Today’s comic/poster/thing (which is available as an 11×17 print) is based on an experience yesterday I had after seeing the adorable wedding RSVP website of Jessica Hische and Russ Maschmeyer (jessandruss.us). Most of you will just look at that site and say “aww cute” or “that’s nice” or something. But every designer I showed it to had pretty much the same opinion, that I will now describe as The Creative Shitstorm. Here’s some highlights from what that swirl of emotion feels like, pulled from conversations in the last few days (and I swear only some of them are mine):
- Fuck, that’s really nice.
- Dammit, why am I not making awesome shit like that?
- I need to stop everything shitty I’m doing and only do awesome things.
- Crap, I’m incapable of that level of quality.
- That’s it, I either need to give up my career or the rest of my life.
- Why aren’t I dating a graphic-designer-creative-type that I can collaborate on awesome projects with like that?
- I want to get paid all the money in the world to do amazing projects that everyone loves.
- Shit, well back to the email I was writing to a client about why the color I chose isn’t “too new” and they still have to pay me.
That led to me tweeting “I need to work harder to be better at things.”
I think all artists feel this way sometimes, and it is probably the best example I can think of artists “toiling”. In my case it’s led to missing out on time with friends, gaining weight, losing sleep, failing in relationships, and hopefully getting a little better at what I do. There are days when it is the worst thing in the entire universe.
But at the same time, in some way it’s actually healthy. It’s a fire that makes you refocus and hopefully decide to improve for it. Double down on your goals. And that is important because it’s the only way to improve. Have goals and do lots of work, and decide that you want it to be good. If you want it to be good and you keep your eye on what you think is good and think about what makes it good, you can’t help but get better. At least, that’s my hope, and I’m trusting that process.
Who’s with me?