Being your own boss comes with a lot of responsibility. Quality work, deadlines and relationships. But what about you? It's easy to forget about the most important person in your life. If you aren't healthy and happy it can be very difficult to continue to provide the high quality of work that you demand from yourself and your clients expect.
I've taken several vacations the past several years with my husband and have told my clients I won't have my computer with me. What a liberation to not do anything. Remember those days? And YES, your clients will understand and respect the fact that you are taking care of yourself.
Happy New Year!
Do you feel like things are spiraling out of control because your client has again not met their deadline? We've all been there. The client who always seems to wait until the last minute to get you the information you need to finish a job. They needed the finished product yesterday and you still don't have some key elements.
Sigh . . . count to 20 . . . leave your computer.
Is the client procrastinating or are they just short staffed and overwhelmed? Or perhaps they are waiting for some key information which you need. Is the deadline you both agreed upon when you first talked about the job still realistic? By talking to your client you will have a better understanding of what's causing the procrastination and perhaps create a positive solution, or some alternatives, that help both of you.
As a graphic designer, and a big fan of the Olympics, I was delighted when I saw an article in a recent publication of Eye on Design (a newsletter from AIGA, the professional association for design.) The iconic graphic designer, Milton Glaser, reviewed all of the past Olympic logos and rated them on a scale of 1 to 100 with a brief critique on each one. Who better to give his option than Glaser, one of America’s most celebrated graphic designers. Check out the beautiful, and not-so-beautiful, logo designs over the past 96 years. Click here.
I'm friends with a talented graphic designer, Amy Chin whose company is Sassy Pants Design. The company's cards are funny, original and full of whit! Amy's design approach is wonderful, and the writer, Stacy Dymalski is hilarious!
Check it out and buy some cards!
AS A DESIGNER, SOMETIMES IT'S A CHALLENGE WHEN THERE'S TOO MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN! Jerry King created this hilarious comic about having to design for a group of people.
No matter what your business, a big group of hard-working committed people can often slow down the process. Hopefully your client has a leader who can reign in the committee and keep them focused on the ultimate goal and timeline.
In this day and age of technology and fancy gadgets, I'm still inspired by print. It's a joy to thumb through magazines and find myself drawn into a page or section of beautifully crafted design: the use the space, color and type. Sometimes I'll cut out an advertisement and tack it to the inspiration board that I have on a wall in my office, or keep a magazine because overall it's a gorgeous interpretation, or buy a tabletop book because I'm moved by the talent of the designer. I continually pick up these items when I'm stumped in a design process and am struggling for inspiration. Often I'll have an "Ah ha," moment which enables me to move on in the creative process.
Several years ago when I decided to design my print portfolio as a magazine, my inspiration was a magazine published by Somerset Studio called Artful Blogging. The layout was exactly what I wanted for my portfolio. As I worked through the process I re-interpreted it to the look and feel I wanted as a professional piece I'd leave with prospective clients.
Last fall I finished my second volume which showcases my wide scope of creative and beautiful work: check it out here. I publish through a company called Blurb.com. I feel their magazine pricing is reasonable and the finished product is something I'm proud to leave with a client. The cover for my magazine was inspired by Pete Collins' article in the October 2014 edition of The Adobe Photoshop How-To Magazine. In San Diego we were still in the midst of a record-breaking HOT season and the idea of being immersed inside an ice cube, while eating an ice cream cone, was something I could wrap my arms around!
Since 1983 I've volunteered and worked for many nonprofit agencies. It's been the most challenging and also the most fulfilling work I've done.
As a graphic designer I've donated my services to various organizations and decided this year to work with the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club on their Taste of Rancho Santa Fe event. Over the past eight months I've helped rebrand the look and feel of this year’s event through posters, marketing collateral, web art, ecommerce, program book, signs and much more.
I was impressed by the dedication of the volunteers and that the money raised will benefit 15 different nonprofit organizations: Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Foundation, ConnectMed International, Hands United for Children, J.C. Cooley Foundation, Miracle Babies, Rancho Santa Fe Community Center, San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, STEP Support the Enlisted Project, The Vision of Children Foundation, Voices For Children, and Women’s Empowerment International.
Step back and think about what you can do to help others and your community. Please know that no matter how big or small, volunteering WILL make a difference!
In the course of my business I occasionally have to say NO to a job. It’s such a small word and also very powerful.
Steve Jobs was a man who thought differently, “The hallmark of new Apple was saying no . . . Above all, saying no became a crucial way of keeping everyone, including himself, focused on what really mattered.”
So next time you have to use the "NO" word, remind yourself that it's ok and that it's helping you stay the course with your business and personal life.
I recently went to Ketchikan, Alaska to visit family, and like any good tourist, I went shopping.
I collect coffee cups and became truly inspired by the art work of Sue Coccia at a local art shop I wondered into with my mom. I fell in love with the exquisite detailing that Sue puts into her art and the intricacy of the wooden puzzles that were available for purchase. While the puzzles were out of my price range, I did walk away with a new cup that was adorned with a whale design.
I soon became intrigued by the idea of creating an art piece using her design style. I haven't started yet, but it's on my list of things to do.
I think it (whatever "it" will turn out to be) will make a wonderful gift.
Check out Sue's art at http://fishcreekalaska.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=174
Like any creative artist, sometimes the next BIG idea is allusive. Whether you're a writer, painter, sculptor or architect, "writer’s block" can strike at any time.
As a graphic designer, it’s up to me to listen to my clients and help realize their vision. Many times pulling together a design concept is easy and the client loves what I’ve presented. But there are other times when coming up with the perfect design idea takes some extra time and research.
The masters of years gone by, such as Picasso, van Gogh, da Vinci and Dali had their muse. What I have is a stack of books and magazines, and links to web sites that are full of beautiful designs.
Often when I get stuck, I walk away from my computer and do something else. Or I wait until the next day to revisit what I’ve done. There have been times when I’ve tossed out many hours of work and started over, and the final outcome is exquisite! On my web site are a list of my go-to resources that help inspire me. Check it out at http://pmgraphicsanddesign.com/resources.html