, my desire to achieve my goals, my relationships I share with my friends and family. These are the things I value. With my work, I have to be proud of what I have developed. If I am not pleased with my work, how can others? Producing work that is aesthetically pleasing, allows for wonder, and causes people to stop and stare is what I strive for.
My creative process is pretty simple and is broken up into three parts. The first part consists of research and rough drafts. The second part involves computer drafts, critiques, and revisions. The third and last part is the final presentation. I conduct my research on my client and the kind of vision they’re trying to achieve. I look up past work similar to what my client wants, jot down the techniques that made them work and that didn’t, and see which bits and pieces I can incorporate or tweak to my personal style. After the research stage is the rough/initial drafts portion. Once a particular direction is chosen from the roughs, I take it to the computer and that is where the real magic happens.
Developing the rough drafts on the computer allows me to see everything in perspective. It is where I see everything come to life. Following the computer drafts comes the constructive criticism and feedback. This part is very important to me because I get to hear and see how other people view my work. In addition, it helps me to take a breather from my work. Occasionally, if I feel like I’ve been staring at my work for too long or wonder if something is missing, it helps me to have a fresh pair of eyes. Finally, after all of these rigorous steps and reworking the drafts multiple times, I can present my final piece and feel good about it.
Personally, I feel like people can get lost in this field and in their work. Not literally but mentally, whether it is in what they are creating, why they are creating it, or even the connectivity between yourself and your work. There was something that Stefan Sagmeister said in his TED talk, 7 rules for making more happiness, which stuck with me. On his list of what he liked to do, “One of them is to think without pressure.” I think we, as artists sometimes forget that we can express ourselves freely and overwhelm ourselves with the pressures of the rules and requirements of what “good/proper” design should be like. Don’t get me wrong, design principles are important, but I feel like creative freedom should weigh a bit more. With more creative freedom, you become closer to the content and your work overall.
In Sagmeister’s other TED talk, Things I’ve learned in my life so far, the lines he used in his projects resonated with me. They were, “Worrying solves nothing… Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.” These lines spoke to me because I do worry a lot and complain about certain things that I don’t do anything about. Lately, I’ve been worried about whether or not my work is good enough, and whether or not I land any of the internships/jobs I’ve applied to. So far, I haven’t heard any good news. It lowers my self-esteem knowing that I didn’t get anything. I know that instead of complaining, I should keep pushing and motivating myself to keep moving forward. It is honestly easier said than done, but it is something I’m just going to have to keep telling myself and aiming for. I need to stop complaining and actually do something about it.