11 Oct The Most Important Thing for a Creative
Man, Dr. Seuss sure hit the nail on the head with that one. It’s crazy that a quote from a child’s book could be so profound and inspiring. My wife and I have a good friend that’s super talented. She hand-painted a few canvases for my son’s room, and one of them has that quote on it. It’s the kind of thing I want my kids to know and live, but you should too!
I know I do.
Whether that’s in my personality or the work I choose, I’m usually more focused on being good than being original, but I’m always trying to remain “in my lane,” or true to myself.
But I wasn’t always this way. I spent quite a bit of time throughout the course of my life trying to be something I thought I was supposed to be rather than just being me. It wasn’t until I found my wife and Jesus that I started to realize who I was really supposed to be, and how that should reflect through the work I do every day.
Eventually, you’ll find who you are, and that might come with a certain style, aesthetic or a niche in the design world. Maybe that’s retro-style illustration, or maybe it’s hand-lettering.
Maybe when you were a kid, you liked to skateboard. Maybe try making deck graphics. Or maybe you liked graffiti and hip-hop. Try making work that’s inspired by that.
Know your roots. Whatever it is, find it, and work on it. Write about it. Research it. Work on it some more. It’ll help you become a specialist at something. I have a few passion projects that are based on things I like. One of them is a little clothing brand I made because I love my city, and I wanted to communicate that on graphic tees. But I wanted to do it in my own way, without all the drank and screw references.
The most important thing for a creative is being yourself. It’s good to be versatile, but in the long run, being a specialist makes it easier to gain recognition. Aside from the design aspect of being yourself, actually be yourself. This is the more important part, by far.
I have a lot more success on job interviews and with clients when I’m not all nervous and stuffy. I just be my goofy self. People seem to like me better when I’m me. I don’t over do it with a tuxedo or a suit, ‘cause that’s not me. I don’t come in trying to sound like some genius, ‘cause that’s not me.
A big part of this is being insightful, though. When I meet a client at a Starbucks, I might wear some jeans and a shirt, or I might wear a chino and a polo. It just depends on the person, but either way, I don’t do something that’s not me. This isn’t really about what you wear – don’t let me turn this into a post about fashion. It’s more about being yourself.
I just try to make people smile, and share my passion to help them by using my talent and experience, ‘cause that’s me. That goes hand in hand with believing in yourself.
This blog closes out the list of things that started this whole adventure of capturing my thoughts and sharing them. It’s a pretty cool story if you haven’t read it already, and I’ll continue to shout out and thank my homie from New Zealand, Jacob. His blind enthusiasm and random question propelled me to want to share all this stuff with y’all. Moving forward, I think the blogs will get a bit more technically focused, but we’ll see. :)