Just baby announcements.
My achilles heel is stopping short. I can have a solid concept but I have a tendency to say, Good enough! long before it really is great. So I decided to submit to Minted.com’s baby announcement challenge to see if “social design” would push me past my natural stopping point.
Well, I’m not really happy with it but whatevs.
My mood board…
We had Thanksgiving dinner last night. I know, those of you who know me know I gave up all that nonsense six years ago, by nonsense I mean slaving away for days and hours making the perfect Martha Stewart Thanksgiving, by the book. But Henry’s company gives each of their employees the choice of a turkey or a cheesecake so on Friday, he carried a bird home on the train!
So we whipped up a Thanksgiving dinner last night. Turns out that’s possible! No days of prep. We started at 11 and were done at 4. Who knew?
For the occasion, I had to dust off Martha’s Thanksgiving issue from 1998 or something. Yes, I actually had a subscription. Guess what I found? A penmanship lesson. Of course. 🙂 So thanks, Martha. For the turkey, cornbread and sourdough stuffing AND lesson on the lost art of penmanship.
That’s one of Jen’s “T-shirt statements.” You know, like the thing you believe with enough conviction to wear on a t-shirt. Like a bumper sticker for your personhood. So if you’re run over by a bus wearing that shirt, you would be okay with that thing essentially being your last words, hanging like a thought bubble—your own personal billboard for people to people to remember what you believed enough to put on a shirt.
Nothing is wasted.
… not my first graphic design internship where for over a year all I used was Illustrator.
… not my first job as a designer where I used Photoshop for 10 hour days and 80 hour weeks.
I do know how to use the tools. I can digitize type. I can use filters. I can make crazy cast shadows using masks and alpha channels. I can blend textures to get the exact effect I want. I could take 10 years off your face, easy! And prep the file to print on a bus wrap!
But what I don’t know right now is how I want the letters to look and how to draw them. Because this.
So I’ll be over here with my No. 2 pencil.
Have you ever listened Ira Glass’ thing on storytelling?
BTW, I love Ira Glass. I just saw his show, One Radio Show and Two Dancers last month at Wash U. Totally see it if you get the chance. Love the segment where he talks about passion… and that if you are lucky enough to do what you love for a living you get to do it day after day, over and over again until… you beat the life out of it. Or something like that. I may be totally misquoting him.
In this video, he talks about how creative people get into creative work because they have good taste. But, when you start making stuff yourself (because you have good taste), what you are able to make really isn’t that good. Your taste is killer and that’s why you think your work sucks because it falls short of what you think it should be. So Ira says, a lot of people never get past this phase because they quit, thinking, I’m never gonna be any good at this. 🙂
So yeah, that’s happening.
But lucky for me, Ira reminds everyone that this is totally normal and the key is … volume.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.
I think he might also say that it takes a couple of years to bridge the gap so … you know, don’t look… until 2017, k?
I’ve been bitten by the lettering bug and really want to master this skill. What better time to start something than with the coming new year, right? And what better way to learn something than… to do it. A lot. And, what better way to do it a lot than to say, in a somewhat public way, that you will.
So I’m giving myself a once-a-week prompt to draw a word, any word, and post it on this blog. There’s nothing like the discomfort of being not good at something… yet. Right? To illustrate, yes, I inked “Weekly Word” eight times. I’m still not happy with it but oh well.
This practice is for hand lettering. I want to stay off the computer as much as possible and really focus on practicing the craft of drawing the letters/words. No digitizing, no adding effects in Illustrator, no colorizing, blah, blah, blah.
Okay, so this week’s word: SWEET
It’s been a couple of weeks since moving from my little apartment to what my kids and I fondly call “the flat,” I’m exhausted. I feel like I could sleep for a hundred years.
But who will let the dog out or unpack the boxes still waiting downstairs or make sure M’s basketball uniform was clean for tomorrow and… who will write the post and pay the bills and settle this month’s accounting….
But try as I might, on this overcast Sunday, I can’t will my body to move. one. inch. Have you ever felt that? That strange temporary paralysis when your mind is awake but your body refuses to acknowledge it? It’s as if I’m frozen by a sleeping curse.
Perhaps it is my stubborn insistence to orchestrate this move like I was still 20-something and move everything except the big pieces myself. Or perhaps it’s the compounded 41 years of thinking that way… you know, I can do this — this life — all by myself! This morning, my body is not having it for one more second and I am trapped in my bed underneath an invisible hundred pound boulder.
My mind wandered to this painting, propped up in the windowsill of my studio, just just steps away from the bed, through the glass-paned doors. And my heart aches a little from its divine reassurance. It’s a sort of blasphemy to think that the world revolves around my ability to get things done. It’s an insidious lie that we’re alone in it.
You can rest.
It’s okay, every now and again, to put it all down.