Friday, May 8, 2009

Creative Ruts and How I'm Starting to Deal With Mine

I've been stuck in a creative rut lately. I feel like I've been doling out cookie-cutter projects one right after another and it's sapping the creative life out of me. It's all catching up.

A client called the office this morning. Normally my boss would've answered the phone and talked to them, but since it was first thing this morning, my boss wasn't in yet. So I answered--I didn't know it was going to be a wake-up call.

I was originally psyched about designing a menu for this restaurant, but this particular client has been difficult from the get go. Consistently indecisive and haphazardly unorganized--any designer will tell you that THAT is a horrible combination.

Well apparently the people that had the final say in the menu approval didn't like what I did and called it amateur. I didn't want to take it personally, but it dawned on me that they were right. I pretty much phoned this one in and just did something to get this job off my plate. The actual company that hired us loved what I did, but apparently the higher-ups didn't and I am almost back to square one. MEH.

I got off the phone with the client and immediately called my friend, Katie. Normally in a crisis I would call Chuck, but I knew he wouldn't fully understand what I would be so upset about. Not that he wouldn't have cared and consoled me any less, he just wouldn't have truly felt my pain. I knew Katie has been where I am right now. And although she felt like she didn't really do anything to help, she did by simply just picking up the phone and talking to me about it.

Getting off the phone with Katie, I still kinda felt eh. At least I KNEW I had to get out of this funk, I just didn't know how. I started looking for stuff to get inspiration. I found a few sites that help. I found this gem from one of my favorite scrapbook artists, Ali Edwards. Imagine that! A whole post on breaking out of a creative rut... Hmmm.... God? Is that You? It's me, Hazel...

I also went to these other blogs that I've found in the past couple of weeks (VERY helpful for all you fellow designers out there!):

BittBox | Lost and Taken | VectorTuts+ | Keep Designing

I know I should've been working, but my projects were dependent upon this inspiration search. Here's where the utterly UH-mazing happens... (Let me preface this by saying GOD IS SO GOOD!)

I get a phone call (I know, another!). But this time on my cell. It wasn't a number that I knew, but I figured maybe it was Chuck using a buddy's phone to call me saying that his cell phone battery was dead, just in case. So I answer. It wasn't Chuck.

It was a former client of the company I work for. But she had gotten my number from our old sales director. She said that I came highly recommended by her and that I was just the person she needs. Turns out she's starting a new venture and is in need of design work. Hel-LO freelance!! Well at least the start of it =)

Which brings me to utter amazement at how God is so wonderful. Remember my previous post? When I said God knows just what you need? This is definitely proof positive.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Every day is different

When it comes to my dad, the feelings come in waves. Sometimes it's calm and days go by like normal. Some days it comes crashing over me like huge swells.

I've been missing my father a lot these days. For the past couple of weeks, there have been little things that remind me of him and a few times I've had to break down and just let it out, right now being a prime example. At work. Yep.

I'm listening to Pandora, on a mellow station. Actually Chuck created this Go Jimmy Go station and I've added variety to it to include some Hawaiian artists. (Note that I've been going through Hawai'i withdrawals lately, too). Well as I'm working on something, the station plays a song by Keali'i Reichel called "Patchwork Quilt." At first it was just another song in the background, but then some of the lyrics hit me...

"...Oh and you will live forever
You know that I'll be loving you
Just like a patchwork quilt..."

I had to stop what I was doing (and secretly cursed Pandora for not having a rewind/replay button!)... As I listened to the rest of the song, I just couldn't help but cry. (Luckily I have a ready supply of Puffs Plus!) It still amazes me how God can just stop you dead in your tracks to get you to listen.

I did more digging (yay Google!) and it turns out that this song was written for those who have died of AIDS. But really, if you really listen to the song, it can be a great tribute to anyone that you have lost.

I think I'll go say hi to my dad today. For now, I leave you guys with a Patchwork Quilt.