When I started this blog in 2008, one of the first subjects I wrote about was my taste and what I am attracted to as compared to what I create and how different they are. I noted that I felt it was just part of the process of becoming that separated the quality and aesthetic style of my work from what I am attracted to and aspire to be. Since this particular post, while my work has improved, it still is no match to my own taste. This does frustrate me quite often and at times, I question myself and my path as an artist/designer. But my passion for both leaves me no choice but to remain patient and diligent, so I try to continuously remind myself that I am still on the path of becoming or of measuring up to my own taste preferences and that as long as I remain practiced, with my goal in sight, I will, one day be what I’ve always admired in some of my favorite artists/designers.
I have never really been able to explain this whole idea very well and how I feel when I see artwork/design that is at the level that I wish my own work would be in terms of craft and execution…until today, when I came across a quote, that when read, caused an involuntary, “YES!” (with fist in air) to echo from my office. The quote was apparently said by Ira Glass from This American Life and was posted by a commenter on the Logo Design Love blog.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. 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. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Thanks, Ira. And thanks to David Airey of Logo Design Love for posting on the subject. And thanks blog comment “AVL” on 8/24/2011. I appreciate the encouraging reminder that I’m not alone. My hopes and faith have been, once again, renewed so that I can keep on fighting my way through. Here’s to the journey!