How Do We Spread An Idea?

If ideas that spread, win, how do we spread our idea?

Maybe it has to do with getting as many people in-the-know as possible.

And for that to happen, we have to talk. We have to spread our secrets. Our most valuable, helpful information. Up for grabs, available to those it would help the most.

Through osmosis, maybe, we’ll make it past our immediate circle of family and friends into circles beyond.

How Do I Get My Work To Sound More Like Me?

Here’s a take: if you’re on the job hunt, I don’t think employers are looking for work that represents you. They’re on the market for people that makes work that will sound like them

You’re there to help their machine, their team, their audience.

This however, doesn’t apply if the goal is more self-centred. If you’re an artist looking to promote her own work, making work to look and sound more like you is the most important.

You can be creative both ways. But this type of question is more beneficial to people who are making work for themselves.

Who are you making work for?

Why I Don’t Have A Portfolio Right Now

After years of re-tuning, re-doing, and re-freshing, I chose to scrap my design portfolio 2 months ago.

Not because I was getting so many gigs and leads left and right (because I’m not).

And definitely not because I think I’m super talented to the point where a portfolio is not needed (because it will always be needed).

I chose to scrap my portfolio because it’s not serving anybody at this point in time—not even me. So rather than hold a backlog of my experiences from 3-4 years ago in a time capsule to show to anybody who needed to see it (which is nobody, because I’m currently not seeking any design positions or opportunities), I replaced it with something more relevant and true to the present me.

While I’m not looking for creative job positions in the market, countless others are.

So I think it’s worth it to help artists and designers just like us level up in an environment where we want to do more and do better, together.

That’s the Habit Factory (where all my creative energy is going right now). We’re hosting our 14 day Portfolio Campfire workshop this February for creatives who are looking to find their next opportunity. Find the community and accountability you’re looking for, and sign up for the online program. It’s open for all creatives who need to rebuild their websites and portfolios with intent this year.

Check it out at https://www.thehabitfactory.space/

Still Being Shy

I still consider myself a shy person.

It’s no fun when you’re always reminded about how self-conscious you are and *what other people are going to think of it*, but that’s what shyness does to you.

So, who is shyness for?

I realize that shyness is a thing for the self. Kind of like a shield for when you want to get out of something you’re too embarrassed to do. Like asking that classmate to hang out, or making small talk at the cash register, or putting yourself in front of a camera.

Shyness is an effective blocking tool, as it stops us from doing the things we actually wish we could be doing.

It sucks because it doesn’t serve anybody. Not yourself, not the people you want to be talking with, not your friends, not your family. It’s a fear.

One alternative is to try whatever it is, and see what happens anyways. 

Help I Need to Make the Right Decision

How do we know the decision we’re about to make is the right one?

Should I forgo every design opportunity that comes my way so that I could help my parents at their restaurant in Scarborough?

Would it be better to post weekly instead of daily?

Should I spend my time off by doing more personal work or should I hang out with friends?

Early morning meetings or late night meetings?

We’re plagued with endless decisions to make, and it’s hard to say which one would be the right one.

It’s possible to seek more clarity though.

  1. What is it that you’ll be doing?
  2. Why will it be important to you?

When we can answer these two questions and be okay with the outcome, rightness or wrongness can be replaced with urgency and importance.

Seasonal

Seasonal fruits are hard to count on, because they’re not always there for you when you want them (I’m talking red currants, concord grapes, apricots, figs). While their limited time offer is part of the appeal, we can’t rely on them to be a core part of our diets.

In a similar way, if we’re looking to commit to creative work, then showing up only in short, seasonal bursts only when we feel like it is a shortsighted way to creative professionalism. 

The alternative we can count on is to be a staple. We can always find broccoli, spinach, apples, oranges, and bananas all year round; They’ll always be here when we need them.

Being non-seasonal makes it a promise. It’s not as splashy and colourful as a summer’s berry, but part of the hard work is to be present even when it’s not peak season.

First to Judge

I can’t show my designs to the client, it’s not good enough.

Nobody would want to see my paintings, I’m too rusty.

These drawings suck.

I screwed up my presentation because I was too nervous.

I’m not spending my time at home productively enough.

The first to judge is always ourselves. Most of the time, our problems are selfish enough so that other people won’t truly care the same way we do. However, that doesn’t stop us from feeling guilty, frustrated, anxious, or disappointed.

It’s okay to feel negative towards our own judgement for a while.

What’s next to consider is how we handle our own opinions.

Who exactly are the designs or paintings for? 

What did your presentation audience actually think?

What instead is your time meant for, if not for what you’re already doing?

Judgement is okay. It’s normal. What we can change is how we deal with it.

Portfolio Baggage

A typical designer’s portfolio will hold work that’s been done in the past. While the current you is elsewhere, your portfolio will always lag behind. Yet, it’s what most employers want to see when hiring designers and artists.

Then there’s the internal guilt we feel when we know our portfolio is not nearly where we ideally want it to be. 

So we face the paths of:

  1. Doing the notorious portfolio rehaul whenever we make a pivot in our careers
  2. Choosing to make regular visits so that it’s not months or years behind, but days behind.

But either of these choices will still speak to a past self and will only represent a one-dimensional side of you.

What’s more valuable is knowing who you are and what you stand for as a creative.

We can spend days fixing the nitty gritty aesthetic bits of a website that we’ll share around for a while, but the real work is in the person herself who exists separately from her website.