I am just a tool

I just worked really hard on a piece. I’ve actually been working on the piece for about a year now. Not consistently, but I’ve been working on it here and there. It’s one of those personal pieces where I put a lot of time in it, get it where I think it is good, and someone says, nope, it should be this way.

It’s frustrating and heart breaking.

I wasn’t the one who initiated this piece, so in some ways I do have to care what that person thinks. I know I know, if I like it it should be enough, but when you are trying to work with somebody, and that somebody has a strong vision, it doesn’t really matter what I think. I’m just a tool, really, a means to an end. A tool that doesn’t seem to have the right attachment to make the final product into the vision.

I just want to hear, that looks awesome.

Sounds lame, but I do. I struggle and put a lot of thought and effort into my work and it is becoming increasingly difficult to just hear, better, but it isn’t…and it completely dashes my confidence. Which is probably why it’s taking me so long to work on this piece. You’d think with my meditation and yoga, that I would be better about removing my expectations and need for approval from others. But that need has been there longer than the meditation and yoga. It’s driven beside me in all of my endeavors. The need for approval and to hear positive things said about me and my work is so strong that to not have it is an embedded fear. It’s a large reason why I procrastinate…if I failed it’s because I didn’t put a lot of time into it. I usually didn’t though…still was pretty successful.

And now…WTF?

And now I try, I put a lot of time and effort in and it’s still not good enough. What kind of reflection is that for me? Maybe it’s a reflection of the other person living an unsatisfied life, never being happy with themselves or what they are doing. Maybe it’s them feeling their own personal failures and unintentionally bringing me down to that level. Makes me wonder if the piece will ever be good enough. The only time the pieces are good enough is when that person gives me step-by-step directions, over my shoulder, on what to do. Not really an equal partnership. Huh…that sucks. What’s difficult is the work we do together is pretty fucking brilliant. But I can’t really consider it a we project, not when I’m just taking directives, being told what to do. I really am just a tool. I have the programs, the computer and literally the technical skills to accomplish a vision…but it’s not my vision.

I’d say when is it time for my vision to come to fruition, but I need a solid vision first. And any time I have had a solid vision, it still doesn’t get a lot of great feedback. What does that say about me? Maybe I really am a failure, maybe not an artist at all. Maybe I should just give up and except I am a tool. Or just not share my personal art with anybody. I clearly get my feelings hurt when I don’t get the response I was hoping for. My artist self may just belong in a cave in the farthest reaches of the mountains. Yeah, dramatic, I know. I’ve heard that before too. Whatever.

Snow Fun in May

Something I find interesting about my job, and really any job in marketing or where you have to plan far ahead, is that I am designing for events in December. It’s May and I’m sitting behind my desk trying to brand Snow Fun Blood Drives. What’s ironic is that the weather has been moody each time I’ve worked on this project. The weather wants to be sympathetic.







These are the options I am sending to the client. A decent variety. This client is particularly difficult and I am providing so many options to hopefully satiate their need for ownership. Which they should feel. It makes sense. So hopefully they are satisfied with at least one of these options.

It’s interesting that this morning I deleted Option 4 and then decided to throw it back in just because. And every person on my team really like it. Made it to the final round. Interesting how that works. I may have just deleted it because it was the first one I designed. Who knows. I actually presented 17 options to my team and they narrowed them down to 6. Kind of sucked that my art director thought I grabbed images from the Internet to make up the last two options. She suggested I illustrate them all, which is what I did. I put a lot of time into drawing those images, scanning them, and then penning them in Illustrator. They are all original vectors. Can’t always satisfy everyone though. She only slightly contributes to my misanthropy.

At any rate, I’m super glad to have had so much time to work on this, and even though I just planted my garden I think head Snow Fun graphics turned out pretty damn good. I’m excited to hear what the clients think! Wish me luck!

A blue artistic attempt

I’m trying to be more free with my personal art. Not so concerned on how it looks as much as trying to find out what my natural voice looks like. I am an artist plagued with the inadequacy disease. I peruse the internet and see all the amazing work everyone else is producing, and I want to produce something similar. However, that is there voice, not mine. I’m not sure what my art looks like yet, so I am trying to just follow my instincts. I imagine that as I feel more comfortable just expressing my self, I can move on to the details (I am not really as detail-oriented as I would like, so this initial finding of my voice seems to be pure expression).I do tend to focus on the details as a designer, at work and in my job, but in my personal art, I seem to let them slide a bit.


It’s an interesting thought and process to find my voice. And I should say, my unique voice. The one not trying to mimic all the other great artists out there, but the one that comes from within my heart, soul and thoughts. Maybe through this process I’ll see what chaos is in my  head. Should be interesting. As it stands, here are two of my first attempts to find my voice. The base of the art is an oil pastel piece I did and brought into Photoshop. I would love to  hear feedback.


An attempt to find my voice.


This attempt is a bit softer.


I do get the feeling that they are incomplete. That I am telling a half story with my art as I am prone to do in conversation. Problem is, I can rarely remember the full story…seems to be the case here as well. Not quite sure where to take this and how to finish my thought. Seems to be an adequate reflection of my soul at the moment…I feel like I have just begun a journey and am nowhere near complete to self realization and confidence. So maybe these pieces are complete in their reflection of my personal incompleteness…maybe I am trying to abstractly intellectualize them though…Not sure…would love thoughts though.