Aesthetic Thursday

July 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

My world is a very visual one. In fact, I think one of the most devastating things that could happen to me would be for me to loose my eyesight. I sit in front of a computer all day long (what was that about loosing my eyesight?), creating design after design, and looking at images and designs from others I admire to help inspire me. All day I alter colors, change shape sizes, play with layouts, and edit photos. In the evening, while on a walk, my eyes are like my camera- constantly searching for something interesting, something inspiring. While around the house, I’m constantly thinking of paint colors, fabric patterns, and textures. And my mind is continuously thinking about new designs for projects from work, to freelance, to personal crafts (okay, usually not work…). I’m an incredibly visual person, and it’s incredibly important for me to do excellent visual work.

Yesterday I read an interview of a well-known person in the world of advertising and design, Rodrigo Sobral. The article was great, and inspired me in some interesting ways. But nothing stood out to me quite like this:

Oof. This hit me pretty hard. Working as an in-house designer, creativity is often stifled. You’re not free to be one of those crazy designers that works with extremely open minded, deep pocketed clients that want you to wow them with every fiber of your creative being. You’re restricted, limited, and often under a pretty oppressing, uncreative thumb of supervision and age old ideas (that according to them, still work). It’s like having to swim upstream against some pretty strong currents, which when exhausted from it, you find it easier to turn to swim with the current for a while- hence, my poor design work.

I can make excuses all day why my creativity isn’t at it’s peak, why the success of my career being determined by my latest work is a scary thought for me, or why my last project will never see the light of day outside the walls of work; but if I’m honest with myself, I can do better. I have no excuse to not do better, to not think outside the box, to not present crazy creative ideas to my team at work (even if I know it’ll get shot down). I also don’t have any excuse for not doing creative projects outside of work. If work isn’t enabling me to build my professional portfolio, then I need to make the time to let my creative brain (that I know I still posses somewhere) to stretch a little. I think this is why opening an Etsy shop is so appealing to me. I need a little motivation to create… actually, I need a lot of motivation to create, especially since the time to do so takes place after a 10 hour day at work.

That being said, I’ll give myself a little slack by echoing my husband’s words- “You work really hard and are always doing something. It’s good to just sit and do nothing sometimes, without feeling guilty about it later.” As a person, I’m not defined by my career, and I never want to be defined by my career. But being that it’s a pretty big focus in my life, and something I want to truly enjoy and be good at- I need to realize that at times it’s going to take a little more effort than just going with the flow and indulging in office treats. As a side note, something that I love about what I do is that there’s a bigger cause behind all of my designs: the organization I work for helps children in poverty. I make good design pieces so that others will be inspired to help children too. While that doesn’t always allow for the most creative work, it allows for some of the most heart felt work, and sometimes that’s more important than anything else.

For the aesthetic part of this Thursday, I thought I’d share with you just a little of what inspires me as a designer.

French Paper  It’s true… a paper company inspires me. I love the story of French Paper, how they began and how they continue to do business. Their papers are beautiful, their CSA images are vintage fun, and I use their paper as often as I can. 

Design Sponge  This site gets me every time. What I find most inspiring about it are the people, the designers. Design Sponge interviews certain creatives and walks through their homes, their work spaces, their creative nooks; I love this. I also get inspired by the interior design and product design- who says those things don’t inspire graphic design? 

Colour Lovers  This site is extremely useful when it comes to brainstorming for color combinations. You can do a customized search to find palettes already created by others, or make your own palette before applying it to a project. You can also browse through many designs that showcase fantastic color schemes- Or just follow their blog for cool articles, contests, and color trends.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because god, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

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§ One Response to Aesthetic Thursday

  • PB Knapp says:

    Your creativity will grow until you no longer create. God has given you a beautiful unique talent. And … You have your Father’s.

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