“Honesty matters. Vulnerability matters. Being open about who you were at a moment in time when you were in a difficult or an impossible place matters more than anything.” – Neil Gaiman
For the past month and a half-ish, I’ve been posting and sharing my artwork on FB/IG and doing that still makes me nervous – but I can see myself getting better. Just as important, I’m inviting people to actually watch this process … which makes me feel really vulnerable.
I feel like I’m firmly in the middle between “What the?” and “You made that? Wow.”
For a long time, I put my ‘Draw & Create for Fun’ on the back burner because I wanted to learn what was technically correct and what I needed to know to make money.
I felt like I couldn’t afford to be emotionally invested in what I was making because I kept my primary goals as :
- Client comes first (Listen & Collaborate)
- Be reliable
- Make structurally sound design (IE, if it needed to be printed – it would print as expected).
Just sticking to that formula got me pretty far. I’ve learned a ton about the logistical side of design. I feel confident in guiding people. I’ve developed a good reputation. I know the in’s and out’s technically speaking and am fluent in graphic design jargon.
I didn’t really put a timeline on this, but 10 years feels right. More of my clients are requesting original artwork, so I guess it’s time to move away from the safe zone and get emotionally involved. I just keep thinking, if I got this far by playing it safe – how much farther can I go now if I put more heart into it?
Now I’m able to go full force into creative mode without having to worry about the technical side, because that’s second nature. It also helps I’m not actively trying to gain clients by doing this, but getting a feel for what ‘the people’ think is interesting (which, consequently, helps clients since they want to reach people). I’m working on building a new website (Launch Date: TBD) where I want to share downloadable content, but what? For who?
Going into more heartfelt creative design, there’s no faking it. You are as good as you are and that’s it. It feels relieving to put my artwork out there as is and just say simply “this is where I’m at”.