A few weeks ago as I was ruminating over my place in the world, I mentioned that my latest, biggest fear was that everything I’m doing is NOT GOOD ENOUGH (crazy talk, right?... right?) and I’m progressively trying to improve and DO MORE BETTER.
One area that’s pretty clear to me where I could be doing better is in having a defined style. I think if you read basically any design blog or book, the #1 piece of advice from artists/business owners/everyone is to have a clear, distinct, unique voice and style.
And as a habitually distracted creative-type… this poses a pretty big challenge for me. Challenge #1: I love experimenting. Experimenting and learning new things is basically all I’ve been doing lately.
Challenge #2: When you are learning new techniques, or when you are researching, or when you are just following other designers on social media… it’s tough not to be influenced. In my mind it works this way, “oh look, I love this style and it is super popular right now, I should do something like that.”
Neither of these are necessarily BAD in my mind, and let me be clear, I’m not talking about COPYING someone else’s style (because, let’s be honest, I don’t have the attention span or talent to even go there).
But when you are reading day-in-and-day-out that you need a refined style… that you need to pick one thing to be good at... it makes you think a lot (and possibly worry some more about being not good enough).
And to me, there’s at least one style that I think is clearly “me.” And if you have known me for any period of time… this will not surprise you in any way whatsoever. And those are the doodles.
I started this blog to share my cover-the-page-with-weird-
shapes doodles, like the ones throughout this post. It’s probably the only kind of drawing that comes naturally to me and that isn’t really influenced by other things I see.
I just get obsessed with a shape, develop that shape, and then go nuts with that shape. I have done this since I could hold a pen in my hand. I just love, hand-drawn, tiny, repetitive patterns. Like this:
Now the challenge is: how do I embrace that? How do I develop that in to something? How do I take what else I’ve learned to do and incorporate those things?
The answer: I don’t know. And as I’ve said before… I’m trying to share and embrace the process and worry less about not being there yet. So stay tuned and we’ll find out what happens together. Needless to say, there will definitely still be experimenting.