the future is now
what the fuck. what the fuck how. how the hell.
*puts design hat on* All right, that’s a cool piece of advertising. Digital billboards are obnoxious but using them to deliver a custom message at a certain time in a certain place that fits in with their surroundings…that’s pretty neat.
Wow, truth in advertising! It’s easy to test…and depressing as hell that these are popular search results. Similar searches for men are either neutral or similarly warped.
I was designing a logo and website for a client, but we could never get past the logo. I sent her several iterations of what she asked for, and she always had the same answer "I don’t like it, but I don’t know why."
I’d try to coax some, any, feedback out of her – “was it the color? the typography? was there anything about it she did like?” – and got nothing.
Several times, I suggested that she would do better to find someone else, but each time, she refused. "I really like working with you," she’d say, "and I feel like we’re really almost there.”
Ten rejected versions later, I gave up and quit. My first payment milestone was design approval, so I didn’t get a nickel.
A few months later, she launched her website, using one of the very first logo designs I provided.
I wonder what the best way to avoid this type of relationship is.
2) In your contract, stipulate how many rounds of edits the client gets (especially if you are billing flat-rate.) Set a rate for how much you will charge per hour after the contractual rounds of edits have been exhausted…and warn the client when they are about to hit that threshold.
3) Don’t start work until you get a deposit, especially if it’s a new client. Break it into however many parts you need to — my employer usually makes it 50/50 (50% up front, 50% on completion.) Some do 30/30/30. (Not sure where that middle 30% gets billed, but I know some do it that way.) This can be challenging to enforce, especially for new designers, but it is WORTH. IT.
4) If the client still can’t make up their mind after their edits are used up and they are becoming a hindrance, cut them loose…and get payment for services rendered.
This is a very interesting article, and not just because of this amusing graphic about rat mothering. Bad rat mom is all “I’M OUT FUCK YOU KIDS”
I’m very excited to present the final draft of this t-shirt I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. Ruth, my boyfriend’s mom, was diagnosed with Schleroderma in 2007, and we’re walking to raise money for the Schleroderma Foundation this coming May 18th in Baltimore. Ruth wanted a t-shirt designed and printed for her team of walkers to wear during the event, so she came to me with this project and I said “Hell yeah!” What could be more fun than designing a t-shirt?
You can view the project from start-to-finish on the Skillshare project page, to give you a sample view of how the project coalesced.
For awhile, I was stuck for awhile on the inside of the loop. The bottom right-hand corner felt like it was missing something. I was looking to balance it out, so I added a small section of rails. Somehow, I came up with the sub-headline “Rocking the Rails since 2007”. I think it’s a really great addition to the design, and I can’t wait to see it on a t-shirt.
I’ve learned quite a few things during this project. The first is that while I really enjoy illustrating, I really need to do it more often to get better at it. The second is that I should focus more on concept and drawing/composing the idea by hand to make sure it works first before I move into vector. I know this is a standard process…and I did draw initially, but the first drawings didn’t really work that well and I didn’t understand that until I got into Ai. I probably spent a considerable amount of time reworking pixel points and beziers than I should have; or at least had I pushed myself harder duing the design/research phase I may have been able to avoid extraneous pixel-pushing.
The third is that I really am too afraid of failure… or I just really dislike not being good at things. I’m not quite sure how to solve that, really, except to breathe through, accept it and move on. I think I just need to practice ignoring that negative self-talk as it arises. And/or distract my thoughts with something else in order to come back to the project relaxed and refreshed. I think artists (or maybe I’m just talking about myself?) have such an ego, and when it’s busted either by someone else or by their own fears, it’s a bit damaging and can impede progress.
In any case, I had fun working on this project and hope to possibly improve on it someday. What’s most important is that it’s available for our team of walkers to wear on May 18th! And that Ruth, my “client” loves it. And she does!
I’ve seen the amount of work that Kate’s put into this and I think she’s done a great job for a great cause. Ruth is an awesome lady who has had a difficult battle and I’m sure she must really appreciate this.
That bold-faced paragraph (emphasis mine) struck a chord with me, so I felt it was time to blog!
Fear of failure and disappointment in one’s own perceived skill level are all too common, particularly among creative types. Holy cow, I am so familiar with these feelings. I can’t even calculate how much time and mental energy I’ve wasted on self-loathing and disappointment in my own abilities. If you look at any of my sketchbooks from my childhood, you’ll see pages and pages where a single line was drawn and never completed, because I didn’t like how it looked. Never even mind how I felt about being put on academic probation in art school because of my grades, and subsequently becoming an Art School Dropout.
But anyway. A lot of time has passed since those days, and I feel like I’ve gained some perspective on the subject.
As I see it, there are two main options when you are faced with “Not Feeling Very Good at Doing ________”:
- Accept that your skills don’t lie in a particular area, and recognize that you have other abilities…OR
- Keep working at it, and working at it, and working at it.
The question is, how will it benefit you to improve the skill in question? Is it something that would just be kind of fun, but ultimately not that important — or is it something that might really improve your life in some way?
Is it the latter? All right then…here’s some stuff to keep in mind during skill improvement time!
- That whole thing about being your own biggest critic is really true for most people, especially creatives. Just remember that “good” is so subjective. Your own idea of “Freaking awful!!” is often someone else’s idea of “Perfect!! Amazing!!” On the flip side…
- When you do creative work for others, you can’t really predict or control how they’re going to respond. Even if your work manages to survive your inner critic — or even pass with flying colors — it could easily get ripped up by the next person to see it. Unfortunately, most people don’t have a workshop/critique background, and many don’t even have a sense of tact…even other creatives. So that means…
- Work on thickening your skin against your inner and outer critics. Use harsh feedback to fuel your fire, not extinguish it. Opinions should not equal self-worth, whether they’re your own or someone else’s. Plus there’s that whole thing about opinions and assholes and everyone with an opinion is one…that’s how it goes, right? But bear in mind…
- Not all of your projects are going to be winners in the traditional sense, and they don’t have to be. Even if it doesn’t make it to your portfolio, just think of it as another sacrifice to the God of Skill-building. Maybe you learned something new, or got a little faster at doing something you already know how to do, or — at the very least — staved off the inevitable erosion that happens when you don’t exercise a skill for a long time.
As creatives, most of what we do is readily improved with time and practice - in the meantime, we just have to allow ourselves to indulge in self-confidence, and acknowledge our limitations with light hearts. Easy, right?!?
(It also helps to surround yourself with supporters, for the times when that gets too difficult.)
*Edited because somehow all my formatting got lost…
Clerks - The Animated Series
OMG. This is why “Bear is driving” will forever be the only acceptable answer to “Who’s driving?” and anyone who responds that way is in my heart forever
Weird Shit I See Through My Window, Part 36
About 45 minutes ago I heard a dull metallic thud outside. I looked out to see that someone in a white BMW had struck the NW corner of N. Calvert & Mount Royal…maybe he’d hit the utility pole, it was hard to tell. The driver got out, stumbled a little, and looked at the front of the car. Then he got back in and did his best to reverse out of it. A huge cloud of white smoke issued from the rear of the car, and a lot of squealing ensued, but there was no motion. He got out again and walked off down the street. I didn’t see him again.
A police officer showed up shortly afterward, looked in the car, then got back in his own car. Then this tow truck arrived, and the tow guy attempted to open the driver’s side door, but it was locked. The lights were still on. He struggled a bit getting the car loaded. I couldn’t tell if the engine was still running, but it seemed like a hell of an undertaking either way.
During all of this, bunches of drunk Copy Cat kids were crossing against the light every few minutes, the usual taxis and late-night speeders were dodging the tow truck, patrol car, and Copy Cat kids from either direction, some guy wheeled a person in a wheelchair across the Calvert St. bridge down the middle of the road, and some other guy walked up and did a little dance on the median strip.
So…I’m thinking maybe that car was stolen. I don’t think I’d leave a locked, powered-on BMW sitting around unattended after driving off the road, if it were mine…
Whatever dude, thanks for the show. It was all so gloriously weird…a perfect slice-of-life illustration of how Baltimoreans sometimes just don’t give a shit about anyone else, they’re going to do as they please…screw the consequences. Especially around 2am on a Friday night.