The struggles in hiking are sometimes similar to what one faces when carving out a freelance design career.Read More
Let’s go on a mental journey. It’s after dinner, you’ve got a lot to write, photograph, design, whatever. But you just can’t. Try as you might, all you can think of are cozy blankets, maybe some tea or hot cocoa. Or it's morning and you've got a whole list of responsibilities and you don't know where to start.
This is a situation I've found myself in a few different times. One of the things that has stuck with me from my first year in college is that your subconscious is usually where your most creative ideas come from. When you’re thinking too consciously about something, it’s likely not to turn out as good as when you were relaxed and not demanding an answer to the problem. I overthink all the time. The following listicle is a series of ways I have either heard of or tried myself to trick my conscious into a sort of “timeout” in order to get into my creative groove.
When you’re lacking in motivation to do a big project, do a small one that doesn’t have a lot of responsibility attached to it.Example: coloring (no joke), picking a catchy phrase and writing it out in a creative way (this is how I got into lettering), have a mini photo-shoot with some objects around your house like a small still life - but with photography.
- Watch/Listen to/Read a book/music/movie that has inspired you in the past.
I have three different playlists on Spotify that I've noticed get my brain on the plane of creativity I need. I’m probably going to do a blog post on different things that inspire me in particular next, so keep an eye out for that!
- Take some time to get organized.
I frequently get overwhelmed with everything I commit to. Over commitment issues aside, I usually realize I haven’t over committed to things, I just need to organize my responsibilities. When I was in college, a leadership group I was a part of introduced me to time management, where you write a list of responsibilities and then block out sections of your day, assigning those sections to different items on your list. Bullet Journaling has come out since then and I have found that to be time management on steroids. This is a good video to introduce you to Bullet Journaling if you’re curious.
So there it is! Ways I trick my brain into entering into that “zone” you hear Creatives talking about all the time. They’re essentially brain warm-ups to help it transition into doing work related to creativity. An honorable mention is keeping a notebook on you at all times to write down ideas that just “happen” to you. Some people keep a notebook by their bedside to write down things when they wake up in the morning but I've never done that successfully, haha.
Thanks for reading along!
It’s September and even though I'm not in school I can’t help but feel the “fresh start” ringing through the year. I guess you could call me basic but I am a sucker for the Autumn season. Some people might be thinking I should have posted this in the spring, and while this fall season is frequently associated with the ending of things, I think the harvest has a strong argument to suggest growth.
When thinking about where I was a year ago, stressed, tapped of my creativity from pouring it out for professors to pouring it out in a creative department for an employer, branching out on my own has done wonders for me. While I’m not 110% satisfied with all of my creations, I am very satisfied with the improvement in my work even since April of this year (2017).
In school, my answer to the classic question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” ranged from a Lawyer (hah!) nurse (I faint at the sight of blood), dancer, actress, singer, writer, and others.
I really didn’t know what I wanted to do as a degree in college, I just knew I liked people and art. I wasn’t particularly good at either, but at first, I chose to double major in Elementary Education and Graphic Design. Thinking I'd have a built-in job in the summers. It was a solid plan but I found I was way more passionate about the art I was creating than the lesson plans (shout out to all the teachers, though. You are all the real MVPs). I decided I would instead add Public Relations as a second major to replace the Elementary Ed. and long story short I ended up minoring in PR with a Bachelors in Art + Design.
Even when I graduated though I had a hard time answering people who asked me what I was going to do with my degree, I don’t think I'm alone in that either. I ended up taking a job at a company in their creative department where I essentially became a production designer. The job was more based on admin skills without much creativity.
Full-time freelance was always part of the 5-year plan, but when my husband got a well-paying job it thankfully accelerated my plan. In the spring of this year, I quit my full-time job and took a part-time job as a barista at a local coffee shop by the name of Strada until I had enough clients to justify being able to freelance full-time. Fast forward four months and with the help of a great place called Innovation Collective and some promoting on Facebook I have enough clients to justify leaving my barista job and freelancing full-time. Wahoo!
This time next year, I want to have a home office, understand the more admin side of running my own business (I think that will mean taking some basic business classes.. Oh boy), and maybe have an intern? Who knows.
When I think back, I always pictured myself being in charge of whatever I was doing. My middle school teachers told me I had a lot of leadership potential, and I think this is finally an area where I can put that to good use. Maybe in a few years I'll start a studio with staff, who knows! I do know a lot of really talented designers… but for now, we’ll just take this a step at a time haha. Thank you for reading along and hopefully you made it to the end of this post where I tell you a controversial statement….
I prefer waffles over pancakes, every time.